CEO Morning Brief

Singapore’s UOB Aims to Double Private Wealth Assets by 2026

Publish date: Fri, 15 Mar 2024, 09:47 AM
TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

SINGAPORE (March 14): Singaporean lender United Overseas Bank (UOB) is planning to double its private wealth assets under management over the next couple of years as it bets on increased wealth inflows into the city-state and Southeast Asia, a top executive said.

Total assets under management (AUM) at UOB, Southeast Asia's third biggest lender by assets, rose to a record S$176 billion (RM619 billion) as of end-December.

Assets from its private wealth clients — affluent individuals with assets worth at least S$2 million — account for more than half of the total AUM, said UOB's head of private bank Chew Mun Yew.

"With the increased wealth flow opportunities into Asean region and the strong organic growth within Singapore, we believe there will be continued strong growth momentum in the wealth management space," Chew told Reuters.

Singaporean wealth managers have seen a surge in inflows in recent years from China, Hong Kong, and elsewhere, as economic slowdown and geopolitical tension resulted in setting up of family offices and trusts in the city-state.

Southeast Asia is also a key wealth growth driver in the region.

By 2028 (from 2023), Malaysia is set to see its ultra-high net worth population growing by 34.6%, Vietnam's by 34.1% and Indonesia's 30%, outpacing the estimated 28.1% growth globally, according to a wealth report by Knight Frank.

Singapore is seen as a magnet in attracting wealth from its Southeast Asian neighbours, helped by the city-state's policies including tax perks that incentivise the setting up of wealthy family offices, according to Knight Frank.

Chew said UOB's private wealth assets grew 14% last year. He declined to give details.

More than half of UOB's total assets was contributed by Singapore, with the rest mainly from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and North Asia, according to Chew. North Asia includes Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Japan, he added.

UOB managed to bolster its Southeast Asia presence after the acquisition of Citigroup's Southeast Asia retail business in early 2022 for S$5 billion.

"We also scale up cross segment collaborations with other business units within the bank, to maximise cross sell opportunities and increase penetration rate of our clients," Chew added.

Read also:
Malaysia third fastest-growing in Asia for ultra-high-net-worth population from 2023 to 2028 — Knight Frank

Source: TheEdge - 15 Mar 2024

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