Banjaran Asset Management Launches Cambodia’s First Collective Investment Scheme Fund

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Banjaran Asset Management (Cambodia) PLC (BAMC) has successfully obtained approval from the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) to launch the BAMC Asia Equity Fund (BAEF), the first retail fund to launch for sale in the Kingdom, which the public will be able to invest in.

The BAEF will invest in a diversified portfolio of companies listed on major stock exchanges across the Asia Pacific, excluding Japan. With the tagline, ‘The Rise of Asia’, the fund aims to spotlight the benefits of investing in Asia, which has been acknowledged as the “premier growth region” by economists all over the world.

Watch B2B Cambodia’s interview with Ben Gan, Executive Director of Banjaran Asset Management (Cambodia), and Aaron Ng, Executive Director of Banjaran Asset Management Pte Ltd:

Speaking at the ‘Cambodia’s First Collective Investment Scheme Fund’ press conference on November 15, 2023, H.E. Sou Socheat, Director-General of the SERC, noted that this scheme allows the managing companies to gather funds from individuals, invest those funds in certain projects to gain profits, then effectively distribute those profits back.

“Collective investment is a key financial instrument for a country’s economy that cannot be forgotten, especially not by countries that have capital markets,” he added.

About The BAMC Asia Equity Fund

As the first SERC-approved retail fund to launch in Cambodia, BAMC will give Cambodian investors an opportunity to diversify their investments and not only have to rely on bank deposits to grow their wealth. With this fund, Cambodians would also no longer need to travel to foreign financial centres to access investment opportunities outside the Kingdom.

“Our primary goal is to raise market awareness, to give all Cambodian people the chance to experience investing [in a collective scheme] with a subscription of USD $500, and we will provide a series of educational seminars to teach Cambodians on this type of investment as well,” shared Ben Gan, Executive Director of BAMC, while speaking with B2B Cambodia. 

H.E. Sou Socheat (SERC) speaking at the BAMC Asia Equity Fund launch
H.E. Sou Socheat, Director-General of the SERC, at the BAMC Asia Equity Fund press conference on November 15, 2023.

The BAEF is expected to be diversified with at least 30 stocks across Asia, in countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong/China, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The fund also seeks to invest in a variety of sectors, such as in banking, property, industrials, telecom, technology and more. 

“Basically this fund is sector agnostic, we do not pick specific sectors,” stated Aaron Ng, Executive Director of Banjaran Asset Management Pte Ltd (BAMPL) based in Singapore.

“We are adopting a top-down approach and looking at the global economic situation and geopolitical situation in the region, as well as a bottom-up approach while evaluating individual companies and looking at their earnings and growth projections over the next few years – this is how we are approaching the markets for this fund,” he added. 

H.E. Chan Theany, Chairwoman of BAMC, also noted that BAMC has trained a team of local Cambodians to take on various roles related to asset management in the process of obtaining the various licences and approvals.

“For the launch of BAEF, we have brought in international fund management expertise and its best governance practices. We hope this will set a high standard for the asset management industry going forward,” said Theany.

Why Invest In Asia?

Ben Gan, Executive Director of Banjaran Asset Management (Cambodia) speaking at the BAMC Asia Equity Fund press conference
Ben Gan, Executive Director of Banjaran Asset Management (Cambodia), at the BAMC Asia Equity Fund press conference.

BAMPLE has been based in Singapore for over nine years but has investors from all across Asia, shared Ng, so one of the main reasons why the company established its Cambodia division in 2022 and sought SERC approval for the launch of this equity fund was to become more directly involved in regional capital markets and to help expand and further develop the markets as a result.

“This helps us have a better grasp of the country in terms of the securities there, and whether we are able to gain more access to those securities as well,” he added. 

Remarking further on what he foresees as a healthy future for Cambodia’s securities market, Ng pointed to the example of Vietnam and its rapid growth in the past 20 years which has led to a stable securities market there as well. 

“We believe Asia is the right place to be and where we should be positioning ourselves in terms of our investments for growth over the next 10 to 20 years going forward,” said Ng. “Of course, there are situations happening in the world today, like US-China tensions, and also a war that’s going on right now in the Middle East, and we are concerned about these issues, but of course, we need to look for the right places where we can find investment, the right companies and growth markets, and we believe Asia is the way to go.”

Expected Returns From The BAMC Asia Equity Fund

BAMC Asia Equity Fund press conference
The ‘Cambodia’s First Collective Investment Scheme Fund’ press conference was held on November 15, 2023 at GIA Tower.

In order to make the fund accessible to all investors, BAMC has set the minimum investment amount to USD $500 and aims to deliver an expected return of seven to 10 per cent per annum over the medium to long term.

“We encourage investors to look at this collective investment scheme not in the short term, but instead look at it in the long term,” said Gan. 

“In all markets, there will be ups and downs, so we are looking at a medium to long term time frame for returns, which should be about three to five years for investors to stay with us,” added Ng.

He further explained that the company is not looking to make high-risk investments which would potentially generate higher profits but also weaken the guarantee of returns. 

“We are positioning this fund to be more approachable for retail investors… that’s why it’s being sold at USD $500 minimum for each investment value,” affirmed Ng.

Gan also made clear that investors can begin their subscription to the fund immediately, by either going directly in person to BAMC’s office located in Morgan Tower, or by sending an online inquiry through BAMC’s website first. 

“Of course, we will also begin organising a series of seminars so that all investors who are interested in investing in the BAMC Asia Equity Fund can come to participate,” added Gan, promising the seminar schedule would be announced to the public soon.

The BAEF is only the first of a series of funds that BAMC plans to bring to the investing public in Cambodia.

BAMC is the fund manager of BAEF with BAMPL of Singapore as the investment advisor. Stronghold Trustee Co., Ltd (ST) is the fund’s trustee. The BAEF is domiciled in the Kingdom of Cambodia and is USD-denominated. The fund will accept subscriptions and redemptions daily and the daily unit price of the fund will be made available on various media channels in the near future.

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