MANILA, July 31 (PNA) — The strong expansion of the Philippine economy made an official of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) optimistic that they will hit their 16 percent growth target for assets under management (AUM) this 2015.
In a briefing Friday, RCBC Executive Vice President and head of Wealth Management Group Manuel G. Ahyong, Jr. said they target AUM to reach about the Php 75-80 billion this year after ending 2014 at around Php72 billion.
He attributed his projection to the strong growth of their business, which in the last five years rose by 16 percent based on client base and 20 percent in terms of AUM.
RCBC’s Wealth Management unit started operations in 2007 and Ahyong said they now have substantial number of clients who are professionals and entrepreneurs and who invest at least Php5 million.
It has seven offices nationwide, to date, and these are in the bank’s main office in Makati City, Binondo in Manila, Caloocan City, Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, Greenhills in San Juan City, Cebu and Davao.
Ahyong said they plan to open additional offices in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City and in the provinces due to rising number of Filipinos who have the capacity not only to save but to invest.
He said most of their clients are not existing RCBC clients before they availed of the bank’s wealth management service but were referred through word-of-mouth.
To date, RCBC Wealth Management Group offers investment options in Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs), mutual funds and equities based not only in the Philippines but in Japan and in the US.
”We may be a domestic or private banking outfit in the Philippines but I would like to think that we are a domestic private bank with a global perspective,” Ahyong said.
He explained that their decision to tap the Japanese equities market was based on the performance of the said economy’s equity industry, which has been showing improvements through several factors like the Abenomics, or the economic policies of Japan Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, and the country’s hosting of the Olympics in 2020.
Ahyong said they plan to introduce more products, including those based on foreign markets, in the future to help their clients further diversify their investment portfolio.
”I think the best time to do this foreign exposure is now more than other time,” he said.
The RCBC official said they only started investing in foreign equities this year but they have attracted “substantial” interest and investment from their clients.
On the local front, he forecasts the continued rise of the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) amidst current volatilities as a result of the looming normalization of Federal Reserve rates.
”There will be some blips but the general trend is growth,” he added.
Ahyong noted that the country has the youngest demographic profile in the region and this is advantageous to the stock market especially to companies that are into consumer business.
He also cited the rising number of domestic investors who tap the local equities market.
”Foreign (investment) volume account for about 50 percent but now it’s much less with 60 percent domestic and 40 percent offshore. Filipinos are having higher participation (rate) despite the expected Fed rate hike later this year,” he added. (PNA)