Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TFUND seeks 25% growth

Thanachart Fund Management aims to expand its asset portfolio to 100 billion baht in 2009 from 80 billion now. The Thanachart Group affiliate will focus on high-performing fixed-income funds and foreign investment funds investing in the US equities market.

Boonchai Kiattanavith, the managing director at Thanachart Fund, said growth in assets under management in 2009 would be driven by fixed-income funds.

Interest and inflation rates would continue on a downward trend next year, as central banks around the world ease monetary policy to promote growth.

Mr Boonchai said the Bank of Thailand could cut its one-day policy rate, now at 2.75%, to 2% or 2.25% in 2009, which in turn would force bank deposit rates lower.

At the same time, private debenture issues are expected to increase as overseas funding will remain tight and local firms take advantage of falling market rates to reduce their debt expenses.

The Finance Ministry, meanwhile, will also look to issue more government bonds to cover the 2009 budget deficit.

Mr Boonchai said the equity markets would remain volatile over the next few months, with further downward movement possible in the first half due to the global recession. Markets would begin to recover in the second half of 2009 with economic trends.

''The investment strategy now should be to avoid shares that may be sensitive to the global economy. The focus should be on companies tied to the domestic market, with strong and stable cash flows and able to pay dividends,'' he said.

Mr Boonchai added that Thanachart Fund next year would begin offering derivatives services after receiving its brokerage licence from the Thailand Futures Exchange.

The company also plans to launch a new foreign investment fund to invest in US companies in anticipation of an economic turnaround within the next three to five years.

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