July 09, 2012

Asian Investors Favor Global Companies with Secondary Listings in Asia for Diversification, According to Research from BNY Mellon

Nearly half plan to boost investments in non-Asian companies over the next five years; Over half say secondary listings on Asian exchanges help identify non-Asian investments

NEW YORK, July 9, 2012 — Asian institutional investors planning to increase investments in non-Asian companies express a preference for the equities of companies that draw revenue from Asia or have a secondary equity listing on a local exchange, according to a survey conducted by BNY Mellon, the global leader in investment management and investment services. The survey, titled Asia's Evolving Investment Landscape, is BNY Mellon's first-ever formal study of this category of investors.  

Recognizing Asia's potential as a source of investment, BNY Mellon undertook a survey to gain further insight into current investment practices in the region and conducted 40 in-depth interviews with investors in Hong Kong, Singapore and China, representing more than US$60 billion in equity assets under management. The report focused on these locations as they are the primary destinations for companies considering secondary equity listings. Investors provided views on their need for portfolio diversification, their appetite for global equities, and the potential opportunities in these markets for global equity issuers.

"We've known for years that 'home market bias' to invest in domestic companies is more pronounced among Asian institutions, and that there's a strong desire to correct that," said Michael Cole-Fontayn, CEO of BNY Mellon's Depositary Receipts business. "Now, we can see how ripe the opportunity is for global issuers and how they can increase their chances of cultivating ties to investors in Asia."

The report focused on three types of investors: mainland Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors (QDIIs); Hong Kong– and Singapore–headquartered investment firms; and Hong Kong– and Singapore–based subsidiaries of global asset management firms.

The study uncovered a strong desire among institutional investors in these markets to diversify more globally their equity holdings. Nearly half (47%) plan to increase investments in companies domiciled outside their home market over the next one to five years. They cited client requests, portfolio diversification, and opportunities for growth as factors motivating them to look abroad. "We are moving in a direction to increase the rate of investment outside of Asia," said a survey respondent from a Hong Kong-headquartered investment firm. "We are striving to increase our global mandate."

BNY Mellon found that each additional percentage point in global allocations of Asia-based institutional portfolios potentially equates to $7.3 billion in equity assets. This figure underscores the substantial opportunity for global issuers as the portfolio allocations of Asian institutions fall in line with peers in North America and Europe that invest larger proportions in equities of non-domestic companies.

Several factors impact on a global issuers' decision to raise equity capital in Asia, the study found. The investors surveyed were particularly open to investing in companies that derive revenue from Asia, with 54% saying that it was a key criterion. In addition, a listing on a regional exchange universally increases both the awareness of non-Asia-domiciled companies and the likelihood that institutions in Asia will invest in them. More than half of the investors surveyed (53%) said a secondary listing on an Asian exchange increases the chances they will invest in foreign-domiciled companies.

"I do not differentiate between the Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian exchanges. The company simply has to be listed on one of the regional exchanges for us to invest in it," said a respondent from a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of global asset management firm.

"There's a substantial overlap of interests between investors in Asia looking to diversify their portfolios and global companies looking to raise capital," said Guy Gresham, New York head of the global IR advisory team in BNY Mellon's DR group. "A secondary listing and open investor communications policy go a long way in helping these companies gain access to long-term equity capital in this part of the world."

Additional findings of the survey include:

  • Overall, 62% of institutions surveyed said a local exchange listing increases their awareness of a company
  • Hong Kong- and Singapore-based investment firms were the most definitive in stating that a local listing increasing their likelihood of investing in a foreign company, with 57% responding affirmatively and 62% saying that a listing in Asia increases their awareness of a company
  • Over half of the investment community surveyed (61%) does not definitively differentiate between the regional exchanges in Asia where foreign companies have secondary listings
  • More than half of investors (55%) are not required to meet with senior management of foreign companies before making an investment, and many report that as long as they can correspond with management throughout the year, a face-to-face meeting is not vital to their decision-making process when considering investment opportunities outside of Asia
  • Over two-thirds (70%) of investors surveyed would like to meet management teams at least semi-annually for meetings and informational updates, and 97% would like to correspond with management at least once a year.

BNY Mellon acts as depositary for more than 2,100 American and global depositary receipt programs, acting in partnership with leading companies from 67 countries. With an unrivaled commitment to helping securities issuers succeed in the world's rapidly evolving financial markets, the company delivers the industry's most comprehensive suite of integrated depositary receipt, corporate trust and stock transfer services. Learn more at www.bnymellon.com/dr.

BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets.  BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team.  It has $26.6 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.3 trillion in assets under management, services $11.9 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.4 trillion per day.  BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK).  Learn more at www.bnymellon.com or follow us on Twitter@BNYMellon.

This release is for informational purposes only. BNY Mellon provides no advice nor recommendation or endorsement with respect to any company or securities. Nothing herein shall be deemed to constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy securities. Depositary Receipts: Not FDIC, State or Federal Agency Insured; May Lose Value; No Bank, State or Federal Agency Guarantee.