UCITS: Knocking on Asia’s Doors !

Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) are investment schemes that allow for free cross border sales of instruments with a single authorization from any one of the Euro-zone member states. They have become tremendously popular in Europe. Off late UCITS are gaining in popularity with international investors.Today, Asia has the lion’s share of all internationally distributed UCITS. Hongkong, Singapore and Taiwan are emerging as hubs for the distribution of UCITS to the wider East, South East and Central Asia Region. Bahrain has become a pivotal center for UCITS distribution in West Asia and Africa.

Majority of investments finding their way into UCITS in Asia are routed into Equity (39%) , Money Market (23%) and Bond (20%) Funds. Most UCITS promoters I spoke to believe that though Asia will continue to be the biggest overseas geography for UCITS sales, challenges remain. These include – taxation issues, distribution complexity because of non-standard platforms , fragmented market and low automation levels. Will be interesting to see how distributors in Asia respond to this opportunity and how newer markets in Asia react to the UCITS offerings. Celent has just released a report on the subject: UCITS IV Directive: Implications for the Asset Management Industry in Europe.

Insurance agents equiped with new tools to realize policy issue in real time in China

Ping An insurance company in China produced e-policy for new insurance application from Oct.1st 2010. Now insurance agents from Ping An insurance company could do bunisness in a brand-new way: -generate insurance proposal on laptop computer; -discuss with customer and make adjustments, send the final proposal to headquarter by wireless network for underwriting; -receive short message about underwriting result in about 1 minute later; -customer pay premium by useing mobile POS device (insurance sales agents bring mobile POS device); -e-policy go effective; customers are able to check their policy information from Ping An website; This kind of technology platform is innovative in China. Many insurance companies like to follow Ping An model, we can expect more insurance companies will adopt e-policy in new business, and streamline the sales process to be more efficient.