Malaysia's Maybank Asset Management Group Berhad have announced a partnership with global specialist infrastructure fund manager, Hastings Management Pty Ltd, to provide investors with Shariah-compliant infrastructure investment opportunities in the Asian region.
Maybank AM will combine its established ASEAN presence and strength in over 10 countries with Hastings' investment expertise to create a strong fund partnership. Together, Maybank AM and Hastings aim to provide investors with the benefits of access to infrastructure investment opportunities in emerging markets such as the ASEAN economies, India and China through a pooled-fund.
Maybank AM, Group CEO, Nor' Azamin Salleh, believes strong market opportunities exist across the target regions for infrastructure funds:
'Our strength and stability as a financial institution, widespread regional capabilities, experienced portfolio management teams and continued dedication towards providing sound investment advice and solutions to our clients have enabled us to diversify our portfolio with this first-of-its-kind infrastructure fund with Hastings. As a specialist and leader in infrastructure funds management, Hastings has a strong track record and portfolios with a diverse range of infrastructure assets which makes them the ideal partner in this venture.'
Maybank AM recognises that a strong need exists for infrastructure improvement in Asia's growing economies and, as a result, investments will be made in infrastructure projects. According to McKinsey Global Institute's (MGI) research, ASEAN economies will require a cumulative USD 7 trillion for infrastructure needs from 2014 up to 2030. The increased need for infrastructure investment is driven by several factors. These include continued economic growth, rapid urbanisation, the rising middle-class and stretched government finances. Taking this into consideration, Maybank AM sees the market opportunity in infrastructure funds which will provide steady returns, moderate risk, lower market volatility, and opportunities for portfolio diversification. This is coupled with a long-term horizon with consistent yields and returns, and organic investment opportunities that enable expansion and follow-up investments within the same portfolio.
Chief Executive of Hastings Management Pty Limited, Andrew Day:
'We are excited to be in partnership with Maybank AM. Hastings brings to this partnership 21 years of experience as a specialist global infrastructure fund manager, a large pipeline of investment opportunities and a proven track record of delivering returns for investors. By partnering with a leading player such as Maybank AM, we look forward to deepening our relationships and expanding our footprint in Asia.'
The deal between the parties will also benefit Malaysian Islamic finance, exploring the establishment of the first Malaysian domiciled USD-denominated global infrastructure fund by a Malaysian institution and comanaged by a world-renowned infrastructure asset manager. In addition, investment into infrastructure assets by the fund will open up opportunities for the syndicate of Malaysian Islamic banks to provide the Shariah debt support both at the acquisition stage and also Sukuk at the expansion stage.
Next steps include a global roadshow to introduce the proposed Shariah-compliant infrastructure investment fund to potential investors to explain the benefits of bringing together Maybank Asset Management's reach and Hastings' funds management experience. In particular, an infrastructure roundtable is planned for late November in Kuala Lumpur, that will bring together investors with Maybank AM and Hastings to discuss the opportunities in the market. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Maybank AM and Hastings was officiated at the 11th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).