Thai investors aiming to diversify abroad and foreign financial institutions looking to the Thai market find a bridge in Krung Thai Asset Management (KTAM). Managing US$15.5 billion in assets, KTAM is the country's third-largest asset management company in terms of market share - and No 1 when it comes to achieving relatively high growth rates in the past few years.
"Innovativeness makes us stand out in the industry and the country," says KTAM CEO Somchai Boonnamsiri. "We constantly introduce new and industry-focused products that we develop closely with our clients and through our extensive research capability."
Licensed to manage various investment products, from mutual funds to property, private, provident and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), KTAM is the only asset management firm that holds the status of a state enterprise. Nearly all of its shares are held by Krung Thai Bank, Thailand's largest state-owned financial institution and the first state enterprise to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
KTAM leverages Krung Thai Bank's nearly five decades of expertise in commercial banking and more than 1,200 branches nationwide. It also optimises non-Krung Thai Bank channels by partnering with global industry leaders, including Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank.
"We aim to educate investors, show them a wide array of options - and enable them to take full advantage of the innovative products on the market," Somchai says. "ETFs, for instance, may be a fairly new concept for Thai investors and still have a low penetration rate, but we believe that they have high potential because they combine the valuation feature of mutual funds and the tradability feature of listed stocks."
The country's pioneer and leader in ETFs, KTAM was the first firm in the industry to bring CSI 300 - a capitalisation-weighted stock market index replicating 300 stocks on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges - into the Thai market. It also offers the KTAM Gold ETF Tracker, which tracks the price performance of gold bullion through the Hong Kong-listed SPDR Gold Trust, and the KTAM Hong Kong ETF Tracker, which follows the performance of the Hang Seng Index.
The leader in the property fund space, KTAM also manages about US$5 billion worth of property funds and commands 39 per cent of the market share. Its flagship funds include Dusit Thani Hotel Fund, Tesco Lotus Retail Growth Fund and TCC Land's property funds.
"We are preparing for the Asean Economic Community integration by 2015 and will launch more exciting products that will appeal to a broader investor base," Somchai says.
Krung Thai Asset Management