KAsset unveils its 2018 business plan which aims to be at the forefront as the digital platform provider in the asset management business. Guided by the “Digital Wealth Platform 4.0" concept, the company will prioritize employment of innovations for enhancing its asset management processes and bolster wealth for customers. KAsset targets to raise digital-based users to half of the company's customer base.


                Mr. Vasin Vanichvoranun, KAsset Executive Chairman, revealed the company's business target and directions for 2018 wherein it aims to focus on continual development of fund products and service channels as well as investment tools to embrace the advancing digital age, and remain at the top in asset management business. Being Thailand's first asset management company that emphasizes digitization, KAsset has upgraded its service channels via digital platform while setting its sights on giving investors advice via Robo-Advisor. Continuing the concept and strategies, the company will this year highlight the “Digital Wealth Platform 4.0" through the introduction of innovations to be accessible to all investors in order to simplify their investment and maximize returns at their fullest potential.


 “To cash in on the brighter prospect of asset management industry amid proliferation of sophisticated investment data, KAsset's key strategies will focus on effective data management and analysis through three major tasks which must be undertaken concurrently. They are, i.e., Effective & Precise Investment which includes adoption of “Big Data" innovations for data analysis conducive to investment decision, creation of investment models based on statistical data to shed light on expected returns; High Quality Products wherein the company's 10 funds earned 5-star Morningstar Overall Rating (based on data from Morningstar® as of December 31, 2017) and Smart Advisor, K-My Funds offering our mutual fund customers and K-My PVD, for provident fund investors", added Mr. Vasin.


Mr. Vasin added that the company's focus on improving digital-based service channels in recent years has helped bolster the number of digital-based users.  At the end of 2017, the number of such users accounted for 30 percent of all mutual fund customers, the highest in the industry. The company's digital-based AUM thus stood at about 21 percent of the total mutual fund AUM. For 2018, KAsset is targeting increases in the number of digital-based users by 50 percent of all mutual fund customers and digital-based AUM by 30 percent of the total mutual fund AUM.  


In 2017, KAsset's operating performance grew 5 percent with the total AUM reaching THB1.30 trilion. That total comprised THB1.01 trillion in mutual funds, THB173 billion in provident funds and THB117 billion in private funds, representing 20.1 percent, 16.0 percent and 13.9 percent shares of such markets, respectively. KAsset thus remained the leadership in the mutual fund and provident fund businesses. The company's private fund business outperformed the other two businesses, growing at a staggering 29.3 percent (AIMC as of December 29, 2017).


With regard to economic and investment outlook for 2018, KAsset recommends that investors should consider to diversify their investment into different assets with focus on attractive stocks rather than debt instruments, given that a steady global economic recovery should benefit operating results of promising listed-companies. However, global stock prices overall may not increase steadily and substantially as in 2017. Meanwhile, KAsset opts to place investment weight in countries with bright prospects, such as China and Japan, because their stock prices are cheaper than other regional peers and their economies should thrive going forward.  


KAsset believes that SET index should rise to touch 1,850 points this year based on  the P/E (price-to-earnings) ratio of 16.5 times in 2018 and an expected earning growth of listed companies at 10 percent, driven by continuous economic recovery and relatively low interest rate.  Large cap stocks should enjoy better momentum than smaller ones.  On bond investment, the rising US treasury yields, in line with an anticipation of three US interest rate increases in 2018, will lower attractiveness in bond investment. Nonetheless, the Asian bonds are likely to offer superior returns than those in other regions because they are less impacted by the uptick of the US interest rate. In addition, most Asian economies are stable and c​ontinuing to draw foreign investments into their countries.


The uncertain factors that investors should keep a close watch this year include US President Donald Trump's policy implementation, an uptrend of the US interest rate and the US federal budget cuts, together with monetary easing in the EU and Japan and geopolitical risks in Europe, the Middle East, the US and North Korea which may cause volatility to investments this year.


Investors should have a thorough understanding of the nature of the products and their conditions for returns and risks before deciding to invest.