Investment firms target Asia

Vishal Teckchandani
— 1 minute read
Three of Australia's biggest firms believe that most of their growth will come from emerging economies in 2008 and beyond.
Merrill Lynch Australia, Lehman Brothers Australia and Challenger Financial Services Group are all gunning for Asia as earnings drivers, according to the companys' chief executives.

"If you look at where growth is, it is all outside the United States," Merrill Lynch Australia head Paul Masi said.

Masi said global investment banks were extracting half or three-quarters of their revenue from overseas markets.


The company will target Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese (BRIC) economies for earnings growth.

"If you look at those financial markets, the boom has only just begun. I see it is absolutely going to continue," he said.

Masi said he would focus on growing Merrill Lynch Australia's local retail distribution and fixed income businesses in 2008.

Grange Securities, renamed Lehman Brothers Australia earlier this week, said it would also focus on Asian expansion.

"Lehman Brothers is committed to expanding its presence and capability in Australia and the Asian region," Lehman Brothers Asia-Pacific chief executive Jesse Bhattal said.

Challenger Financial Services Group formed a strategic alliance with the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ and Colony Capital LLC in August and will use that as a platform for Asian ventures in 2008.

"We will explore with those partners' opportunities to distribute product that we manufacture through their source and vice versa," Challenger Financial Services Group chief executive of funds management Rob Adams said.

China's economy surged 11.5 per cent in the third quarter. India's grew 8.9 per cent in the three months to September 30 from a year earlier.


Investment firms target Asia
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