SINGAPORE (Nov 16): Lim Chung Chun, chairman and CEO of iFAST Corp, believes long-term diversification is the best strategy to grow its assets under administration (AUA).

Indeed, the company’s AUA has grown 18.7% y-o-y to hit a new record high of $8.5 billion as at Sept 30.

Although the expansion of its unit trust platform into a wealth management solution distributing stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and insurance has been pretty successful, its geographical expansion into the mainland Chinese market for his B2B wealth management solutions hasn’t quite hit its marks yet.

In a December 2017 report, RHB Research analyst Jarick Seet said iFast’s projected losses in China was one reason for the stock’s limited upside. The research house, citing limited manpower, ceased coverage on the stock. The bleeding in that market has continued. For 3Q18 ended Sept 30, losses in China deepened 24.4% y-o-y to $1.28 million, owing to “negative market sentiment”.

However, Lim is confident its China business will become profitable with time, explaining the platform business model requires scale and enough customers and implores shareholders to be patient.

In August, iFast announced it had appointed PwC as the lead financial adviser in its effort to source for investors for its China and Hong Kong businesses. The company hopes to enlarge the share capital of two wholly-owned China and Hong Kong subsidiaries by 15%, and channel the additional funds into growing the greater China business.

iFast is also exploring a restructuring that could see the Hong Kong and China businesses spun off and listed in a market like Hong Kong as a standalone subsidiary.

Read more about Lim’s plans for iFast in this week’s issue of The Edge Singapore (issue #857, week of Nov 19). Login to read the full story: iFast AUA hits new high; growth plans for Greater China underway, or click here to subscribe