Asia’s wealthy are readying cash to take advantage of opportunities in financial markets and private equity once the impact of the coronavirus pandemic subsides, according to the head of private banking at Southeast Asia’s largest lender.
Clients have increased cash holdings to about 40% of their portfolios in recent months, up from about 30% before the pandemic, Joseph Poon, who leads DBS Group Holdings Ltd.’s private bank, said in an interview this week. While the unit doesn’t disclose assets under management, it’s part of DBS’s $251 billion wider wealth platform, which is among the largest in Asia.
“Clients are holding a lot more cash than usual. It’s a very interesting phenomenon,” said Poon. “Ultra-high-net-worth clients believe there will be a good opportunity in the marketplace once the pandemic impacts have flown through the economy,” he said, referring to those with at least S$30 million in investable assets.