The Continental Group reveals ESG and technology sectors as a priority for investments in the Asian Markets

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·       More than 90 percent agreed that India and China are the growing markets in Asia for the next three years 

·       78 percent agreed that ESG is the trending choice of investment in Asia 

·       66 percent prefer technology sector as investment choice; 24 percent prefer pharma and 10 per cent chose financial services 

Dubai, UAE: The Continental Group, a leading insurance intermediary, and financial services solutions provider in the GCC region, revealed the main investment sectors for Asian markets in a recently concluded webinar titled ‘Investment Opportunities and Challenges in Asian Markets – Discovering the potential in emerging markets. 

Neelam Verma, Vice President and Head of Investments, The Continental Group

Companies with a strong focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and technology as a sector are the key choices of investment in the Asia market amidst the pandemic. In a poll conducted by Continental, 78 percent of respondents chose ESG as the trending choice whereas 66 percent preferred the technology sector, 24 percent preferred pharma while the remaining 10 percent chose financial services. More than 93 percent of the audience agreed that India and China will continue to offer economic growth for the next two to three years. 

The webinar hosted by Anselm Mendes the Executive Director, Sales and Technology, at the Continental Group, witnessed participation of esteemed panellists namely Neelam Verma, Vice President and Head of Investments, The Continental Group; Dionne Cheung, Associate Investment Director – Asia ex Japan Equities, Schroders and Lakshmi Iyer, Chief Investment Officer (Debt) & Head Products from Kotak Mahindra Asset Management.

Given the recent volatility in the Asian investment markets, the webinar mainly covered the current Asian financial markets scenarios, role of the Central banks, the future of artificial intelligence & technology and outlook of the market in India and China. 

On the occasion of unveiling the findings, Neelam Verma, Vice President and Head of Investments, The Continental Group, highlighted: “The Asia Pacific investment market is known as the engine of growth within the world economy. China has risen to new heights with its global predominance over the last two decades while India is predicted to become the third largest economy by 2030. With the dividend culture being firmly ingrained within many Asian countries, perception of Asia is gradually shifting into an income gaining investor market as opposed to a market focused only on long-term growth. India has raised more than USD8 billion in IPOs this year. If the IPOs in India continue at the same pace, we will end up with more than USD12 billion worth of IPOs.”

Dionne Cheung, Associate Investment Director – Asia ex Japan Equities, Schroders, said: “In the year 2020, China was the best performing market in Asia since it was successful in containing the pandemic. Primarily, the travel and tourism sector, businesses such as airlines, hotels or Macau gaming industry have been negatively impacted in China. China has further infused liquidity in order to support the economy and is also looking at regulations such as wealth redistribution for the greater common good.” 

Lakshmi Iyer, Chief Investment Officer (Debt) & Head Products from Kotak Mahindra Asset Management, said: “Global debt is at a record high and investment yields are under stress. Since liquidity is going into financial assets in the Asian markets, there could be a potential source of an inflation threat. With the global markets soaring, gold has still lived up to its reputation as a safe haven metal. The pandemic and IPO frenzy has certainly accentuated the pace of the participation of millennials into the Asian capital markets.”

There is no doubt that the pandemic has further pushed digitisation in less tech-savvy markets of Asia leading to an exponential growth of e-commerce as well.

The Continental Group continuously hosts podcasts and webinars such as ‘The Dollars, Dirhams and Our Two Financial Cents’ & What Themes will Define the Decade: Harness the potential of thematic investment strategies for structural growth’, in order to increase financial awareness amongst all its stakeholders. The podcasts are available on Audible, Apple, Listen Notes and TuneIn.

About Continental Group:

The Continental Group is a leading insurance intermediary and financial services solutions provider in the GCC region. Licensed by the Insurance Authority, and the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) of the UAE, the company represents reputed multinational and local insurance and financial institutions. Founded in 1995, Continental is the brainchild of Ashok Sardana, who built the company on three pillars: Integrity, insight and innovation. Continental’s unparalleled industry experience, embodied by a team of over 300 highly-qualified professionals, has enabled its expansion across Europe, Middle East and Asia. Its stellar track record of fostering long-term, meaningful relationships with customers is rooted in its ability to provide tailor-made, personalized solutions. A household name for all insurances—auto, employee benefits, life, medical, and home—Continental has also been actively advocating for ESG investing, financial inclusion and wellbeing, through its popular podcast.