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Hanwha Asset unveils fund marketplace app

A promotional image of PINE (Hanwha Asset Management)
A promotional image of PINE (Hanwha Asset Management)
Hanwha Asset Management said Tuesday it has launched a new mobile app for retail investors wanting to buy a fund and go around third-party fund distribution channels.

This is the latest move of South Korea‘s fourth-largest firm -- which has around 97 trillion won ($86.6 billion) in assets under its management -- to create its own online fund marketplace in a nation where tech-savvy consumers had few choices to buy funds other than through third-party sales channels of banks, securities brokerages or insurance firms.

The app, Personal INvestment Enabler (PINE), is currently offering seven public funds with exposure to either equity or fixed-income.

The seven funds -- designed to help retail investors achieve global asset allocation, invest long-term or bet on future trends -- were curated out of its 114 public funds by a special committee, according to Hanwha Asset.

The direct sales of funds will help stem the risk of “third-party misselling due to pressure from performance management measures,” Kim Ji-young, team leader of digital direct sales team at Hanwha Asset, said in a virtual press conference.

Moreover, those buying funds through the app will be have zero sales charges and half of the industry’s minimum fund fee, she added.

In Korea, just three out of over 300 asset management firms have launched their own online public fund marketplace apps. Assetplus Asset Management and Meritz Asset Management operate their own app, while Samsung Asset Management‘s marketplace app is overseen by its affiliate Samsung Card.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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