Intermediaries in Hong Kong are increasingly reading financial publications on mobile devices

Key points:

  • Social media are exclusively accessed via mobile devices in Hong Kong. Print is still widely used especially for leading local newspapers. Print and desktop readership are declining in general.
  • Around two-thirds of respondents have been influenced by an industry event to conduct research into a new fund, while for one third, online editorial pieces have been an important factor
  • About a third of respondents in Hong Kong said they are happy with the current communications they receive from asset managers

Social media are exclusively accessed via mobile devices in Hong Kong, while the readership of financial publications via desktop is also sharply decreasing in favour of mobile, according to research by Fundamental Media.

Print and desktop readership are declining in general, although print is still widely used especially for leading local newspapers. Business TV channels are also very popular in Hong Kong.

In 2019, Fundamental Research surveyed wholesale and retail intermediaries in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore about their views on fund selection, asset manager communication and their media consumption habits.

Around two-thirds of respondents have been influenced by an industry event to conduct research into a new fund, while for one third, online editorial pieces have been an important factor. Advertising – both online and in print – is also an influential factor for 11% of respondents. Financial intermediaries in Asian countries tend to be more responsive to marketing factors than their counterparts in Western countries.

Asset manager communication

Similar to Singapore and Taiwan, financial intermediaries in Hong Kong are mainly looking for communications from asset managers on investment-related topics such as market analysis and updates to their current investments.

About a third of respondents in Hong Kong said they are happy with the current communications they receive from asset managers. This result might be partially explained by cultural reasons, i.e. a reluctancy to address direct complaints.

Other findings from the Hong Kong Financial Intermediary Research include:

  • Investment philosophy is by far the most important fund selection factor in Hong Kong. Brand strength is also a decisive fund selection factor for almost one in three respondents. This factor tends to be more important in Asian countries than in other parts of the world surveyed by Fundamenal Research.
  • While cost is the top fund selection factor for end investors, brand strength and comments/insights from fund managers are more important for financial intermediaries.
  • Almost half of financial intermediaries are currently using ESG criteria, while one in five is likely to start incorporating ESG criteria soon.
  • All respondents indicated having CPD requirements, but this doesn’t translate into a high need for support from asset managers in this area. This might be explained by the high company support respondents receive when it comes to providing training or recording training details.

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