After setting up base in Singapore end of last year, Lu International, a Singapore-based subsidiary of China’s Lufax, launches their first product—a wealth management platform.
Lufax was set up in 2011 by Ping An Insurance Group, a diversified holdings company mainly dealing in insurance, banking and financial services.
While the parent company is known for its Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending business, Lu Global’s focus today is characterised as premium wealth management products, some which accept values lower than USD1,000 (SGD 1.4K). With varying entry barriers, the 15 products offered are said to cater to high net worth individuals who would like to make investments online.
According to Lu Global, they are attempting to capitalise on the high number of high net worth individuals holding offshore wealth in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), due to concerns about economic markets and political risks—in both emerging markets and mature markets in the region.
At present, there are 15 products on the platform, comprising a mixture of open-ended and closed-ended funds. Users are able to access Lu Global’s services via mobile app, and according to its website, any cash invested is held with DBS Bank Singapore.
Kit Wong, CEO at Lu International said:
“Our mission is to make investing intuitive, accessible and self-directed. Investors will experience this as they register themselves on Lu Global. From onboarding to selecting their investment portfolio, investors will be equipped with financial information sufficient to make sound investment decisions.”
“We are thrilled to launch Lu Global in Singapore. We’ve received overwhelming interest from potential investors, fund houses and distributor networks since we first announced our plans for Singapore.”
Due to an uncertain P2P lending market in its China home base, Lufax earlier this year had to delay its IPO, which spurred the company to pivot into online wealth management—thus seeking more funding.
The pivot reportedly drew the interest of a sovereign fund, Qatar Investment Authority for its online wealth management side of the business though it seems negotiations are still underway.
The company was last valued at US$ 18.5 billion in 2016 after a round of fundraising.
Its core business in China remains in P2P lending, but it seems like the company is playing it safe by venturing into wealth management, and seem to see more potential in their newer offering for their global entity. The company may be playing it safe in this region, due to the high number of Indonesian P2P lending firms that have been established and ready to expand in a market they are more familiar with.
Featured image via Lu Global