HK's MPF

Hong Kong pension battle kicks off

Principal's purchase of AXA’s HK retirement savings unit signals start of fight for HK’s HK$514 billion pension nest egg as fees fall.

The US’s Principal Financial Group has won the fiercely contested auction for Axa's retirement savings unit in Hong Kong for $335 million, as the fight to manage pensions in the aging territory intensifies.

The purchase price also includes the right for Principal to sell pension products through Axa's agency network in Hong Kong for 15 years.

Hong Kong’s HK$514 billion $66.29 billion compulsory savings scheme, called the Mandatory Provident Fund MPF, generates about HK$9 billion a year for funds at a relatively high average management fee of about 1.7%.

Its fees and administration costs as a percentage of assets under...

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