Questions hang over Commerzbank Asset Management

After a bad year the Asian operations are profitable, but the firm''s commitment to the region remains unknown.

It has been a tough but necessary year for Commerzbank Asset Management and its managing director in Singapore, Pascal Crepin. The Singapore office has downsized its staff from 23 to 10 investment professionals, streamlined its product offering and returned to profitability.

The fund manager had stumbled following the Nasdaq crash. In Asia it has enjoyed mixed fortunes, with robust businesses in some markets, but overall the management structure had become disjointed. Returning to profitability has been hard work, but now leaves the firm in strong shape and with some enviable businesses in Taiwan and Korea, the region's most coveted markets.

Despite these successes, however, uncertainty lingers over the Asian business. The parent company in Germany,...

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