Asian fixed-income trading volume (excluding Japan) increased threefold between 2001 and 2004, and fixed-income assets under management by Asian institutional investors jumped 65% to $676 billion in the past year, according to a Greenwich Associates report. Institutional investors in the region are capitalizing on low interest rates by building up fixed-income assets and capabilities. More than half of Asian institutional investors plan to expand their staffs in the next year to build product expertise. Additionally, Asian investors are increasingly using complex instruments such as credit and interest-rate derivatives, according to the report. The number of firms investing in credit derivatives totaled 133 in 2004, compared with 83 in 2003. The report is based on 525 interviews with senior investment professionals throughout Asia, excluding Japan.