Asia continues to lag other regions for integrating ESG principles with investing; better data and stronger regulatory requirements will help institutional investors, market observers say.
Astrum is an Asia-Pacific ex-Japan long/short fund, with a 50% bias to Hong Kong and China stocks. It runs a portfolio of 40-60 positions, with no more than 5% of the fund's net asset value in one stock. The portfolio turnover is estimated at 400% per year.
The portfolio manager is Richard Sung, who was director of global equities at Merrill Lynch where he did hedge fund sales, before then starting one of his own funds. The firm's CEO is Victor Chang who formerly worked at a family office and before then at Lippo Securities. Co-portfolio manager is Jackie Pan, CFO is KW Yeung and the compliance and risk chief is Bosco Cheung, who are all former Lippo Securities men.
Target returns are 20%-25% on low double-digit volatility. In 2007 the fund was up net 29.7% in eight months.
Gross exposure for the fund is up to 150% and net exposure can range between minus 30% net short, to plus 150% net long. The fund does not use leverage. Fees are 1.5% and 20% with a high-water mark.
Among the service providers, UBS is prime broker, Citi (initially via Bisys) is the fund administrator. Quality Risk Management and Operations are providing outside risk management services.
The appetite of institutional investors for green, social, and sustainable bonds that bring clear environmental and socio-economic benefits shows no sign of waning.
The German insurer has plans for the property sector in Australia and China too.
Global investors are advised to look selectively at Japanese equities as the country recovers from lockdown and continues to improve corporate governance.
Weekly investor roundup: Sun Life weighs second ESG fund in HK; Korea's NPS reduces domestic equity allocation
Sun Life considers launching second ESG fund in Hong Kong as it banks on the growing theme; NPS lowers exposure to large-cap and other domestic shares; Temasek's Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation becomes first special purpose acquisition company on the Singapore Exchange; and more