The Dutch pension asset manager's Asia Pacific head of real estate says his team has just had one of its busiest years ever and that 2021 is looking similarly promising.
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.
Mega players Nippon Life and Dai-ichi Life are looking for opportunities in higher-yield single-A US corporate bonds, which offer more appealing yields than stagnant domestic offerings.
The “lower for longer” monetary policy and stimulus packages, coupled with the rolling out of vaccine programmes favorably support real estate investing in the region, with offices and data centres presenting forward-looking opportunities.
As US fixed income default rates rose and yields fell during the pandemic, are Asian bonds, which have had more stable yields through 2020, looking more attractive?
Insto roundup: Norway's Oil Fund praises China governance efforts; NPS commits $100m to taxi-hailing app
Norway's Oil Fund welcome Chinese proposals improving transparency and shareholder protection; HK's MPF assets surge 35% year on year; Korea's NPS commits $100m to TPG consortium to invest in taxi-hailing app; Poba commits W270bn to European property; Malaysia's EPF sees investment income rise 59% year-on-year in first quarter, and more.