MAS names sustainability head; Malaysia’s EPF appoints COO and CFO; GIC PE head for SEA leaves; State Super hires new exec; Hesta appoints chief growth officer, chief Debby Blakey appointed to corporate governance board; ex-BlackRock exec joins IQ-EQ in Singapore; HSBC AM builds direct real estate team; ex-Vanguard head of distribution joins LGIM; Sanne names Singapore head; and more
Equity funds again led the falls, slipping 0.91% in aggregate, with declines in equity Malaysia (-2.17%) and equity Malaysia small- and mid-cap (-2.55%) portfolios.
Lower yields helped boost the overall performance of fixed income funds (+0.15%), with bond Malaysia portfolios posting an average gain of 0.17%. Money market products were steady at 0.20%, while commodities û the best performing asset class û rose 11.58% on-average.
Islamic subsectors fell 0.51% on-average, marginally below the broader market, with outperformance seen in equity Asia-Pacific Islamic portfolios (+2.22%).
On the local front, uncertainty in MalaysiaÆs political structure will be a cause of concern for market watchers, but segments of the economy such as natural resources should see support, says Singapore-based Kenneth Koh, head of research for Asia ex-Japan at Lipper.
The month of February started off on a relatively buoyant note for the Malaysian bourse, following a further half-point cut in the US Federal ReserveÆs key federal funds target rate at the end of January. The much-expected Chinese New Year rally failed to materialize this year, although news of the dissolution of the Malaysia federal parliament on February 13 to pave way for the countryÆs general elections helped to lead the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index to a month high of 1,436.10 points. The market soon succumbed to profit-taking, with the benchmark index subsequently giving up all its gains to finish the month with a 2.57% loss at 1,357.40 points, underperforming most of the other markets under review this time around û down 6.06% for the year-to-date.
Average performance of fund groups registered for sale in Malaysia in February, by asset types:
Money Market Funds +0.20%
Bond Funds +0.15%
Guaranteed Funds -0.07%
Mixed-Asset Funds -0.74%
Equity Funds -0.91
Protected Funds -0.98%
Kwap property arm appoints CEO; VFMC names new CEO as Lisa Gray retires; MSIG Singapore promotes Mack Eng as CEO; Monroe Capital opens first Asia office in Seoul, hires head from Aberdeen; Vanguard Australia appoints new MD to relocate from US; HSBC AM expands EM debt team; Vantage FX hires from CGS-CIMB in Singapore; and more.
Financials and healthcare have been spotted as promising sectors, while several tech IPOs are on the way, including a $2.2 billion fintech firm and a GIC-backed e-commerce startup.
A strong recovery in the Asia Pacific private capital markets in 2021 sets up favourable hiring and compensation trends.
The $95 billion Korean savings will set up a separately managed account for real estate debt investment early next year in order to shorten decision-making and help it win deals in a crowded market.