This new product comes with a few twists, explains June Wong, director and head of business development. Eschewing front loads or redemption fees, the fund carries a straight (if high) 1.5% annual management fee and is floored at a zero return -- so that returns in any negative quarter is treated as zero instead, boosting the average rate of return for the investor. But of course, only a portion of the assets go into the underlying and bullish recovery play.
This bullishness is represented in four equities indices for Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Nitin Parekh, Asian equities CIO, says these four markets represent most of Asia (ex-Japans) capitalization and liquidity, as well as its best companies. It is a strong play on a global level, a regional macro level and a regional corporate level, he says. He adds valuations in these markets are at or close to five-year lows. It is difficult to time a better entry, he notes.
The macro story, particularly Chinas, is most compelling. Parekh believes Asias GDP growth this year will end up at 5% versus a predicted 6.5% for next year. This is helped by his expectation that the US economy will grow by 3% next year admittedly most of this growth will come at the end, but equities markets should price in this expectation early. HSBC has chosen those indices be in a local one such as Hang Sengs or an international one such as MSCI Taiwan that best captures the local markets.
Wong says the fund is targeted at risk-averse investors, including first-time buyers of unit trusts, who are suffering from low interest rates on bank deposits. There are many investors not yet ready for non-protected products, she says. Even though we are bullish, they are still nervous.