HLG Unit Trust, a member of MalaysiaÆs Hong Leong Group, has set its sights on the regional infrastructure sector for its latest fund. Launched late last week in Kuala Lumpur, the HLG Asia-Pacific Infrastructure Fund covers opportunities from Australia to Japan and throughout East Asia.

The asset manager believes that the time is right offer Malaysian retail investors a piece of the regional infrastructure story due to factors such as rapid urbanisation in Asia and a healthy pipeline of government infrastructure spending.

A minimum of 70% of the fundÆs net asset value (NAV) will be invested into equities and will be include stocks from the transportation, utilities, capital goods, materials, engineering and construction sectors. The remaining NAV will be invested in various fixed-income instruments. The HLG Asia-Pacific Infrastructure Fund will also be benchmarked against the MSCI All Country Asia ex-Japan index and the MSCI Japan Index.

The infrastructure fund will be targeted at Malaysian investors looking for medium-to-long term capital appreciation from investments in the related securities; and those also seeking greater diversification in their investment holdings into the Asia Pacific region.

The launch also comes as practically every major Malaysian asset manager has rolled out a bevy of offshore funds due to increased liberalisation of the offshore market. In the remaining months of 2007, HLG Unit Trust plans to launch either two or three more funds to the Malaysian public. However, it did not specify whether these would be offshore funds.

The total approved fund size has been capped at 400 million units, which HLG Unit Trust has priced at RM0.50 a pop. The annual management fee has been set at 1.75% of the fundÆs NAV and will be available to 26 July. The new fund will distributed at HLG branches across Malaysia and through Hong Leong Bank and UOB (Malaysia).