Fund of hedge funds giant Permal will offer a new Singapore dollar share class for four of its funds, accompanying similar versions denominated in US dollars, sterling, yen and euros.

The four funds consist of three absolute return funds: Permal Fixed Income, Permal FX Financial Futures, Permal Long/Short Global Equity; and the directional fund Permal Investment Holdings.

The new classification should be handy for Singapore-based clients who do not want US dollar exposure. A key driver for introducing the product was the demand from PermalÆs non-Singaporean investors who have a positive view on Asian currencies, however.

The new class is hedged by rolling a monthly Singapore dollar hedge versus the US dollar share class. That means at present the Singapore dollar investor has to pay a hedging fee of 1.5% for using the new share class, though the carry costs are dependent on whatever the interest rate differentials are at the time.

While the Singapore dollar share class is aimed at retail investors, it is meant for sophisticated, accredited investors, and Permal does not think it presages a move into high street retail.

Permal wants to gravitate towards providing local offerings, rather than occupying the role of being an offshore manager. It would like to be able to offer a product denominated in a renminbi share class, but until there is an effective exchange market, that will remain a dream.