MalaysiaÆs Prudential Fund Management has tapped into strong domestic fundamentals and retail demand for offshore assets by launching its Enhanced Income Fund. The new fund will invest into three distinct asset classes that comprise of fixed income securities and money market instruments, equities and equity-related securities and collective investment schemes such as Reits in Asia-Pacific.

In terms of the asset splits, up to 70% of the fundÆs NAV will be invested in local fixed income securities, while the remainder will be placed in foreign equities and collective investment securities. The fund will also distribute income every six months.

The approved fund size of PrudentialÆs newest balanced fund has been set by the firm at RM300 million (approximately $88.5million), comprising of 600 million units priced at RM0.50 a piece. The minimum investment into the unit trust is set at RM1,000 ($295).

Based on ten-year of back testing similar funds, Prudential expects its new Enhanced Income Fund to yield around 11% for Malaysian investors. The firm also believes the asset combination will act as a hedge against inflation due to its diversity and exposure to offshore assets.

The firm believes that strong economic conditions in Malaysia were the catalyst for launching the fund, which should allow it to easily hit its target return. Citing analystsÆ forecasts, executives at Prudential believe that the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index will top the 1,500 by yearÆs end, which suggests a climb of over 11% on yesterdayÆs close of 1,343.

The firm also expects to meet demand from increasingly savvy clients this year. Later in 2007, PrudentialÆs Kuala Lumpur unit will offer several new funds to Malaysian retail investors, which assumedly include some offshore funds. Although the number of launches has not been confirmed, the firm confirms that two of new funds will be Islamic. So far this year, the firm has the Global Basics Fund, which invests in international consumer brands.

Since entering the Malaysia unit trust market five years back, Prudential has launched 28 funds and holds assets of RM3.4 billion ($1 billion).