Asia continues to lag other regions for integrating ESG principles with investing; better data and stronger regulatory requirements will help institutional investors, market observers say.
The fund, which is aimed at risk-averse investors in Malaysia, will provide a 100% capital protection over its three-year investment period. The fund will be managed by Public Mutual, which is a 100% unit of Public Bank and is the largest private unit trust company in Malaysia. The fund house manages 66 funds for more than 18 million account holders. As of June, Public Mutual managed around MY26.6 billion ($7.94 billion).
Public Mutual chairman Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow says the fund provides investors an opportunity to participate in the growth potential of oil and gas, metals, agriculture, forestry and paper subsectors within resources as well as hedge part of their investments against inflation.
At least 85% of the fundÆs net asset value will be invested in ringgit-denominated zero-coupon negotiable instrument of deposits and liquid investments comprising high quality debentures and money market instruments. The balance of its NAV will be invested in equities and equity-related securities in resources sectors which are listed in selected regional markets, which include South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand.
The fund will have a service charge of 1% of the NAV of the fund during its offer period, which starts on August 20.
Public MutualÆs strength lies in its roster of products as well as distribution network. Its funds are distributed by over 32,000-strong professional unit trust consultants as well as Public Bank, which acts as its institutional unit trust agent through its 240 bank branches nationwide. Last year, Public Mutual increased its total net asset value by 75% to MY28.4 billion ($8.5 billion) in end-December, outperforming the industryÆs growth of 46.9% to around MY71 billion ($21.2 billion).
The appetite of institutional investors for green, social, and sustainable bonds that bring clear environmental and socio-economic benefits shows no sign of waning.
The German insurer has plans for the property sector in Australia and China too.
Global investors are advised to look selectively at Japanese equities as the country recovers from lockdown and continues to improve corporate governance.
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