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Affin Hwang AM rolls out tech feeder in Malaysia

The Nikko AM Ark Disruptive Innovation Fund has returned nearly 100% this year.

Kuala Lumpur-based Affin Hwang Asset Management has partnered with Nikko Asset Management to launch the Affin Hwang World Series – Global Disruptive Innovation Fund, according to a statement from the firm.

The product, which is available to sophisticated investors in Malaysia, is a feeder fund that will invest at least 80% of its assets into the Nikko AM Ark Disruptive Innovation Fund, which is managed by Nikko Asset Management. New York-based Ark Investment Management (Ark Invest) acts as the investment adviser of the strategy, the statement said.

Ark Invest is a strategic partner of Nikko AM, in which Nikko AM acquired a minority equity stake in the US firm in August 2017, according to a statement at the time. Under the partnership, Nikko AM has exclusivity in select Asian geographies to offer Ark products and investment strategies.

According to data from FE Fundinfo, the Nikko AM Disruptive Innovation Fund was launched in January last year and is available to accredited investors in Singapore.

The fund invests in companies that benefit from the development of new products or services, technological improvements and advancements in scientific research relating to genomic revolution, industrial innovation, “web x.0 companies”, and fintech innovation, according to its fund factsheet.

The Nikko AM Disruptive Innovation Fund

Source: Fund factsheet. As of the end of August 2020.

On a year-to-date basis, the fund has largely outperformed the broader global technology index. It has returned 98.17%, which compares with the 31.49% performance of the MSCI ACWI Information Technology Index, according to data from FE Fundinfo.

“Unlike other generic technology funds available in the market, the newly launched fund will allow investors to truly participate in cutting-edge innovation that could potentially change the way the world works,” Chan Ai Mei, chief marketing distribution officer at Affin Hwang AM, said in the statement.

“With little overlap against traditional market indices, the fund’s distinct strategy will further allow investors to gain diversification in their portfolios. With advances in science and technology happening every day at an accelerated pace, the fund offers a timely avenue for investors to tap into the leaders, enablers and beneficiaries of such disruptive innovation,” she added.

Affin Hwang AM launched other feeder funds in Malaysia this year. In September, it rolled out a product that invests in HSBC Global Asset Management’s HIFT Asian High Yield Bond Fund, and in January, it introduced an income product that targets JP Morgan Asset Management’s Income Fund.

The firm is one of the largest domestic managers in Malaysia, managing around MYR 65bn ($15.7bn) in assets as of the end of September, according to the firm’s website.

The Nikko AM Ark Disruptive Innovation Fund versus the broader technology index and sector in Singapore

Source: FE Fundinfo. Since the fund’s inception in January 2019. The fund does not have a benchmark index and the MSCI ACWI Information Technology Index is placed for reference only.

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