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First State joins mixed-asset trend in Singapore

At least four other firms have applied to launch income-generating, mixed-asset products in the Lion City.

First State Investments has filed an application with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to launch the First Sentier Multi-asset Growth and Income Fund, according to the regulator’s website.

Once approved, it will be available to retail investors in the Lion City.

The fund, which has not yet been incepted, aims to generate capital appreciation and income, according to the prospectus. However, the prospectus did not mention whether the product has an income target.

The new offering will invest 20-80% of its assets in equities and up to 80% in bonds, the prospectus said.

Other fund managers operating in the Lion City are also preparing income-generating, mixed-asset products, including UOB Asset Management, Lion Global Investors and Allianz Global investors. So far,44 mixed-asset funds have been launched in Singapore since 2019, according to FE Fundinfo.

Firms have been pushing these products as the search for income-generating assets has intensified after central banks globally brought interest rates down further as they sought to backstop markets during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Separately, FSI announced in July that it will operate globally under the new brand, First Sentier Investors, from September. The name change comes as part of a global re-brand, following the acquisition of FSI in August last year by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation.

Lion Global Investors

Besides FSI, the Lion Global Investors’ Optimum Pacific Leaders Fund is also waiting for approval from the MAS.

The fund, which will be domiciled in Singapore, will invest primarily in Asia-Pacific (including Japan) equities.

Managed by Nigel Tan and Kenneth Ong, the fund is also a newly-incepted product, the prospectus noted.

The firm manages S$61.0bn ($43.8bn) in assets as of the end of June, according to its website.

Separately, the firm announced plans last year to expand its distribution business to include regional markets such as Thailand and Indonesia, as well as South Korea.

Part of Mark Allen.