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Malaysia’s Public Mutual launches regional funds

Public Mutual has launched two mutual fund products that invest in the Asean and Greater China markets.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Skyline in the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the famous Petronas Towers standing in the middle.

The Asean Growth Fund may invest up to 98% of its assets in selected Asean markets, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, said Yeoh Kim Hong, chief executive officer, in a statement from the firm.

Equity markets in Asean are expected to benefit from the robust economic outlook, improved corporate earnings growth, accommodative monetary policies and currency strength amid a weakening US dollar, the firm said.

The Greater China fund will invest in markets of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to Yeoh. It will invest 76%-98% of its assets in equities, with the remainder invested in fixed income securities and liquid assets.

The firm also manages three other Asean-focused funds and other China-focused strategies, according to its website.

“Unlike our other China-focused equity funds, this fund may invest up to 35% of its NAV in other regional and global markets outside of the Greater China region, which allows the fund to benefit from diversification,” Yeoh said.

Public Mutual, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Public Bank, is one of Malaysia’s biggest fund managers. It manages around 120 mutual fund products and is an approved private retirement scheme (PRS) provider, managing nine PRS funds. As of the end of September, the firm managed RM 78.5bn ($18.51bn) in assets.

Malaysia’s fund industry has grown assets 8.86% this year to RM 758bn ($179bn), according to Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin, Securities Commission Malaysia’s managing director for development and Islamic markets.

The growth in assets this year is double that of 2016, when asset growth was 4.25%, he said in a speech during the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum last month.

Additionally, the number of financial planning firms in Malaysia has increased by 45% since 2015.

Part of Mark Allen.