More thematic funds to roll out in Singapore

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Amundi subsidiary CPR Asset Management intends to launch a series of thematic funds to Singapore’s retail investors.

The Paris-based firm is expected to debut five thematic equity products for the retail market: the CPR Invest – Food for Generations Fund, Global Disruptive Opportunities Fund, Education Fund, Climate Action Fund and the Global Silver Age Fund.

All five products are global equity funds and integrate ESG factors, according to their prospectus.

The funds are still subject to regulatory approval, according to records from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

One of the five products, the Global Silver Age Fund, is for sale to Singapore’s accredited investors, according to MAS records. The theme revolves around the ageing population in developed markets and invests in the pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, leisure activities and security sectors.

CPR Asset Management is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amundi Asset Management and specialises in responsible investing.

Globally, it manages €47.5bn ($52.61bn) in assets, according to the firm’s website. Around 18% of assets are in thematic equities, with the remainder in quantitative equity strategies (18%), mixed-asset (16%), fixed income (10%) and money-market funds (38%).

The fund push in Singapore comes after the Hong Kong regulator’s June approval of Amundi’s  Global Education Opportunities Equity Fund, a Hong Kong-domiciled fund.

Amundi’s product will replicate CPR AM’s Education Fund, a spokeswoman said previously, adding that the firm in Hong Kong will be launching more thematic funds with the help of CPR AM.

Some of Amundi’s thematic products, such as the Global Ageing Planet and Disruptive Opportunities funds, have CPR AM as its “investment adviser”, which means it advises the fund managers but does not exercise discretionary investment management, according to their prospectus.

Not a good year for thematics

CPR AM adds to the growing list of fund managers that have launched several thematic products this year, often focusing in sub-sectors in technology, healthcare and ESG. They include Janus Henderson, Nikko Asset Management, UOB Asset Management, Allianz Global Investors, Blackrock, Amundi Asset Management and Value Partners.

However, this year was not good for thematic funds, particularly in Hong Kong. During the first half this year, themed funds sold in the SAR had the highest net redemptions of $857m under the equity fund category, according to data from the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association (HKIFA).

But it is difficult to pinpoint which particular themes had the highest net outflows, Wing Chan, Hong Kong-based director of manager research at Morningstar, said recently.

He believes that the recent fund launches have been in response to investor demand.

In addition, the thematic products that have been launched in recent years are different from those that were launched 10 years ago. For example, fund managers previously tended to launch consumer- or natural resources-focused products. Today, themes usually revolve around the sub-sectors of technology and ESG.

Some wealth management firms and private banks are also wary of products with a certain thematic focus. Isaac Poole, CIO of Oreana Financial Services, said his firm avoids funds that focus on a small niche subset of a theme, such as mobility. “These are very narrow universes that means they are likely to be more inefficient,” he said.


The CPR Global Silver Age Fund vs the peer sector average

Source: FE. Three year cumulative return in US dollars.

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