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Pru Life rolls out three funds in the Philippines

One of them is a fixed income product that invests in US dollar-denominated bonds globally.

Pru Life UK Investments, the asset management unit of insurance firm Pru Life and an affiliate of Eastspring Investments, has launched three unit investment trust funds (UITFs) in the Philippines, according to data from the Trust Officers Association of the Philippines.

The funds are the Pru Invest PH Equity Index Tracker Fund, the PHP Dynamic Equity Fund and the USD Intermediate Term Bond Fund.

The move follows just after the firm launched its first set of products in December, which includes two money market and three global funds that invest in products managed by Eastspring Investments in Singapore. The global funds include two feeder funds – a global technology product and an Asia high yield offering, while the third one is a global balanced fund of funds.

In total, the firm now manages eight UITFs in the country.

In the Philippines, mutual fund products are regulated by different regulators, which results in different terminology.

Banks and their trust departments and stand-alone trusts manage and distribute UITFs and are regulated by the central bank, while investment companies distribute mutual funds and are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission

The funds

The new set of products are locally-domiciled. While the two equity products focus on domestic markets, the fixed income fund invests in US dollar-denominated government bonds globally, according to Lee Longa, Manila-based director at Pru Life UK Investments.

“Pru Life UK Investments launched the [USD Intermediate Term Bond] to provide clients with more investment options during the pandemic,” Longa said.

He noted that the fund invests in high-quality investment grade fixed income securities, which the firm believes should provide stable growth from income and capital appreciation with minimal credit risks

“Investors can balance risks in their portfolio by investing in the fund, given its safe-haven characteristics.”

Meanwhile, The PH Equity Index Tracker Fund is a passive product that tracks the performance of the Philippine Stock Exchange Index, while the PHP Dynamic Equity Fund is an actively managed fund that invests in companies with strong growth potential, according to the firm’s website.

Separately, Pru Life is also one of the few stand-alone trust corporations in the country. The central bank only approved the establishment of such funds in 2015. Previously, trusts were only allowed to operate as departments within banks.

Manulife Asset Management and Trust also established a trust entity in the Philippines. Over the past two years, it has launched feeder funds that invest in its own offshore products.

There are at least four trust corporations in the Philippines. The other two are BPI Asset Management and Trust, a subsidiary of the Bank of the Philippines Islands, and ATRAM Trust.

Part of Mark Allen.