The fund gathered THB 18.27bn ($590m) in the first two quarters of 2018, according to fund flow estimations by Morningstar. It was surpassed only by the SBC Short Term Fixed Income Plus Fund (THB 39.16bn) and the Bangkok Bank Senior Citizen Extra Mixed Fund (THB 18.46bn).
Thailand investors in the REIT fund benefited from rebounding real estate prices in Singapore in the latter half of 2017. The fund delivered a 17.3% return during 2017, which placed it at the top of its category, according to Morningstar. So far in 2018, however, the fund’s price has been roughly flat, below the category peers.
The three largest positions are: Ascendas REIT, CPN Retail Growth Leasehold REIT, and Frasers Centrepoint Trust (Singapore), which delivered 10.2%, 26.9% and 12.5%, respectively, during the 12 months ending 31 March 2018, according to Morningstar.
The TMB fund is the biggest, by far, property fund in Thailand, with THB 30.3bn of assets at the end of June 2018. Thailand’s property sector as a whole gathered net new assets of THB 6.61bn during the first half of 2018.
In terms of outflows in the first half, a TMB fund beat them all. The TMB Global Income Fund, which feeds into the Pimco GIC Income Institutional USD Fund, had the biggest outflows in the first half of 2018 among all Thailand funds — THB 43.7bn.
The fund now has THB 57.1bn in AUM, according to Morningstar.
Pivot to equities continues
Overall, mutual funds in Thailand saw positive net inflows in the second quarter of 2018, with most net new money flowing into equity funds. (See the chart below.) Equity funds have been in demand the past three quarters, reversing the apparent long term preference of Thailand investors for fixed income.
Bond funds still constitute the largest category. However, their aggregated AUM and marketshare has been shrinking since the peak at the end of 2017, while equity and mixed-asset funds (“allocation” funds in Morningstar’s terms), gained new assets.
Benjarong Techamuanvivit, senior vice president in the strategic planning division at Kasikorn Asset Management, told FSA in an earlier interview that fixed income funds are likely to be affected by the expected introduction of capital gains tax, from which they are currently exempt. This, combined with the growing risk appetite, has likely contributed to investors’ pivot toward equity investments.