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Threadneedle bolsters product offering

Threadneedle Investments has launched a further two Asia-managed funds for the Singapore market.

The Threadneedle (Lux) Asian Focus Fund and Threadneedle (Lux) Asia Contrarian Equity Fund both opened for investment today.

With this, the fund house has, since April, rolled out a total of four new funds, comprising three equity schemes and one fixed income product – all managed by its Singapore-based investment management team.

Threadneedle said these fund launches indicate its “continued commitment to building out its local investment and manufacturing capabilities of Asian assets”.

Currently, these funds are available to retail, institutional and high-net worth individuals in Singapore, but the fund house has plans to make them available to investors in other countries in the next year, which will be announced “in due course”, a spokesperson said.

The fund house has ruled out any further product launches after it unveiled four funds in a short span of time beginning from 22 April.

“At the moment our focus will be on establishing the Asian equities team and Asian fixed income team here in Singapore, as well as looking at building out our Shariah-compliant capabilities,” the spokesperson added.

“However that said, we are always assessing new product ideas that help us best meet our clients’ needs, but there are no other immediate new fund launch plans in the pipeline.”

The fund house has already received regulatory approval to commence its operations in Malaysia, where it plans to tap the demand for Shariah products.

These new fund launches are in line with Threadneedle’s recently announced plans of establishing Singapore as its first investment hub outside of the UK and US.

Raymundo Yu, Threadneedle’s Asia Pacific chairman said the fund house sees Asia as an “extremely important” part of its global market strategy.

Headquartered in UK, Threadneedle established its presence in Asia in 2008 and has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Australia.

Concentrated & contrarian strategies

The Threadneedle (Lux) Asian Focus Fund will have a concentrated portfolio of 20-25 stocks, investing in undervalued stocks of Asian companies with a flexibility of taking large active positions and investing in non-benchmark stocks.

The Threadneedle (Lux) Asia Contrarian Equity Fund will follow a contrarian investment strategy by investing in fundamentally sound companies that might have suffered near-term price weakness due to transient negative factors, but have a strong potential for recovery.

Ng Soo Nam, Threadneedle’s head of Asian equities will take charge of the Threadneedle (Lux) Asia Contrarian Equity Fund while Bernard Lim, Asian equity senior fund manager will manage the Threadneedle (Lux) Asian Focus Fund.

The performance of the Asian Focus Fund will be measured against the MSCI Asia ex Japan Index, while that of Asia Contrarian Equity will be benchmarked with the MSCI All Country (AC) Asia Pacific ex Japan Index.

On opportunities in the Asian market, Nam said: “We are seeing the beginnings of a ‘new moderation’ in Asia after a slowdown in recent years.

“Asia is adjusting to a phase of ‘moderation’ with China, its biggest economy, levelling towards sustainability. With this in mind, a number of corporates are already adapting and realigning their business strategies, which is where we are seeing some of the most exciting opportunities.

“Our three locally managed Asian equity funds all play to this ‘new moderation’ theme and present different sets of opportunities for our clients.”

Both these funds charge a maximum initial charge of 5% of the amount invested and an annual management fee of 1.5%.

Threadneedle owned by Ameriprise Financial, a leading US diversified financial services company, had assets under management worth $149.5bn as of 31 March. Of this, $87.43bn worth of assets were in equities.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.