Magazine Issues » July-August 2015

FUND LAUNCHES: Fund launches review - July-August 2015

Chinese streetWe profile some of the most interesting fund launches in recent weeks and examine the performance of a product already on the market.

Emerging market specialist Ashmore has launched the Ashmore All Chinese Equity Fund, offering investors broad exposure to the Chinese economy with the flexibility to invest in onshore and offshore equity markets. 

The Ashmore All-China Equity Strategy provides institutional and retail investors with access to China H shares, American depositary receipt markets and A shares, with a bottom-up stock picking investment approach, based on identifying opportunities which the firm judges to be trading at a discount. 

Ashmore seeks companies with sustainable earnings growth over the mid to long term, and investments will be made in companies that can provide structural improvements through research, development and reform, that have strong management teams, a verifiable track record and that pay attention to minority shareholders.

Despite a dramatic correction in the China A shares market, Jan Dehn, head of research at Ashmore, is optimistic on the outlook for the region, saying that the recent volatility does not pose a serious risk to the Chinese economy as a whole.

BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP) has also chosen to focus on Chinese markets, with the launch of the BNP Paribas Flexi 1 CSI 300 Index Fund. 

The fund offers investors access to Chinese A shares through BNPP IP’s renminbi-qualified foreign institutional investor (RQFII) status, granted in September 2014. The firm says that the fund, which aims to replicate the performance of the CSI 300 Index, is the first RQFII index fund to be launched. The CSI 300 Index is comprised of the 300 largest and most liquid stocks in the China A shares market, including the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

Fixed income manager BlueBay Asset Management has launched a new offering under its Luxembourg Ucits range, the BlueBay Emerging Market Aggregate Bond Fund.

The fund is designed to offer diversified exposure to the broadest range of US dollar denominated sovereign and corporate debt, offering good yield levels and a favourable spread premium relative to developed market credits.

It will be managed by David Dowsett, co-chief investment officer of BlueBay Asset Management and co-head of emerging market debt, and Polina Kurdyavko, co-head of emerging market debt and a senior portfolio manager. The lead managers will be supported by a team of 34 emerging market debt specialists.

Kurdyavko says the launch is a response to investor demand for solutions that can actively asset allocate across emerging market debt sub-asset classes, while providing good returns and reducing volatility. 

Investment management firm Pimco has joined together with Research Affiliates, an investment solutions firm, to launch four funds.

The Research Affiliates Equity (RAE) Fundamental equity funds are designed to outperform market benchmarks through an index-based approach that incorporates active insights. They are available to investors in a number of European countries and cover global developed, European, US large and emerging markets equities.

Pimco’s RAE Fundamental strategies select stocks based on non-price measures of company size such as sales, cash flow, book value and dividends. This approach aims to capitalise on market inefficiencies, capturing returns when prices deviate from fundamentals. The intention is that the funds will outperform market cap-weighted indices over time. 

Portfolio weights will also be influenced by the use of research-based active insights designed to further increase risk-adjusted returns.

The funds have been added to Pimco’s Global Investor Series (GIS) fund range, which now comprises 56 sub-funds with $93.5 billion (€60.3 billion) under management, as of March 31, 2015. 

Fund launch5ONE YEAR ON
Investment boutique Majedie Asset Management has celebrated the one-year anniversary of its US Equity Fund, with the news that it has reached $100 million in assets under management.

The fund is a high-conviction, diversified portfolio that aims to produce capital growth over the long term through investment in primarily US equities. 

Managed by Adrian Brass with Hong Yi Chen as fund analyst, the fund was initially seeded June 26, 2014, and in its first year has received inflows from a broad range of investors, with interest from across Europe and beyond.

The fund’s performance has been consistently strong, returning 16.9% from inception to June 30, 2015, compared to 6.9% from the S&P 500 (Net) Index. This ranks the fund in the top decile within its sector of 453 funds. 

Brass says that positions in the healthcare and consumer sectors have worked well for the fund, as well as avoiding the commodities market. “We now see interesting asymmetric return potential in financials,” he adds.

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