As one of the largest private unit trust companies in Malaysia, with over 100 funds with a total net asset value (NAV) of RM63.4 billion (US$18.93 billion) as at the end of October, Public Mutual has consistently maintained its lead in the asset management industry, both conventional and Islamic, through its prudent strategy and diverse offerings. VINEETA TAN takes a closer look at the latest Shariah additions from the investment powerhouse.
Commanding a 40% market share in the country’s private unit trust industry (as at the 30th September 2014), Public Mutual has a long and impressive track record in both the conventional and Islamic space, the latter of which is represented by its 35 Shariah funds across five asset classes: including equity, mixed asset, Sukuk, fixed income and money market. The winner of Best Investor Relations in the IFN Islamic Investor Awards 2014, the asset manager last week built on its success with a further expansion of its Shariah compliant universe: launching two new Islamic funds, the Public Ehsan Mixed Asset Growth Fund (PESMAGF) and Public Ehsan Mixed Asset Conservative Fund (PESMACF).
With a ‘3’ risk category, these funds are targeted towards investors of moderate to high risk appetite with capital growth in mind over the medium to long-term period through a portfolio allocation across Shariah compliant equities and Sukuk. “[PESMAGF] adopts a mixed asset allocation strategy of investing 40-70% of its NAV in Shariah compliant equities. The balance of the fund’s NAV will be invested in Sukuk and Islamic liquid assets which include Islamic money market instruments, Islamic investment accounts and Islamic deposits,” explained Yeoh Kim Hong, CEO of Public Mutual. The PESMACF however, according to Yeoh, will invest 60-75% of its NAV in Sukuk and up to 35% of its NAV in Shariah compliant equities as it seeks to achieve not only capital but also income growth.
Considered less volatile compared to equity funds, the new growth fund allows investors the opportunity to derive regular income by investing 30-60% of its NAV in Sukuk. Subscribers to the growth fund have the benefit of up to 30% of NAV invested in foreign markets, while investors into the conservative fund will see international NAV diversification of up to 25%.
If the company’s existing Public Islamic Mixed Asset Fund (PIMXAF) were to be a benchmark, the two new funds can expect to be well received. Launched in September 2005, the PIMXAF had a net asset value of RM351.85 million (US$105.07 million) as at the end of October and has realized a total return of 4.88%, outperforming its benchmark of 4.4%.
Certified Shariah compliant by ZICO Shariah Advisory Services, the twin funds are offered at an initial issue price of 25 sen (US$0.07) per unit during a 21-day initial offer period until the 15th December, with a minimum initial investment of RM1,000 (US$298.62) each, and additional investment of RM100 (US$29.86).