Manulife Asset Management Services Berhad Launches Manulife Asia Total Return Bond Fund Offering investors wide exposure to fixed income securities in Asia
For immediate release
KUALA LUMPUR, 18 February 2019 - Manulife Asset Management Services Berhad (MAMSB) announced today the launch of the Manulife Asia Total Return Bond Fund (the ‘Fund’). The Fund aims to provide total return from a combination of income and capital appreciation by investing in a collective investment scheme with investment focus on fixed income securities. The Fund is a feeder fund offered for subscription to retail investors, investing at least 95% of its net asset value into Manulife Global Fund – Asia Total Return Fund (‘the Target Fund’).
“Asian bonds are in a ‘sweet spot’ due to these three factors namely the high yields generated by Asian bonds, potential capital gains from the expected strengthening of local Asian currencies vis-à-vis the US dollar and expectations that US interest rates are close to peaking. Asian bonds are also an essential asset class for Malaysian investors looking to diversify their portfolios, and the Manulife Asia Total Return Bond Fund offers investors a diversified source of income along with capital growth potential.” said Jason Chong, CEO of Manulife Asset Management Services Berhad.019 – Manulife Asset Management Services Berhad (MAMSB) announced today the launch of the Manulife Asia Total Return Bond Fund (the ‘Fund’). The Fund aims to provide total return from a combination of income and capital appreciation by investing in a collective investment scheme with investment focus on fixed income securities. The Fund is a feeder fund offered for subscription to retail investors, investing at least 95% of its net asset value into Manulife Global Fund – Asia Total Return Fund (‘the Target Fund’).
“Asia is expected to remain the beacon for global economic growth, given the strong fiscal positions and superior growth potential of markets in the region. Asian economies have continued to generate growth amidst mild inflation, creating the strong fundamentals for Asian bonds,” Chong added
Manulife Asia Total Return Bond Fund capitalises on the Target Fund’s unconstrained “go anywhere” approach, seeking returns in three different areas: interest rate strategies, credit positioning and active currency management. The Fund does not limit to US dollar-issued credits in Asia, but also invests in local currency bonds whilst maintaining its average credit rating of investment-grade quality at all times. This flexibility allows the investment team to adopt tactical and strategic positions during different market cycles.
Endre Pedersen, Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income, Asia ex-Japan, Manulife Asset Management believes Asian bonds should be a key beneficiary of moderating US growth. Investors who have left the Asia region for US assets earlier may now return as the US economy slows and the interest rate differential with Asia narrows.
“Asian local bond markets offer compelling investment opportunities due to their strong fundamentals combined with high real yields. Asian credit markets have repriced and offer attractive entry points in both Investment Grade and High Yield segments. We also believe the US dollar has likely peaked, leaving room for Asian currencies to outperform,” Pedersen said.
The Target Fund is supported by an integrated team of close to 60 Asian fixed income investment professionals, including a well-resourced team of 20 credit analysts located in 10 offices across Asia. “A strong on-the-ground presence gives us a leg up on understanding crucial market developments and local companies. These insights help inform our proprietary credit assessment process, which allows us to form an objective and unbiased view of credit opportunities.”
“We see compelling opportunities in China and Indonesia. We believe structural changes and government policies in China will support bond market growth in 2019. Coupled with the upcoming inclusion of Chinese bonds in global bond indices in April, we can expect to see an increase in foreign investor demand and inflows to the market. Meanwhile, the Indonesian economy has grown steadily with inflation kept under control. The country’s bonds are now offering attractive real yields. All these present a favourable environment for bond investors,” Pedersen concluded.
The Fund aims to distribute all or part of its distributable income on a quarterly basis. The classes that are offered for subscription by the Fund are RM-Hedged Class, USD Class and CNH-Hedged Class at RM0.50, USD0.50 and CNH0.50 respectively during the initial offer period from 18 February until 10 March 2019. The initial investment amount for the Fund is RM1,000, USD1,000 or CNH1,000 and the minimum additional investment amount is RM100, USD100 or CNH100. The Fund is distributed through CIMB Bank, iFast Capital Sdn Bhd and Phillip Mutual Berhad.
For more information about the Manulife Asia Total Return Bond Fund, visit manulifeinvestment.com.my.
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About Manulife Asset Management Services Berhad
Manulife Asset Management Services Berhad (“MAMSB”) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife Holdings Berhad (listed on Bursa Malaysia), which is majority owned by Canada-based Manulife Financial Corporation. MAMSB offers a comprehensive range of 48 unit trust and PRS funds in the asset classes of equity, fixed income and money market. Since 2010, MAMSB has bagged 41 awards in total; with the four most significant house awards being won in 2017 & 2018, namely the Best Overall Award Malaysia Provident for EPF-Approved Funds by The Edge | Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Awards 2017, the Most Outstanding Islamic Asset Management Company by KLIFF Islamic Finance Awards 2017, Top Investment House Malaysia - Rank 5 in Asian Local Currency Bonds by The Asset Benchmark Research Awards 2017 and the Best Group Over 3 Years - Mixed Assets by Thomson Reuters Lipper Global Islamic Fund Award 2018. Visit us online at manulifeinvestment.com.my
About Manulife Asset Management
Manulife Asset Management is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial Corporation (“Manulife”). We provide comprehensive asset management solutions for investors across a broad range of public and private asset classes, as well as asset allocation solutions. We also provide portfolio management for affiliated retail Manulife and John Hancock product offerings.
Our investment expertise includes public and private equity and fixed income, real estate and infrastructure equity and debt, timberland and farmland, oil and gas, and mezzanine debt. We operate in the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, as well as through a China joint venture, Manulife TEDA. We also serve investors in select European, Middle Eastern, and Latin American markets.
As at September 30, 2018, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were approximately C$509 billion (US$393 billion, GBP£301 billion, EUR€339 billion). Additional information may be found at ManulifeAM.com.
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2017, we had about 35,000 employees, 73,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving more than 26 million customers. As of September 30, 2018, we had over C$1.1 trillion (US$863 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made C$27.6 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.
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