Affin Hwang AM Launches Zero Entry Fee Smart Invest Fund

KUALA LUMPUR – Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (“Affin Hwang AM” or “the Company”) announced today the launch of the Smart Invest Portfolio – Growth (“the Fund”) which is the first in a series of zero front-end load funds lined up by the company that waives the initial sales charge.

The Fund is a retail mixed asset fund that aims to provide investors with income and capital growth over the medium to long-term period through a portfolio of collective investment schemes.  Structured as a fund-of-funds (FoF), the Fund combines an all-in-one approach to source the best-in-class strategies covering multiple asset classes, regions and managers.

To achieve its investment objective, the Fund will invest a minimum of 95% of the Fund’s net asset value (NAV) into collective investment schemes and a maximum of 5% of the Fund’s NAV into money market instruments and/or fixed deposits for liquidity.

Chan Ai Mei, Chief Marketing & Distribution Officer of Affin Hwang AM said, “With a minimum investment amount of just RM100, the Fund is the ideal starter-kit for both novice and seasoned investors looking to dip their toes into markets at zero entry cost. Through a carefully constructed model portfolio and fund selection process, we combined the best in-house strategies and investment expertise abroad to deliver better risk-adjusted returns to investors.”

Based on a model portfolio which takes into account past performance, market and risk factors, the Fund delivered an annualised return of 7.4%1 per annum since 2017. The time period covers 2017 which was a banner year for markets as well as 2018 which was a correction year.

She also commented on the vagaries of market timing in a highly volatile environment. “Many investors are finding it increasingly difficult to time the market and position their portfolios accordingly. For instance, we saw how quickly the macro environment flipped 180 degrees from the rout in end-2018 to 1Q’2019, when rate expectations were lowered with the US Federal Reserve opting to take a more patient approach. This change in market dynamics supported a recovery in risk assets,” Ai Mei said.

“As such, many investors were under positioned to capture this liquidity-driven rally and missed out on returns in the early part of 2019. This Fund seeks to address one of the most common pitfalls investors make when chasing the market and instead keep their anxieties at bay in the hands of a trusted fund manager,” Ai Mei continues.

Through an active review and quarterly rebalancing exercise (ad-hoc if needed), the Fund would tilt its allocation depending on market conditions to protect downside as well as tactically deploy to benefit from a market recovery. The Fund is suitable for investors who seek capital appreciation, have a long-term investment horizon and a high risk tolerance. The Base Currency of the Fund is in MYR. The annual management fee is 1.8% per annum of the NAV of the Fund. There is also a 3% repurchase charge whenever a redemption is made.

Investors are advised to read and understand the contents of the Fund’s Product Highlights Sheet and Information Memorandum dated 17 May 2019 before investing. Investors who are keen to learn more about the Fund can visit http://affinhwangam.com/ and invest through any of Affin Hwang AM sales offices in Malaysia.

– End of Press Release –

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Affin Hwang AM Launches Global Healthscience Fund

 KUALA LUMPUR – Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (“Affin Hwang AM” or “the Company”) announced the launch of Affin Hwang World Series – Global Healthscience Fund (“the Fund”). The Fund is a wholesale feeder growth fund that provides access to broad opportunities in healthcare by investing in a collective investment scheme, namely BlackRock Global Funds World Healthscience Fund (“Target Fund”).

The Target Fund is a Luxembourg-domiciled fund managed by BlackRock (“Target Fund Manager”). To achieve its investment objective, the Fund will invest a minimum of 80% of the Fund’s net asset value (NAV) into the Target Fund and a maximum of 20% of the Fund’s NAV into money market instruments, deposits and / or liquid assets.

Chan Ai Mei, Chief Marketing & Distribution Officer of Affin Hwang AM said, “Quality is key as markets approach a late-cycle environment. With global growth rates likely to have peaked in this current cycle, the healthcare sector provides investors a defensive shelter to weather against volatility and also tactically diversify. Historically, the healthcare sector has shown a low sensitivity to global growth displaying resilient earnings in a mature market cycle.”

“Underpinned by positive demographic and innovation trends, we see secular growth drivers that would continue to drive healthcare demand irrespective of seasonal or cyclical trends in the macro/market landscape. Given the sector’s late-cycle potential to outperform, we believe the Fund would complement our existing product suite to meet the needs of our clients to build resilience in their portfolio and smoothen out returns.”

Looking at the historical analysis of sector performance through market cycles in the past 25 years, healthcare has consistently outperformed other sectors during late cycle and recessionary periods. For example, the healthcare sector has on average outperformed by +7.0% during late cycle periods relative to broad equity markets1. The analysis also concluded that the healthcare sector has displayed the least sensitivity to global growth historically. The sector displayed the lowest beta (4.3) versus the quarterly change in real GDP since 1995, compared with a median of 7.7 across the remaining Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) sectors2.

On outlook for the healthcare sector, Erin Xie, Ph.D., BlackRock’s portfolio manager of health science equity said, “We believe that the current environment provides an attractive entry point for the healthcare sector, especially given where we are in the business cycle today. It is also important to note that on a valuation basis, the sector continues to look attractive versus broader equity markets and relative to the sector’s long-run average on a forward-looking price-to-earnings basis. Our strategy continues to be a diversified, all-weather healthcare strategy that centres around the investment team’s bottom-up, fundamental investment process.”

She also cited continuous innovation within the healthcare space as an additional source of tailwind that would bode well for the sector’s outlook. “Aside from robotic surgery and new drug discovery, we continue to see broad opportunities in the healthcare industry with numerous companies developing innovative products in an effort to improve their growth profile. In addition to the innovation in medical devices, we have seen the development of pioneering surgical methods, which lessens the invasive nature of surgery and ultimately improves the overall patient experience and reduces recovery time. The regulatory environment for these innovative devices has also been improving, with approval rates accelerating and duration to receive approval reducing,” said Dr. Xie.

The Fund is available to Sophisticated Investors who seek capital appreciation, have a long-term investment horizon and a high risk tolerance. The Base Currency of the Fund is in USD. The Fund is offered in five (5) currency classes, namely USD Class, MYR Class, MYR-Hedged Class, SGD-Hedged Class and AUD Hedged-Class. The minimum investment amount is $5,000 for all listed currency classes.

Investors are advised to read and understand the contents of the Fund’s Product Highlights Sheet and Information Memorandum dated 18 February 2019 before investing. Investors who are keen to learn more about the Fund can visit http://affinhwangam.com/ and invest through any of Affin Hwang AM sales offices or all Citibank branches in Malaysia.

– End of Press Release –

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Announcement of YM Raja Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Aman bin Raja Haji Ahmad as Chairman of Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad

KUALA LUMPUR – Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (“Affin Hwang AM” or “the Company”) announced the appointment of YM Raja Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Aman bin Raja Haji Ahmad as its new Chairman of the Board effective 19 February 2019.

YM Raja Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Aman held various positions in the Maybank Group from 1974 to 1985 prior to joining Affin Bank Berhad as an Executive Director. In 1992, he joined Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad as its CEO before he was re-appointed as the CEO of Affin Bank Berhad in 1995.

He had served as a member of the National Pension Fund’s (KWAP) Investment Panel and he is currently the Chairman of Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera’s (LTAT) Investment Committee. He had also served as a member of the Malaysian Government’s Working Group Policy of the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (PEMUDAH) for a period of ten (10) years from 2007 to 2017.

YM Raja Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Aman is the Chairman of Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad, and also sits on the Board of Affin Hwang Investment Bank Berhad as well as Tomei Consolidated Berhad.

A graduate from Universiti Malaya, YM Raja Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Aman is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, member of the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Malaysian Institute of Accountants as well as a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers Malaysia.

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Affin Hwang AM Market Outlook 2019: Riding Out Market Cycles

KUALA LUMPUR – Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (“Affin Hwang AM” or “the Company”) believes that global economic growth is poised to continue on an even keel with expectations of single-digit growth returns this year as the economic cycle matures. Emerging markets (EMs) started 2019 on a strong note buoyed by trade optimism and policy support coming in from global central banks to shore-up the market.

In a media press briefing today, Teng Chee Wai, Managing Director of Affin Hwang AM said, “After the rout in EMs last year, we do see some of these headwinds now receding with the US Federal Reserve turning more dovish and the US dollar strength starting to top-out. Currently, Fed funds futures are pricing-in for a pause in interest rates this year with a chance of a rate cut in 2020.”

“Easing measures announced by China has also propped up the market, though closer monitoring would be needed to see if such stimulus has started to trickle-down to growth and GDP possibly sometime into the 2Q’19 due to lag effects. China’s growth responds well to the creation of liquidity and we need to see credit translating to higher velocity of money and transactions that would lead to stronger growth. This could bolster fund flows back into EMs as positioning has been light with global funds underweight EMs and lots of cash on the side-lines.

“We expect 2019 to be another front-loaded year for markets whereby expectations are currently leaning towards a base-case of no further escalation in the US-China trade war that could even open-up room for the deadline to be extended. Assuming a more positive outcome where tariffs are dismantled completely, markets could extend its rally further. However, moving into the 2H’18 we expect markets to focus its attention on growth again as we approach a late cycle and global growth starts to taper off. If earnings revision continues to decelerate, this would also put a drag on markets,” continued Teng.

On outlook for Malaysia, Teng adds, “Malaysia is still firmly on its path towards reforms and in rectifying the wrongs of the past. Whilst, the sweeping changes introduced by the new government will be beneficial in the long-term, it is also important for the country to move beyond kitchen-sinking and start to grow again. We saw how various sectors ranging from construction to utility whipsawed by policy changes and regulatory risk last year.’

“But over time, as the new government comes of age and learn the ropes of administering policies, we believe the foundation has been laid for a more vibrant market in the future. As confidence builds, we would then see the return of fund flows and FDIs that would lead to more resilient growth, especially with increased participation from the private sector and the economy becoming more efficient,” Teng said.

In a company update briefing, Teng continues, “Despite a challenging year for the asset management industry in 2018, we managed to achieve positive net sales for our funds and staved off severe outflows. We will continue to harness new innovative capabilities to expand our offerings in helping our clients navigate volatility ahead and also strengthen our distribution channels to penetrate the market further.”

In a separate development, the company added another feather to its cap bagging 2 awards at the ‘Best of the Best Awards 2019’ by Asia Asset Management recently. These are:-

1. Best Institutional House, Malaysia Winner: Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad

2. CEO of the Year, Malaysia Winner: Teng Chee Wai, Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad

– End of Press Release –

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Affin Hwang AM Lists New China ETF on Main Market of Bursa

KUALA LUMPUR – Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (“Affin Hwang AM” or “the Company”) announced the expansion of its exchange-traded fund (ETF) offerings with the launch of the TradePlus S&P New China Tracker (“Fund”) that was successfully listed on the Main Market of Bursa Securities today.

The Fund is an equity ETF that provides investors exposure to China’s new economy and to participate in positive growth trends and consumption patterns within its changing economic structure, as it transitions from an investment-driven to a consumption & services-led economy.

Benchmarked against the S&P New China Sectors Ex A-Shares Index(1) (“Benchmark”), the Fund will employ a full replication strategy to closely track the performance of the index, providing an efficient manner for investors to gain broad exposure to Chinese listed companies in its fast-growing consumption and service-oriented industries.

To meet its investment objective, the Fund will invest a minimum of 70% of the Fund’s net asset value (NAV) in authorised securities(2), with an option to invest a maximum of 20% of the Fund’s NAV in derivatives and/or collective investment schemes. The remaining balance shall be invested in money market instruments and/or deposits for liquidity.

Teng Chee Wai, Managing Director of Affin Hwang AM said, “Since the listing of our first ETF (TradePlus Shariah Gold Tracker) on Bursa in 2017, we are proud to roll-out our next passive investment offering to the market in such quick succession. This would enhance our overall product suite and bolster our position in the passive investment space as a full-fledged asset management player.”

“Through this Fund, local investors will be able to participate in one of the biggest investment themes globally as we witness China’s seismic shift from an investment-driven economy that was centred primarily on infrastructure & manufacturing to a more knowledge-driven economy that is focused on research & development (R&D) and innovation,” Teng said.

On the market outlook for China, “We’ve seen some softness in Chinese data that shows its manufacturing sector experiencing some slowdown as a result of the trade conflict. Though, recent stimulus measures announced by Beijing to prop-up growth and cushion the impact from its ongoing trade spat with the US has provided some reprieve for markets and inject liquidity. However, with a larger pain threshold and a more resilient economy today, we don’t see China reverting back to more aggressive stimulus measures to drive growth like its credit-fuelled binge in the past.”

“Over the long-term, as China presses on with its economic restructuring and deleveraging exercise to rein-in credit risk, we see positive structural trends that would bode well for China. Its services and consumption sector now constitute more than 60% of contribution to GDP growth and is expected to increase exponentially with rising income levels and rapid urbanisation in the country. As China continues to harness these strengths, we see opportunities emerging from the New China and the various sectors riding on these positive consumption trends,” Teng said.

Units of the Fund starts trading today on Bursa Securities under its stock short name CHINAETF-MYR for the MYR quoted units, and CHINAETF-USD for the USD quoted units, making the Fund the first Malaysian-listed ETF to be listed in dual currencies. Investors can buy and sell units throughout the trading day like any other publicly-traded shares, with a minimum board lot size of 100 Units. The Fund was launched at an initial issue price of HKD10.00 per unit.

– End of Press Release –

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Affin Hwang AM Launches China A Equity Fund

KUALA LUMPUR – Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (“Affin Hwang AM” or “the Company”) announced today the launch of Affin Hwang World Series – China A Opportunity Fund (“the Fund”). The Fund is a wholesale feeder growth fund that provides access to the vast opportunities in China’s domestic equity market by investing in a collective investment scheme, namely UBS (Lux) Investment SICAV – China A Opportunity (“Target Fund”).

The Target Fund is a Luxembourg-domiciled fund managed by UBS Asset Management (“Target Fund Manager”). To achieve its investment objective, the Fund will invest a minimum of 80% of the Fund’s net asset value (NAV) into the Target Fund and a maximum of 20% of the Fund’s NAV into money market instruments, deposits and / or liquid assets.

Chan Ai Mei, Chief Marketing & Distribution Officer of Affin Hwang AM said, “As China continues on its roadmap to liberalisation and demonstrate its commitment to opening up its capital market, we expect the Fund to be a beneficiary of inflows as reforms take root. The gradual inclusion of China A shares into the MSCI Emerging Market Index would see sizeable fund flows and draw greater global investor interest. In the event of full inclusion, the total weightage of China equities could make up to 40% of the entire index weight.”

“This Fund is a welcome addition to our World Series that will allow investors to tap into opportunities in China’s domestic or A-share market. The indiscriminate sell-off in emerging markets last year has created an attractive entry-point for investors to reposition themselves for the long-term and scoop up bargains. With structural growth trends intact and rapid urbanisation, China is easily the prime choice for investors to diversify their portfolios and participate in its next phase of growth. We advise investors to be patient when investing in China and stay focused on its longer term prospects,” Ai Mei said.

On the outlook for China, Bin Shi, Head of China Equities, UBS Asset Management believes that the recent policy developments could signal a turning point for China’s stock markets and could be an opportunity for investors to add or invest in China equities. “Looking at the series of recent policy statements and announcements, we believe there has been a significant change in the Chinese government’s attitude. This makes a compromise on the US/China trade issues more possible going forward,” said Bin. He cited BMW’s recent announcement to take majority control of its local joint venture which shows that the Chinese government has opened up key industrial sectors to investment from overseas companies. They have reversed their position of limiting investment into China that has been a key source of disagreement in the US/China trade dispute.

These moves could help boost investor confidence which has been hurt by the government’s previous policy attitude.  Though we have seen numerous government announcements, Bin feels that the new policy support has not been fully appreciated by the market. However, going into 2019, these will positively impact investor sentiment and will help, in part help decrease the risk in Chinese equity market.

The valuations for Chinese equities are also compelling and currently trade at a P/E discount to other markets. Both onshore and offshore China equities are priced at a 12-month forward P/E of about 10x (as at 30 Nov 2018). This is about 30% below the valuation for global equities.

Given the attractive valuations, Bin reveals that he has been putting more cash to work compared to the first half of 2018. He and his team continue to be positive on ‘new economy’ companies in sectors like consumer, IT, and healthcare.

The Fund is available to Sophisticated Investors who seek capital appreciation through investments in China A-shares, have a long term investment horizon and have a high risk tolerance.  The Base Currency of the Fund is in USD. The Fund is offered in five (5) currency classes, namely USD Class, MYR Class, MYR-Hedged Class, SGD-Hedged Class and AUD Hedged-Class. The minimum investment amount is $5,000 for all listed currency classes.

Investors are advised to read and understand the contents of the Fund’s Product Highlights Sheet and Information Memorandum dated 8 January 2019 before investing. Investors who are keen to learn more about the Fund can visit http://affinhwangam.com/ and invest through any of Affin Hwang AM sales offices.

– End of Press Release –

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Affin Hwang AM Declares Income Distribution of RM116 million for 20 Funds

KUALA LUMPUR – Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad (“Affin Hwang AM” or “the Company”) has declared a total of RM116.77 million distributions for 20 funds in December. The income distributions were distributed across the Company’s retail and wholesale funds. Inclusive of this latest round of income distribution, the total payout amounted to RM372.97 million for the full calendar year 2018.

The income distributions for the Select Series and World Series Funds are shown in the table below:

No. Fund Income Distribution
1. Affin Hwang Select Dividend Fund (“SDF”) 1.00 sen per unit
2. Affin Hwang Aiiman Select Income Fund (“ASIF”) 1.50 sen per unit
3. Affin Hwang Select Asia Pacific (ex Japan) Dividend Fund (“SAPDF”) 1.50 sen per unit
4. Affin Hwang Select AUD Income Fund (AUD Class) (“SAUDIF”) 0.50 cent per unit (AUD)
  Affin Hwang Select AUD Income Fund (MYR Class) (“SAUDIF”) 1.00 sen per unit
5. Affin Hwang Select Balanced Fund (“SBalF”) 2.00 sen per unit
6. Affin Hwang Select Bond Fund (MYR Class) (“SBoF”) 1.00 sen per unit
  Affin Hwang Select Bond Fund (USD-Hedged Class) (“SBoF”) 1.50 cent (USD)
7. Affin Hwang Select Income Fund (“SIF”) 1.00 sen per unit
8 Affin Hwang Select SGD Income Fund (MYR Class) (“SGDIF”) 1.25 sen per unit
  Affin Hwang Select SGD Income Fund (SGD Class) (“SGDIF”) 1.00 cent per unit (SGD)
9. Affin Hwang World Series – Dividend Value Fund (AUD Class) (“WS-DVF”) 0.50 cent per unit (AUD)
  Affin Hwang World Series – Dividend Value Fund (MYR Class) (“WS-DVF”) 0.50 sen per unit
  Affin Hwang World Series – Dividend Value Fund (SGD Class) (“WS-DVF”) 0.50 cent per unit (SGD)
  Affin Hwang World Series – Dividend Value Fund (USD Class) (“WS-DVF”) 0.50 cent per unit (USD)
10. Affin Hwang World Series – Global Income Fund (MYR Class) (“WS-GIF”) 0.10 sen per unit
  Affin Hwang World Series – Global Income Fund (USD Class) (“WS-GIF”) 0.10 cent per unit (USD)
  Affin Hwang World Series – Global Income Fund (GBP-Hedged Class) (“WS-GIF”) 0.25 cent per unit (GBP)
  Affin Hwang World Series – Global Income Fund (MYR-Hedged Class) (“WS-GIF”) 0.25 sen per unit
11. Affin Hwang World Series – US Short Duration High Income Fund (MYR Class) (“WS-SDHIF”) 0.10 sen per unit
  Affin Hwang World Series – US Short Duration High Income Fund (USD Class) (“WS-SDHIF”) 0.10 cent per unit (USD)
  Affin Hwang World Series – US Short Duration High Income Fund (GBP Hedged Class) (“WS-SDHIF”) 0.25 cent per unit (GBP)
  Affin Hwang World Series – US Short Duration High Income Fund (MYR-Hedged Class) (“WS-SDHIF”) 0.25 sen per unit
  Affin Hwang World Series – US Short Duration High Income Fund (SGD-Hedged Class) (“WS-SDHIF”) 0.25 cent per unit (SGD)

 

Chan Ai Mei, Chief Marketing & Distribution Officer of Affin Hwang AM said, “As we enter 2019, we remain confident that our portfolios are well positioned to weather the volatility ahead. Whilst, the market faces some headwinds from the ongoing US-China trade war and slower growth, we do see opportunities to bargain-hunt as valuations have become more attractive in certain market segments.”

“There could be a return of foreign fund flows to emerging markets amidst growing consensus of an earlier pause to the US rate hike cycle and the dollar strength now tapering off, as current investor positioning has been light with lots of money at the side-lines. We advise investors to keep perspective and take the opportunity to build their positions for the long-term through a diversified portfolio capable of enduring all types of market cycles.”

– End of Press Release –

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