Investors given more mutual fund choices to seize emerging investment opportunities
Hong Kong — Manulife Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited (MAMHK) has launched two new funds to capture investment opportunities in two fast-growing emerging economies under the Manulife Global Fund (MGF) platform, namely Russia Equity Fund (Class AA) and Turkey Equity Fund (Class AA).
The two new funds will not only invest in equities of companies in these two countries, but also in other companies located outside them that derive their income predominantly from Russia and Turkey, respectively. The remaining assets of the funds may include bonds, deposits and other investments.
The aim of the new funds is to provide long-term capital growth for investors who are prepared to accept significant fluctuations in the value of the investments in order to achieve long-term returns.
Bonnie Tse, Vice President of Wealth Management, Manulife (International) Limited, said: “Investors nowadays are more sophisticated with different investment interests. Russia and Turkey are seen as expanding markets with great potential and are gaining favour among international investors.”
Ms Tse added: “In the face of inflation, buying funds is a good idea for people who look for long-term capital growth. Emerging markets such as Russia and Turkey are offering rosy investment opportunities.”
The investment team managed by MAMHK has more than 10 years’ experience in investing in European emerging markets, with Charlemagne Capital (UK) Limited (Charlemagne) being the investment manager of the two new funds. With a proven track record in emerging-market investments, Charlemagne is well-disciplined and uses an efficient bottom-up approach in stock selection.
The MGF Emerging Eastern Europe Fund (Class A), managed by Charlemagne, has outperformed peer group funds. As at October 31, 2007, the fund achieved 601.59 per cent in total returns since its launch in 1997, the three-year and five-year accumulated total returns were 158.72 per cent and 471.47 per cent, respectively.
Manulife Global Fund - Russia Equity Fund
Commenting on Russia’s economy and investment opportunities, Julian Mayo, Investment Director of the investment team at Charlemagne, said: “Not only are the energy and commodities sectors booming in Russia, but other industries, including financials, consumer, telecoms and utilities, are also taking off.”
Mr. Mayo added: “Its economy is moving from export-led to domestic growth and this is a main beneficiary. Loan-to-deposit ratio is still low in Russia and Russians have started to borrow more.”
Manulife Global Fund - Turkey Equity Fund
As for the Turkey market, Mr. Mayo pointed out that the country would post a faster GDP growth in the coming years compared with other European countries.
“With a unique geographical location that bridges Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Turkey attracts investors with its improving economy, strong consumer demand, falling inflation and political stability,” he added. “The negotiations on EU membership have led Turkey to advance macroeconomic and institutional reforms.
“These bull markets have been driven by strong earnings and not by a bubble-like expansion in price-to-earnings multiples. Russia and Turkey are among the cheapest in the asset class at price of about 12 times of 2008 earnings.”
The MGF Russia Equity Fund and Turkey Equity Fund are US-dollar denominated and the minimum investment for each is HK$20,000, with a 1.75 per cent management fee per annum.
Manulife Global Fund consists of a total of 20 funds, comprising 17 equity funds and three bond funds. As of October 31, 2007, the top-performing China Value Fund (Class A) has achieved a total return of 979.38 per cent since its launch in 1998.
About Manulife Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited
Manulife Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited (“MAMHK”) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation (“MFC”) which now conducts its global institutional asset management under the brand name of MFC Global Investment Management (“MFC Global”). The investment arm of MFC has been operating for over 100 years, and has global expertise around the world in wealth management. MFC Global has over US$226 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2007. MAMHK is licensed with the Securities and Futures Commission to carry out asset management activities in Hong Kong.
About Manulife (International) Limited
Manulife (International) Limited is a member of the Manulife Financial group of companies. Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$399.0 billion (approximately HK$3,111.7 billion) as at September 30, 2007.
Manulife Financial is one of two publicly traded life insurance companies in North America whose rated life insurance subsidiaries hold Standard & Poor’s Rating Services’ highest “AAA” rating and Moody’s Investor Services’ second highest “Aa1” rating, both representing financial strength.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.
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For more information please contact:
Lily Chan / Simmie Kwok
Manulife (International) Limited
Tel: (852) 2202 1284/ 2510 3130
Fax: (852) 2234 6875