Bangkok - Manulife Asset Management (Thailand) Company Limited (MAMT) today launches the Manulife Emerging Eastern Europe FIF – the first Emerging Eastern Europe equity fund to be available to investors in Thailand.
The Manulife Strength Emerging Eastern Europe FIF is an open-ended feeder fund investing in the Manulife Emerging Eastern Europe Fund (Class A). It will be available to both retail and institutional investors during the IPO period of October 9-19, 2007.
The fund aims to achieve capital growth through investment primarily in equities from central and eastern European countries such as the Russia, Poland, Turkey, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The fund, which is available to investors in Thailand from today, is Thai-baht denominated.
Mr. Alan Kam, Chief Executive of Manulife Asset Management Thailand explains: “The economies of many central and eastern European markets are experiencing significant growth and some represent especially exciting investment potential due to their huge natural resources. Because of this, we believe there is a compelling argument for investors to consider having some exposure to this market”
Mr. Julian Mayo, Investment Director at Charlemagne Capital is a specialist in emerging markets and the fund’s manager. He said: “Our outlook for Eastern Europe remains very positive for 2007 and 2008. Many central and eastern European countries are benefiting from a broadening in equity markets, compelling economic fundamentals and attractive valuations. To help take advantage of this, the fund will focus on companies with low valuations, good fundamentals and rising earnings.”
The Manulife Emerging Eastern Europe Fund (Class A), which has USD 360.44 million in assets under management as at July 31, 2007, has achieved some very positive performance. Since its inception in July 1997, it has risen 422.78% (as at August 31st, 2007), compared to its benchmark index the MSCI EM Europe USD NTR which has increased 299.53%1. In the one year to August 31, 2007, the fund returned 24.89% compared to the benchmark’s performance of 18.52%. The past performance of 3 month, 6 month, and 3 year are 4.78%, 13.19%,and 156.25. respectively, compared to its benchmark of 7.64%,11.35%,and 168.60% respectively.
Manulife Asset Management Thailand launched in Thailand in May 2007. The Bangkok-based company, which is wholly owned by Manulife Insurance (Thailand), offers Thai-registered, Thai-baht denominated domestic and foreign investment funds to institutional and retail investors.
Manulife Asset Management Thailand again brings the opportunity for Thai investors to take advantage of ‘open architecture’ – an investment strategy already used widely in the US and Europe. Manulife customers will be able to choose not only Manulife Asset Management’s funds but also funds managed by other renowned fund management houses carefully selected by Manulife.
Other investment funds already available from Manulife Asset Management Thailand are the Manulife Strength Core Equity fund, the Manulife Strength Core Long Term Equity fund and the Manulife Strength Equity Value fund. As of September 28, 2007, total asset under management is THB 3,747 Million.
Investors who are interested in MAMT funds can contact MAMT directly at Tel. (66) 0-2246-7650 (press ‘2’ for asset management) or at selling agents including Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) PCL., Deutsche Bank AG, Bangkok and Phatra Securities PCL, KGI (Thailand) Securities PCL, Merchant Partner Securities Co., Ltd., Phillip Securities (Thailand) Co., Ltd. and Capital Nomura Securities (Thailand) PCL.
About Manulife Financial
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$410 billion (US$386 billion) as at June 30, 2007.
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.
Investments contain risks. Investors should study prospectuses before making the decision to invest. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
Notes to editors:
1Source: MSCI, Charlemagne Capital NAV-NAV, August 31 2007
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