Manulife Asset Management Thailand launches first new fund – Manulife Strength China Value Foreign Investment Fund
Launch described as a “massive vote of confidence for Thailand’s financial markets” by former Deputy Finance Minister
Bangkok - Manulife Insurance (Thailand) PCL (Manulife Thailand) today launches a brand new asset management company in Thailand - Manulife Asset Management (Thailand) Company Limited.
The Bangkok-based company, which is wholly owned by Manulife Insuran ce (Thailand), will offer Thai-registered, Thai-baht denominated domestic and foreign investment funds to institutional and retail investors. The new company aims to have more than THB 30 billion in assets under management within five years.
Manulife Asset Management Thailand’s senior management team is led by Chief Executive, Alan Kam. A Thai-national, Alan is a well-known figure in the industry with more than 27 years of international experience in financial services including serving as CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management in Thailand.
Announcing the launch at the Conrad Hotel in Bangkok, Mr. Kam said: “Today is an historic day for Manulife as we throw open our doors to Thailand’s increasingly sophisticated investors who are looking for global investment expertise backed by a strong parent company. We are seeing a clear trend of Thai people turning towards life insurance and other investment products as they seek greater returns and diversification than just ordinary bank deposits. We believe we can offer investment alternatives to meet this demand.”
Joining Alan Kam on the senior management team of Manulife Asset Management Thailand are Chief Investment Officer, Sukkawat Prasurtying, who was previously Executive Vice President of Asset Plus Fund Management, Chief Operating Officer, Sa-Ngiem Garnjanawigai who joins after 13 years in senior roles at Thanachart Asset Management and Chief Marketing Officer, Benjarong Techamuanvivit. The team also includes experienced asset management professionals such as Panukorn Chantaraprapab, Equity Fund Director, Veerayuth Halilamien, Fixed Income Fund Director, Channathima Pinngoen, Head of Marketing and Chutchada Ekahitanonda, Head of Sales.
New company offers global investment expertise and top performing funds
The launch of Manulife Asset Management Thailand also gives Thai investors the opportunity to take advantage of ‘open architecture.’ For the first time, 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.
Mr. Kam explains: “We aim to use our global footprint and third party fund management selection skills to offer our customers access not only to our own investment management expertise but also to top-tiered funds from other well-respected fund houses. We have carefully selected fund managers that complement Manulife’s existing asset management know-how and which specialize in different countries or geographies. I believe that this, combined with our client focus, solid parentage and commitment to good corporate governance, gives us a truly unique competitive edge.”
Manulife Asset Management is announcing the launch of its first such fund today. The Manulife Strength China Value FIF is an open-ended feeder fund investing in units of foreign equity funds. It is mainly invested in the Manulife China Value Fund (Class A), one of a suite of Thai-registered funds to be launched by the new company and available to retail and institutional investors with immediate effect.
The Manulife China Value Fund (Class A) seeks out companies in Greater China which look under-valued but which the manager believes offer long term potential. This fund was launched on April 1, 1998. It has delivered consistently top quartile performance and has generated a 5-year return of 266.74% as of March 30, 2007 compared to its benchmark’s1 returns of 99.68%2. The returns of 3-month, 6-month 1-year, 3-year and since inception are 4.05%, 24.56%, 26.90%, 72.42% and 571.91% respectively, compared to its benchmark of -1.09%, 18.73%, 28.20%, 63.23% and 88.03% respectively. The fund is managed by Cheah Cheng Hye of Value Partners Limited.
Manulife Asset Management Thailand is aiming to launch seven other Thai-baht denominated funds over the coming weeks. The fund range will comprise equity and bond funds as well as a short-term fixed income fund and a long-term equity fund. In addition, two retirement mutual funds – one mainly investing in equities and the other mainly investing in bonds – will also be launched to specifically meet the needs of Thai investors who are planning for retirement. Both the long-term equity fund and retirement mutual fund can be tax-exempted in accordance with the Revenues Department.
Mr. Chavalit Thananchanan, Former Deputy Minister of Finance and Advisory Council Member, Manulife Asset Management Thailand, says: “I firmly believe that the fact that a company as well established and insightful as Manulife has chosen Thailand as a key country in which to develop its asset management business, and has decided to do so today, is a massive vote of confidence for Thailand’s financial markets.”
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$426 billion (US$370 billion) as at March 31, 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.
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Notes to editors:
1Benchmark is the FTSE All World Greater China USD.
2Source: Manulife Asset Management (Hong Kong) Company Limited, Bloomberg (return in USD).