Thursday, January 03, 2008

Public Mutual to launch consumer themes fund

By The edge

Public Mutual Bhd will launch its first Far-East consumer themes fund on Jan 8, enabling investors to tap into growth potential of rising consumer spending in the Far East markets.

Public Mutual chairman Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow said on Jan 3 the Public Far-East Consumer Themes Fund (PFECTF) was positioned to benefit from the robust growth of consumer spending in the Far East region.

PFECTF is an equity fund that seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation by investing in securities, mainly equities, in the consumer sector in the domestic and foreign markets.

The fund may also invest in multinational corporations in the consumer sector which sell their products in Far-East markets or have distribution outlets/establishments in the Far-East region and are listed in the US, Europe and Australian markets.

Teh said PFECTF was suitable for aggressive investors who could withstand extended periods of market highs and lows to achieve medium- to long-term capital growth for their investments.

The issue price/net asset value (NAV) of PFECTF is at 25 sen per unit during the 21-day initial offer period of Jan 8 to Jan 28.

During the offer period, a special promotional service charge of 5% of net asset value (NAV) per unit is extended to the purchase of units of PFECTF by investors.

Investors opting for the direct debit instruction with PFECTF during the offer period would enjoy a special promotional service charge of 5.25% of NAV per unit for as long as the Direct Debit is active. The minimum initial investment for the fund is RM1,000 and the minimum additional investment is RM100.

Teh said consumer spending accounted for a significant share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in most economies. In Asia, consumer spending accounted for about half of GDP.

In the 2001-2006 period, consumer spending in Indonesia and China grew at healthy annual rates of 13.6% and 10.4% respectively on the back of rising income and urbanisation. In South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand, consumer spending growth were also impressive at around 9.0%-9.5% per annum, backed by strong consumer confidence amidst generally buoyant economic activities.

He added in the Far East, consumer spending was fuelled by robust growth in disposable incomes, the wealth effect from rising equity and property markets, increased urbanisation, healthy tourism activities and attractive lending rates.