Funds Watch and product launches

News from: Pictet AM, Schroders, First State, Bloomberg, BBVA AM, BNY Mellon, SGSS and Banco Cooperativo

Pictet AM launches Asia ex-Japan total return equity fund

Pictet Asset Management, the management and fund distribution arm of Swiss private bank Pictet & Cie, has launched the PTR-Banyan fund, a Luxembourg-domiciled Ucits compliant Asia ex-Japan long/short equity fund.

The fund is registered for sale in the UK and is open to retail and institutional investors. It is lead managed by Nidhi Mahurkar. It employs a variable bias in times of market stress with the aim of offering downside protection in poor environments.

Mahurkar’s team which includes Anthony Cheung and Olivier Dolieres, follows a bottom-up investment approach based on fundamentals. The fund mirrors a strategy that Mahurkar has followed at Pictet since 2002.

In spite of the attention that the Asian region has attracted in recent years, emerging Asian markets remain under-penetrated, under-researched and often lack transparency, and these conditions provide opportunities, the company said.

The freedom to apply hedging strategies allows the fund to be defensive in down markets and to profit from the characteristic volatility of the region.

Banyan is the company’s fourth total return fund to be launched after PTR-Corto (European long/short), PTR-Mandarin (China long/short) and PTR-Kosmos (global credit long/short).

Schroders launches zloty share class for global resources

Schroders has added a zloty hedged share class to its Schroder ISF global resources equity funds in response to Polish investor interest in resources and a strong investment rationale for the sector.

The fund, which is already available in euro hedged and US dollar share classes in Poland, will now offer Polish banks, advisors, insurance companies and institutional investors access to a zloty share class.

This follows four previous zloty share class launches for Schroder ISF emerging markets debt absolute return, Schroder ISF Asian total return, Schroder ISF global convertible bond and STS global diversified growth fund.
Sam Catalano, manager of Schroder ISF global resources equity, said the medium and long-term fundamentals of resources equities remained very strong, driven by emerging market demand and a tight supply of commodities.

First State EM bond fund available in Germany and Austria

First State Investments has made its emerging markets bond fund available to investors in Germany and Austria.

Helene Williamson, manager, said: “In our opinion now is a good time for investing in growth markets’ fixed income, because the yields on sovereign debt in the US and strong economies in the eurozone are minimal, and the risks in the eurozone’s peripheral nations are growing.”

Williamson‘s fund invests in hard currency paper issued or guaranteed by emerging market states, financial institutes or businesses. It invests mainly in US dollar-denominated paper, but can hold some local currency issues.

The fund aims to generate both yield and capital growth and will hold 50 to 120 positions. It also aims to beat the JPMorgan EMBI global diversified index on a risk-adjusted basis.

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