S&G healthcare fund opens to European investors

Swiss & Global Asset Management has launched a fund primarily investing in healthcare companies that also seeks to tap into emerging markets opportunities for investors in the UK, Spain, Switzerland and Italy.

The fund management arm of Swiss private bank Julius Baer opened the JB Health Opportunities Fund to those European investors Wednesday, 2 March 2011.A Luxembourg SICAV fund, compliant with UCITS III, it uses the MSCI World Healthcare Index as its benchmark.

Investing in listed healthcare companies globally, the fund includes emerging-market equities.

It will also invest in all sub-sectors, including producers, distributors and providers of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare services, medical technology and companies active in specialty pharmaceuticals and generic drugs.

There are 35-45 equities included in the fund’s portfolio, with up to 30% exposure to emerging markets.

Due to ageing population pressures, emerging markets demand, and innovation, the Swiss asset manager sees opportunities for growth in the sector.

Today, the global healthcare sector accounts for 10-15% of global GDP.

Nathalie Flury, co-portfolio manager of the fund, said that strong population growth and increasing wealth in emerging markets will enable more people to afford healthcare.

An ageing population meanwhile is leading to increased healthcare spending, she said.

Innovation in the sector is being driven by the need for companies to provide more targeted therapies for patients while reducing overall costs, she added, while US healthcare reform will create more universal health-insurance coverage and expand infrastructure.

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