Morgan Stanley Global Brands closing to new money in Sweden, Netherlands

The Morgan Stanley Global Brands fund will close to new investments in the Netherlands on 31 October.

According to Netherlands based SNS Fundcoach, the decision is being made in order to protect existing fund shareholders, given the growth in the size of the fund and its performance objectives.

The Swedish Pensions Agency has reported that the Morgan Stanley Global Brands fund closed to new investments as of 26 October in Sweden, which means the fund is not longer available on the Agency’s PPM platform.

According to UK-based funds data provider FE, the Luxembourg domiciled Sicav had assets of $8.8bn as of the end of September 2012. The fund’s A EUR shares, described as “Offshore mutual” by FE, have significantly outperformed their sector, which FE describes as “Offshore mutual equity – international”. Over three years the shares have 39.23% more than the sector, and over five years they have returned 52.08% more than the sector. The fund’s broad distribution means it also offers yen, sterling and dollar denominated shares.

However, in recent months the performance has slipped. Over three months the fund has slipped into the fourth quartile, ranking 1,664 out of 2,024 similar funds in then relevant FE funds universe. It has returned -2.44% compared to the sector. Over a one year period it is ranked in the second quartile.

The performance may be down because of the defensive nature of the fund’s holdings and the heavy weighting of its top-10 holdings. Together, these account for more than 60% of the fund. Swiss food giant Nestle alone stood for 9.62% of the fund as of 30 September 2012, according to the most recently published monthly factsheet. British American Tobacco was 9.28%, and Unilever was 6.57%, rounding out the top three holdings.

Although the focus of the fund is global brands, it’s stated investment objective is to invest in developed market companies.


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