Sweden’s IKC opens Manila office, launches Philippines fund
Malmö, Sweden based IKC Fonder has launched the country’s first fund dedicated to investing in the Philippines, the IKC Filippinerna Flexibel.
The fund is added to the range of some 24 funds, including four managed on a discretionary basis, offered by the independent manager, which has some SEK8.7bn (€985m) under management.
Hans Andersson, managing director of IKC Fonder, said the company prepared the fund launch by opening a Manila office last autumn.
“The Philippines is a country that many in Sweden have looked past. But the fact is it is one of Asia’s most interesting countries, and as recently as last year was designated ‘Investment Grade’ by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.”
IKC Fonder has already been investing in the country for some time through its existing funds. This activity has enabled the manager to develop the insight necessary to launch a country specific fund.
“The office was opened at the same time that the country was hit by typhoon Haiyan in the autumn of 2013,” Andersson continues.
“That was of course terrible, but after the chock died down, we recognised that our business actually is about making the sorts of investments that help the population to develop their own country. We naturally take part actively in different social assistance programmes.”
Benefits that the Philippines enjoys, according to IKC Fonder, includes its role as one of the biggest trading partners in the region, and the fact that just about all business is conducted in English with close similarities to Western business culture. Consensus economic growth forecasts currently predict it will grow by some 6.5% in 2014.
The new daily traded fund is the first publicly available fund in Sweden that invests solely in the country. Lead manager will be Inge Knutsson, who is also a founder of IKC Fonder. Distribution includes availability on the Nordnet, Avanza, Aktieinvest, and Fondmarknaden.se platforms, as well as through the PPM platform operated by the Swedish Pensions Agency.
IKC Fonder has also advertised that it will offer the new fund free of management fees through 2014 for investors in the ‘A’ class shares available via the Pensions Agency or from IKD Fonder itself.
According to the prospectus information, the fund may use derivatives and ETFs among the instruments it can hold.