PNB to build on variable price unit trust funds

By P PREM KUMAR / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) plans to expand its variable price unit trust funds, in line with its aim to diversify from its core fixed price instruments.

PNB chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said more efforts to educate and promote variable price unit trust funds to unit-holders will be undertaken, as the state unit trust manager views “the market condition is now right”.

“The current landscape provides an opportune time for Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB) to launch variable price unit trust funds,” she said at the launch of two new variable price unit trust funds by ASNB — ASN Equity 5 and ASN Sara 2.

The two new funds are the first variable price unit trusts launched by ASNB in 15 years, which has led the current size of fixed price funds — excluding Amanah Saham Bumiputera — to reach optimal size, compared to an average market fund size.

“We intend to generate a more informed market on the benefits of investing in variable price funds and we also believe that the market condition is right, providing favourable entry price point for investors,” she said.

The shift in focus is also in line with ASNB’s strategic plan, aiming to offer a wider suite of products under each fund category to meet investors’ different needs across life cycle.

ASNB currently manages 12 unit trust products amounting to an asset under management (AUM) of RM242.8 billion, from which six are fixed price unit trust funds with AUM of RM233.9 billion and six variable price unit trust funds of RM8.9 billion in AUM.

The new funds will expand ASNB’s product offerings in the variable price segment from the current six to eight.

Both ASN Equity 5 and ASN Sara 2 have an initial offer price of RM1 per unit during the 21-day initial offer period of Sept 24 to Oct 14, 2018.

The minimum initial investment for both funds is RM10 and the minimum additional investment is RM1.

ASN Equity 5 will invest between 70% and 90% of its net asset value (NAV) in equities, while the balance of its NAV will be invested in fixed income securities and money market instruments inclusive of liquid assets.

ASN Sara 2 will invest between 20% and 80% of its NAV in fixed income securities and money market instruments inclusive of liquid assets, while the balance will be invested in equities.

Meanwhile, PNB declared an income distribution of six sen per unit for Amanah Saham 1Malaysia — now known as Amanah Saham Malaysia 3 — with a total income distribution amounting to RM755 million, benefit