Pheim Asset Management eyes AUM growth between 10% and 15% in 2019

The fund manager will continue to favour the Asean region, following its rapid growth rate and potential for expansion in the capital markets

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

Boutique fund manager Pheim Asset Management Sdn Bhd hopes to grow its assets under management (AUM) between 10% and 15% this year on the back of better returns, as 2019 is expected to be a better year.

Its founder and chief strategist Dr Tan Chong Koay (picture) said the asset management firm is currently overseeing around RM1 billion in AUM.

“We should expect returns of between 8% and 12% within three to five years. If that happens, then, the AUM will automatically increase.

“Expecting 8% to 12% (in returns) over five years is not difficult, especially now, when the market is not that great,” he told reporters at the company’s 25th anniversary celebration in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Tan, who also founded Pheim Asset Management (Asia) Pte Ltd in Singapore, said the firm’s returns were negative last year after a positive performance in 2017, when its Dana Makmur Pheim fund delivered returns of 20%.

“However, looking at the first 1½ months of 2019, we are now up by close to 9% year-to-date.

“I think this year will be better than last year because the fourth quarter of 2018 (4Q18) was so bad,” he added.

According to Tan, some foreign investors sold down on Malaysian equities in 4Q18 as the outlook was less than sunny, thus leaving room for buying opportunities.

“If you want to go into the stock market, go in when times are bad and take a longer-term view. I think some shares have come down a lot.

“When the market goes down and the economy recovers, your economic growth rate can go to your share prices,” he explained.

Tan said technology-related stocks are bullish, given the continuous advancements in areas such as 5G — the next generation of cellular Internet connectivity; cloud computing; and mobile devices.

“I tend to like Internet-related and semiconductor companies because that’s the future. I would look into these kinds of companies in Taiwan and Korea, which is why we’ve been in Asia ex-Japan since 2001,” he said.

Looking forward, the fund manager will continue to favour the Asia ex-Japan region, particularly the Asean region, following its rapid growth rate and potential for expansion in the capital markets as a result of an abundance of talent and entrepreneurs.

Since its inception in January 2002, Dana Makmur Pheim (a balanced Islamic fund) had a cumulative return of 358.74% (as at Sept 20, 2018) against its benchmark index of 119.7%.

Meanwhile, the Pheim SICAV-SIF-ASEAN Emerging Companies Fund had a cumulative return of 454.36% (as at end-Sept 2018) since its inception in February 1995, versus the FTSE Asean Index of 34.49% in US dollar terms.

Pheim has also been serving as an external fund manager for the Employees Provident Fund over the past 21 years.