New PAMI mutual fund banks on Asian growth

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Friday, July 8, 2011


PHILAM Asset Management Inc. (PAMI) recently launched in Cebu its ninth mutual fund, PAMI Asia Balanced Fund Inc. (PABFI).

A top official reported that since the launching of the newest fund early this year, PABFI has reached $13.5 million as Filipino investors slowly shift investments in fixed-income instruments to the equity market.

PABFI is a pioneer, being the only balanced fund in the foreign currency-denominated equity asset class that will be invested in Asia.
“We are seeing Asia as the growth center now with the countries’ growing population,

consumption and economy,” PAMI president and chief executive officer Karen Liza Roa said in a recent interview.

She added that Asia has become a more attractive destination for investments following trouble in the economies of the United States and Europe. Roa cited the country’s recent credit upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service, a New York-based credit rating agency.

“This reflects confidence in Asian markets and the country’s renewed growth as well,” she added.

The PABFI will be invested in Asian equities, bonds and money market instruments. Asset allocation is 50 percent Asian equities and 50-percent Asian fixed income and money market instruments, with a range of (plus or minus) 20 percent for each asset class.

The fund’s minimum initial investment is $5,000, and minimum additional investment is $1,000 for a minimum holding period of six months.

PABFI’s country coverage includes Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, but excludes Japan.

PAMI said the fund has a moderate risk profile as it invests in equity securities of established companies listed in the stock exchanges of the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan.

“PAMI will monitor the market and see where we are going to put your money,” Roa said.

PABFI’s investment sub-advisor is Amundi Singapore Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amundi, which is the combined asset management arm of Credit Agricole S.A. and
Societe Generale.

Roa also reported there is consistent upward trend in the mutual fund industry with the booming businesses in the country, surge in overseas remittances and growing middle-income sector.

The mutual fund industry was valued at P95 billion in 2007 prior to the global recession, dipped to P65 billion during the recession period and slowly went up to P90 billion.

Roa said the firm is also capturing a lot of investors from the growing industries such as those employed in call centers and overseas Filipino workers.

“Filipinos are hesitant to invest because of the lack of understanding of the
industry. They see the stock market as a gamble,” Roa said. “It’s only a matter of getting started.”

Aside from PABFI, PAMI also manages other funds from different asset classes, like the Philam Managed Income Fund, Philam Bond Fund, Philam Dollar Bond Fund and PAMI Global Bond Fund for conservative investors. It offers the Philam Fund, GSIS Mutual Fund, Philam Strategic Growth Fund and NCM Mutual Fund for moderate to aggressive investors.

PAMI is one of the largest asset and wealth managers in the country’s mutual fund industry, with more than P20 billion in assets under management.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 09, 2011.

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