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Monday, April 16, 2007

Fund can Invest More in the Overseas...

STARTING April 1, Malaysians will be able to invest more of their money abroad as they search for better returns.

Bank Negara Malaysia has relaxed rules to allow unit trust companies to invest half of their total net asset value (NAV), or the market value of their investments, up from 30 per cent previously.

This means that unit trust firms will be able to offer additional units in funds that invest overseas.

Such funds have been selling well, but unit trust managers have complained that most of them are close to hitting the ceiling in terms of foreign investments.

"This is good news for unit trust players to come up with more global funds which will give more choices for investors to diversify their investment portfolios," Amanahraya Unit Trust Management Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Roslan Harun said.

"I personally think the figure should be more than 50 per cent of the NAV as local investors' appetite for global funds now is on the rise."

He said investors do not want to be restricted to only investing in the local market.

The announcement could entice one or two unit trust companies to focus only on global funds, he added.

"Players now can come up with products that could actually focus on specific countries, such as China and India, apart from the US and Europe," said Roslan , adding that Amanahraya Unit Trust has applied to launch a global fund.

Another industry player, a senior manager at a unit trust firm, said that this latest move had been long awaited.

"It has been close to two years that the limit was revised to 30 per cent, and some of us had expected it to go up to 60 per cent," she said.

She said that this latest development would certainly enhance investment returns as investors would be given more options for a better risk-and- return profile for their funds.

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