MAYBAN Management Bhd expects a take-up rate of 60% for its newly launched Mayban Ethical Trust Fund (METF) – the first of its kind in Malaysia – and Mayban Value Trust Fund (MVTF) during the initial 21-day offer period ending Jan 27. Its chief executive officer Ismail Mohd Yusof was speaking after the launch of the METF and MVTF in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Company chairman Datuk Richard Ho said the METF was Malaysia's first socially responsible fund for investors who wished to ensure that their investments were channelled towards activities with favourable and harmonious impact on society and the environment.
“The introduction of this ethical fund bears testimony to the fact that Malaysian companies adhere to world-class standards as well as adopting best practices in advocating ethical policies and principles in their business activities,” he added.
In ethical investments, there is a screening process to determine the type of companies to invest in – negative screening to avoid companies dealing in tobacco, alcohol and gambling which are considered damaging to the environment or not good for social reasons; and positive screening to find companies that promote recycling, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, education and health.
According to Tan Kok Kheng, chief executive of UOB-OSK Asset Management – the external manager of the two new funds – the analysts and fund managers for the ethical fund are quite different from others as they have to be very pro-active. “When they visit companies they have to ask questions that have not been asked before, especially on social responsibilities and corporate governance,” he explained.
On Mayban Management's future plans, Ismail said that subject to Securities Commission approval, the company expected to launch two more funds – a capital guaranteed fund and an enhanced bond fund – by June 30.
“We intend to have 16 funds by mid-2005 and to launch four more in the next financial year and two in financial year 2005,” he said, adding that it would then re-assess the situation to decide if more new funds were required.
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