MAYBAN Unit Trust Bhd, formerly known as Mayban Management Bhd, expects lower sales this year, given the external uncertainties that have dampened investment sentiment.
Against the backdrop of an imminent war in Iraq, chief executive officer Ismail Mohd Yusof said the company was anticipating sales revenue of RM500mil this year in the worst-case scenario, compared with more than RM600mil last year.
The company has achieved about RM130mil in sales revenue for the year to-date.
Ismail pointed out that the external uncertainties, particularly the fears of war, had affected unit trust investment in the country.
However, with the ample liquidity in the economy seeking higher yield investment, some would eventually flow into unit trusts once the uncertainties were resolved, he told reporters after the launch of the company's new corporate name in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Last year, Mayban Unit Trust recorded a net increase in funds (after redemption) of RM670mil, a substantial jump compared with RM400mil the year before. The industry achieved 13% growth last year.
Ismail attributed the sharp rise in funds to the launch of four new funds and the restructuring in the group that had shifted the focus on retail financial services.
To encounter the cautious investment sentiment, Ismail said Mayban Unit Trust was planning to launch two new funds Enhance Bond Fund and First Capital Guarantee Fund to cater to risk-averse investors.
The funds are expected to have an initial size of RM300mil each. Enhanced Bond Fund will be launched in mid-May or June, while the launch of First Capital Guarantee Fund is still pending the approval of the Securities Commission (SC).
Its vice-president, head of marketing and business development Chris Ho said the two new funds were not equity investment funds.
These funds provide additional choice for risk-averse investors who want capital preservation, he said.
Meanwhile, Mayban Unit Trust is also awaiting SC approval to launch its e-invest facility that allows on-line unit trusts transactions.
With the e-invest facility, investors can bypass sale persons for any unit trust investment.
According to Ismail, other unit trust companies have approached Mayban Unit Trust, which can tap onto Malayan Banking Bhd's 6.7 million customers, for the distribution of their unit trust products.
However, the company has no plan to distribute third party unit trust funds. But we may review our decision by the end of the year, he added.
Mayban Unit Trust now offers eight funds with a total fund size of RM1.4bil as at end of February, placing it among the top five trust management companies in the country.
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