StanChart confident of brisk unit trust sales

  • Business
  • Thursday, 01 May 2003

STANDARD Chartered Bank Malay-sia Bhd, the sole distributor of and guarantor for the RM200mil Hwang-DBS Capital Guaranteed Fund I, is confident the unit trust product will be snapped up in four to six weeks. 

Its general manager for wealth management (consumer banking Malaysia) Goh Teck Eng said about RM5mil had already been taken up since the fund was introduced on April 25. 

“In the worst-case scenario, it would be taken up in eight weeks,” he said after the launch of the fund in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. 

The close-ended fund, with minimum investment set at RM10,000 and maturing in five years, is offered until June 19, or once it is fully subscribed, whichever is earlier. 

Alex Hwang (left) presenting a memento to Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer John Kivits after the launch of Hang DBS Capital Guaranteed Fund 1.

Hwang-DBS (M) Bhd executive director Alex Hwang said it was a common knowledge that Malay-sians were still very lightly invested in unit trusts, the main reason being the worry about capital depreciation. 

He said statistics showed that as at the end of last year, there was a savings pool of about RM433.1bil in the country, and only 12.4% of this were invested in unit trusts. 

The Capital Guaranteed Fund I, he said, was an ideal product as it provided conservative and traditional savers an investment opportunity that offered the potential of investment returns without the risks of capital dilution. 

Hwang-DBS Unit Trust Bhd adviser Teng Chee Wai said that up to 20% of the fund would be invested in the equity market, with the balance to be placed largely in fixed income such as the Standard Chartered's negotiable instrument of deposits. 

Teng said growth of the unit trust industry was expected to change and become more balanced. “The unit trust industry will still grow despite how the equity market performs, and growth can be driven by capital-guaranteed products,” he said. 

On the stock market, Teng said it would take a few weeks before the worst was over. 

He said the uncertainties arising from the Iraq war and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak would impact the economy this quarter and linger in the next. 

However, he said, the government's soon-to-be-announced economic package would ease most of the uncertainty and result in a more positive market. 

On the minimum commission rates to be charged by stockbroking firms as announced by the Association of Stockbroking Com-panies Malaysia, Hwang said the margins would definitely be lower for the company. 

It was therefore important for Hwang-DBS to diversify its business into other areas such unit trust and corporate finance to supplement its income, he added. 

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