Manulife launches global healthcare fund

FILE PHOTO: An employee of German biopharmaceutical company CureVac, demonstrates research workflow on a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease at a laboratory in Tuebingen, Germany, March 12, 2020. Picture taken on March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/File Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Manulife Investment Management (M) Bhd has launched the Manulife Global Healthcare Fund to tap into the growing global healthcare industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic and unprecedented market volatility in 2020.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Manulife IM said the pandemic and market volatility have brought the global healthcare and pharmaceuticals sectors into the limelight, emphasising the importance of medical innovation and long-term investment opportunities the industry could bring.

The healthcare sector has been one of the most recession resistant areas of the economy, proving to be a defensive stalwart during times of enhanced volatility and economic uncertainty.

Historically, healthcare has delivered strong performance, particularly during economic downturns.

Over the past 25 years (1995 to 2020), global healthcare equities have on average outperformed global equities. These excess returns have been more pronounced during periods of heightened market volatility or economic distress.

Manulife IM said the fund offers investors in Malaysia the opportunity to contribute to the progress in the global healthcare industry. The fund will enable investors to capture potential medium to long-term capital growth in healthcare-related companies globally.

Jason Chong, CEO of Manulife IM, said companies with products and services that were guided by unique principles, should see unprecedented demand, such as innovative companies that offer ground-breaking medical advancements.

“The performance of healthcare is not limited to favourable cyclical drivers associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In fact, we have seen three secular trends that could create long-term opportunities for the sector – increasing medical needs as the world population ages and living longer, solving ongoing health issues and challenges, and striving for medical breakthroughs, ” Chong said.

Ng Chze How, head of retail wealth distribution, Manulife IM said despite the positive news of Covid-19 vaccines, which is expected to help the global economy recover in 2021, investors should consider adding diversity in their portfolio and pay closer attention to specific verticals in healthcare that can benefit from ongoing demographic and industry trends.

“Based on market conditions, we seek to build a diversified portfolio of healthcare companies while ensuring active positions that are aligned with strength of conviction, intrinsic valuation, and appropriate risk parameters.

“This can provide the potential long-term capital growth that investors seek from their investments, as well as contribute to medical innovations that benefits humanity” Ng said.

Manulife Global Healthcare Fund will invest at least 95% of the fund’s net asset value (NAV) in Share class I3 of Manulife Global Fund – Healthcare Fund (target fund).

The target fund capitalises on growth potential of the healthcare sector and invests in diversified sub-sector positioning to capture three global secular trends: ageing populations, medical advancements and unmet medical needs. The remaining NAV of the Fund will be in liquid assets.

The target fund also has a key feature of medium- to long-term investment with a high conviction portfolio, guided by a differentiated investment approach.

The fund is suitable for investors who seek capital appreciation, with a medium- to long-term investment horizon and wish to seek investment exposure in healthcare-related companies globally.

The fund is available in A (ringgit-hedged) class, with minimum initial investment of RM1,000 and minimum additional investment of RM100.

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