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An Evaluation of the Performance of Three Different Mutual Funds Essay

Asset Allocation:

Up to 95% of the Fund’s NAV will be invested in equities. Minimum of 5% of the Fund’s NAV will be invested in sukuk, Islamic debt instruments, Islamic money market instruments and/or liquid assets acceptable under Shariah principle Investment Strategy And Policy

RHB Islamic Growth Fund is geared towards investors who look for Shariah compliant instruments that provide long term capital appreciation. The Fund will be mainly investing in public listed companies with growth potential, sukuk, Islamic debt securities and other securities acceptable under the Shariah principles. Selection of equity investments of the Fund will be in line with those in the SC’s Shariah list which is updated and published twice a year.

The External Investment Manager utilises a strategy that seeks attractively priced companies in undervalued sectors, or in sectors that have strong upward stock price momentum by seeking businesses that demonstrate strong increase in earnings per share and continue to strengthen their fundamental capabilities and competitive positions, amongst others. The Fund may invest in fixed income securities to preserve the value of the Fund under volatile market conditions. For fixed income securities, the Fund seeks investments amongst the Shariah compliant fixed income papers that are of investment grades. As such, the equities holding may be reduced.

Performance Benchmark:
FTSE Bursa Malaysia Emas Shariah Index.

Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular industries represented in the securities markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions which are not specifically related to a particular company, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or adverse investors’ sentiment generally. They may also decline due to factors that affect a particular industry or industries, such as labour shortages or increased production costs and competitive conditions within an industry. Equity securities generally have greater price volatility than The performance of each individual stock that a unit trust fund invests is dependent upon the management quality of the particular company and its growth potential. Hence, this would have an impact on the unit trust fund’s prices and its dividend income.

RHBIAM aims to reduce all these risks by using diversification that is expected to reduce the volatility as well as the risk for the Fund’s portfolio. In addition, RHBIM will also perform continuous fundamental research and analysis to aid its active asset allocation management especially in its stock selection process. This risk is associated with investments that are quoted in foreign currency denomination. When an underlying fund is denominated in a foreign currency which fluctuates unfavourably against the Ringgit, the investment in the Fund may face currency loss in addition to the capital gains/losses. This will lead to a lower NAV of the Fund. Currency risks could be mitigated on a two-pronged approach. Firstly by spreading the investable assets across differing currencies and secondly by utilising forward contracts to hedge the currencies if it is deemed as necessary to do so. Bond issuers may default or reschedule their repayment.

When this occurs the value of the defaulted bond would fall and cause the NAV of the underlying fund to decline in a similar proportion. This risk can be mitigated by careful selection of bond funds and in any case this Fund only invests in bond funds that invest in investment grade bonds. The performance of equities and money market instruments held by the underlying funds are also dependent on company specific factors like the issuer’s business situation. If the company-specific factors deteriorate, the price of the specific security may drop significantly and permanently, possibly even regardless of an otherwise generally positive stock market trend. Risks include but are not limited to competitive operating environments, changing industry conditions and poor management.

Since the Fund invests into funds managed by other fund houses, the Manager has no control over the respective fund houses’ investment technique, knowledge or management expertise. In the event of mismanagement, the NAV of the Fund which invests into the Target Funds would be affected negatively. Although the probability of such occurrences is far fetched, should the situation arise the Manager reserves the right to seek an alternative fund manager and/or other collective investment scheme that is consistent with the objective of the Fund. Any changes in national policies and regulations may have an effect on the capital markets in which the Target Funds are investing. If this occurs there is a possibility that the unit price of the Fund may be adversely affected. Since a large portion of the Fund’s NAV is invested in the Target Fund, investment into the Fund assumes the risks inherent in the respective Target Funds.

The specific risks to investors when investing in the Fund include the following: Investment manager risk

As this Fund invests at least 95% of its NAV in the Target Fund, it is subject to the risk associated with the investment manager of the Target Fund. This is the risk associated with the following:- (i) The risk that the investment manager may under-perform the target or the benchmark of the Target Fund due to the investment manager making poor forecasts of the performances of securities, asset classes or markets; (ii) The risk of non-adherence to the investment objectives, strategy and policies of the Target Fund, which may occur due to system failure or the inadvertence of the investment manager; and (iii)

The risk of direct or indirect losses resulting from inadequate or failed operational and administrative processes, systems and people. RHBIM has no control over the investment manager’s investment strategy, techniques and capabilities, operational controls and management of the Target Fund. Any mismanagement of the Target Fund may negatively affect the NAV of the Fund. In the event of such occurrence, RHBIM would seek an alternative investment manager and/or other target fund that is consistent with the objective of the Fund.

Market risk:

The value of the instruments in which the Target Fund invests, may go up or down in response to the prospects of individual companies and/or prevailing economic conditions. Movement of overseas markets may also have an impact on the local markets.

Currency risk:

The Fund invests up to 95% of its NAV in the Target Fund denominated in USD. Fluctuation in foreign exchange rates will affect the value of the Fund’s foreign investments when converted into local currency and subsequently the value of Unit Holders’ investments. When USD moves unfavourably against the Ringgit, these investments will suffer currency losses. This is in addition to any capital gains or losses in the investment (please note that capital gains or losses in the Feeder Fund’s investment in the Target Fund is also exposed to currency gains or losses resulting from fluctuations in the foreign exchange rates between USD and the other currencies which the Target Fund may be e exposed to. RHBIM may utilise the hedging of currencies to mitigate this risk.

Liquidity risk:

The liquidity risk that exists at the Fund level is associated with the inability of the Target Fund to meet large redemption in a timely manner. In the event of large redemption request that would result in the total redemption shares in the Target Fund to be more than 10% of the shares in the Target Fund or a particular share class of the Target Fund, part or all of such requests for redemption may be deferred for a period typically not exceeding ten Target Fund Business Days.

Regulatory risk:

Any changes in national policies and regulations may have an effect on the capital markets in which the Target Fund is investing. If this occurs, there is a possibility that the unit price of the Fund may be adversely affected.

Risk of Substantial Redemptions

Substantial redemptions of shares within a limited period of time could require the Target Fund to liquidate positions more rapidly than would otherwise be desirable, which could adversely affect the value of the shares of the Target Fund. This risk may be exacerbated where an investment with a fixed life or where investments utilizing hedging techniques is made by the Target Fund. Suspension of NAV Calculation / Limitation of Redemption Payments The Umbrella Fund may in certain circumstances temporarily suspend the determination of the net asset value per share of the Target Fund or a specific share class of the Target Fund and the issue, redemption or exchange of shares or a particular share class in the Target Fund. As further described in the Target Fund Prospectus, if on any given date requests for redemption of shares relate to more than 10% of the shares in the Target Fund or a particular share class of the Target Fund, part or all of such requests for redemption may be deferred for a period typically not exceeding ten (10) Target Fund Business Days.

CIMB Principal

Equity fund

Investment objective
To provide investors with an opportunity to gain consistent and stable income by investing in a diversified portfolio of dividend yielding equities and fixed income securities. The Fund may also provide moderate capital growth potential over the medium to long term period.

Any material changes to the investment objective of the Fund would require Unit holders’ approval.

Benchmark

As this Fund is an equity fund with up to 30% of its NAV in foreign equities, the benchmark of the Fund is a composite comprising 70% KLCI + 30% MSCI AC Asia ex Japan. The information on KLCI can be obtained from http://www.bursamalaysia.com and local national newspapers. The information on MSCI AC Asia ex Japan can be obtained from http://www.msci.com/overview/index.html and Bloomberg L.P.

Investment policy and principal investment strategy

The Fund may invest up to a maximum of 98% of its NAV in equities in order to gain long-term capital growth. The Fund may opt to invest in foreign equities up to a maximum of 30% of its NAV. In line with its objective, the investment policy and strategy of the Fund will be to invest in a diversified portfolio of high dividend yielding stocks and/or fixed income securities aimed at providing a stable income stream in the form of distributions to investors. The asset allocation strategy for this Fund is as follows: up to 98% of the Fund’s NAV in a diversified portfolio of dividend yielding equities and/or fixed income securities; and at least 2% in liquid assets.

The asset allocation will be reviewed periodically depending on the country’s economic and stock market outlook. The Manager will underweight/overweight equities and/or fixed income securities when necessary. CIMB-Principal combines a top-down asset and sector allocation process with a bottom-up stock selection process. The asset allocation decision is made after a review of macroeconomic trends in Malaysia and other global economies. In particular, CIMB Principal analyzes the direction of GDP growth, interest rates, inflation, currencies and government policies. CIMB-Principal will then assess their impact on corporate earnings and determine if there are any predictable trends. These trends form the basis for sector selection. The criteria for stock selection would include stocks that have a medium term (2 to 5 years) dividend record or a yearly distribution policy.

The Manager will also actively search for under-valued high dividend yielding stocks that may also offer promising long term capital appreciation. Stock valuation fundamentals considered are earnings per share growth rate, return on equity, price earnings ratio and net tangible assets multiples. As part of its risk management strategy, the Fund is constructed and managed within pre-determined guidelines. CIMB-Principal employs an active asset allocation strategy depending upon the equity market expectations. Where appropriate, the Manager will also employ an active trading strategy in managing the Fund. As this Fund is defensive in nature and designed to cater for the needs of more risk-averse equity investors, this Fund will serve well in bear market conditions.

However, in bull market the Fund will underperform the market as the Manager will not take on more risk to divert into highly volatile aggressive stocks. Further, in times of adversity in equity markets and as part of its risk management strategy, CIMB-Principal may from time to time reduce its proportion of higher risk assets, such as equities and increase its asset allocation to lower risk assets, such as debentures and liquid assets, to safeguard the investment portfolio of the Fund provided that such investments are within the investment objective of the Fund. When deemed necessary, the Manager may also utilize derivative instruments, subject to the SC Guidelines, for purposes such as hedging.

The Manager has appointed CIMB-Principal (S), as the Sub-Manager for the foreign investments of this Fund with the approval of the SC and the Trustee. CIMB-Principal (S) will be responsible for investing and managing these foreign investments in accordance with the investment objective and within the investment restrictions. All costs of this appointment will be borne by the Manager to ensure no additional fee is levied on the Unit holders of this Fund. The Fund may invest in foreign markets where the regulatory authorities are members of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

The Fund’s investments in foreign markets will be subject to the limit set by BNM and any conditions imposed by the SC from time to time. Currently, the Fund’s holding in foreign investments will not exceed 30% of its NAV. The Sub-Manager may invest beyond this limit provided the approvals are obtained from the relevant authorities (where necessary) and any increase will be reflected in a supplementary prospectus (if deemed necessary). Notwithstanding the aforesaid, the Sub-Manager may decide not to invest in foreign securities as may be agreed upon by the Manager from time to time.

Balanced fund
Investment objective:

To grow the value of investment over the long term through a diversified portfolio with equity and fixed income securities. Any material changes to the investment objective of the Fund would require Unit holders’ approval.

Benchmark:

As this Fund may invest up to 60% of it NAV in equities with the balance in fixed income securities, the benchmark of the Fund is a composite comprising 60% KLCI + 40% CIMB Bank 1-month Fixed Deposit Rate. The information on KLCI can be obtained from http://www.bursamalaysia.com and local national newspapers. The information on CIMB Bank 1-month Fixed Deposit Rate can be obtained from CIMB Bank website (www.cimbbank.com.my). Investment policy and principal investment strategy

The Fund aims to invest in a diversified portfolio of equities and fixed income investments. In line with its objective, the investment policy and strategy of the Fund will be to maintain a balanced portfolio between equities and fixed income investments in the ratio of 60:40. The fixed income portion of the Fund is to provide some capital stability to the Fund whilst the equity portion will provide the added return in a rising market. The investments by the Fund in equity securities shall not exceed 60% of the NAV of the Fund and investments in fixed income securities and liquid assets shall not be less than 40% of the NAV of the Fund with a minimum rating of “BBB3” or “P3” by RAM or equivalent rating by MARC, Moody’s, S&P or Fitch. The asset allocation strategy for this Fund is as follows:

the equity securities will not exceed 60% of the Net Asset Value of the Fund; investments in fixed income securities and liquid assets shall not be less than 40% of the NAV of the Fund; and at all times, at least 2% of the NAV of the Fund must be maintained in liquid assets. The asset allocation will be reviewed periodically depending on the country’s economic and stock market outlook. In a rising market, the 60% limit may be breached. However, the Manager will seek to adjust this within a time frame approved by the Trustee. CIMB-Principal will adopt an active trading strategy and is therefore especially selective in the buying and selling of securities for the Fund. For the fixed income portion, CIMB-Principal formulates the interest rate outlook by considering factors such as the Malaysian inflation rate, monetary policies and economic growth. With an interest rate outlook and yield curve analysis, CIMB-Principal identifies the weighting of the investment tenor and credit for the Fund.

In the unlikely event of a credit rating downgrade, the investment manager reserves the right to deal with the security in the best interest of the Unit holders. As active fund managers, CIMB-Principal has in place flexible tolerance limits to cater to such situations. CIMB-Principal can for example, continue to hold the downgraded security if the immediate disposal of the security would not be in the best interest of the Unit holders. For the equities portion, CIMB-Principal combines a top-down asset and sector allocation process with a bottom-up stock selection process. The asset allocation decision is made after a review of macroeconomic trends in Malaysia and other global economies. In particular, CIMB-Principal analyzes the direction of GDP growth, interest rates, inflation, currencies and government policies. CIMB Principal will then assess their impact on corporate earnings and determine if there are any predictable trends. These trends form the basis for sector selection. Stock selection is based on the growth style of equity investing.

As such, the criteria for stock selection would include improving fundamentals and growth at reasonable valuations. Stock valuation fundamentals considered are earnings per share growth rate, return on equity, price earnings ratio and net tangible assets multiples. As part of its risk management strategy, the Fund is constructed and managed within pre-determined guidelines. Essentially, CIMB Principal employs an active asset allocation strategy depending upon the equity market expectations, and at the same time monitors the bond portfolio according to three (3) parameters: tenor, credit ratings and sector. The duration of the bond portfolio is also monitored and modified according to the Manager’s interest rate outlook (i.e. the sensitivity of the portfolio to interest rate changes).

In response to adverse conditions and as part of its risk management strategy, CIMB-Principal may from time to time reduce its proportion of higher risk assets, such as equities and increase its asset allocation to lower risk assets, such as debentures and liquid assets, to safeguard the investment portfolio of the Fund provided that such investments are within the investment objective of the Fund. Additionally, for investments in debt markets, the Manager may reduce holdings in longer tenured assets and channel these monies into shorter-term interest bearing deposits. When deemed necessary, the Manager may also utilize derivative instruments, subject to the SC Guidelines, for purposes such as hedging.

Bond fund
Investment objective:

The objective of CIMB-Principal Bond Fund is to provide regular income as well as to achieve medium to long term capital appreciation through investments primarily in Malaysian bonds. Any material changes to the investment objective of the Fund would require Unit holders’ approval.

Benchmark:

The benchmark of the Fund is the RAM Quant shop MGS Bond Index (Medium Sub-Index). Information on the benchmark can be obtained from http://www.quantshop.com Investment policy and principal investment strategy

Up to 98% of the Fund’s NAV may be invested in debentures carrying at least an “A3” or “P2” rating by RAM or equivalent rating by MARC, Moody’s, S&P or Fitch. The rest of the Fund is maintained in the form of liquid assets to meet any redemption payments to Unit holders. In line with its objective, the investment strategy and policy of the Fund is to invest in a diversified portfolio of approved fixed income securities consisting primarily of bonds, aimed to provide a steady stream of income. The asset allocation for the Fund is as follows:

• up to 98% in debentures and other permissible investments; and • at least 2% in liquid assets.

The asset allocation strategy will be reviewed periodically depending on the country’s economic and bond market outlook. CIMB Principal will adopt an active trading strategy and will be especially selective in the buying and selling of securities for the Fund. CIMB-Principal formulates an interest rate outlook through examining factors such as the Malaysian inflation rate, monetary policies and economic growth. With an interest rate outlook and yield curve analysis, CIMB-Principal identifies the weighting of the investment tenor and credit for the Fund. In the unlikely event of a credit rating downgrade, the Manager reserves the right to deal with the security in the best interest of the unit holders. As active fund managers, CIMB-Principal has in place flexible tolerance limits to cater to such situations. CIMB Principal can for example, continue to hold the downgraded security if the immediate disposal of the security would not be in the best interest of the unit holders.

As part of its risk management strategy, the Fund is constructed and managed within pre-determined guidelines. Essentially, CIMB Principal monitors the bond portfolio according to three (3) parameters: tenor, credit ratings and sector. The duration of the bond portfolio is also monitored and modified according to the Manager’s interest rate outlook (i.e. the sensitivity of the portfolio to interest rate changes). In response to adverse conditions and as part of its risk management strategy, CIMB-Principal may reduce holdings in longer tenured assets and channel these monies into shorter-term interest bearing deposits. The Manager may also from time to time invest in liquid assets to safeguard the investment portfolio of the Fund provided that such investments are within the investment objective of the Fund. When deemed necessary, the Manager may also utilize derivative instruments, subject to the SC Guidelines for purposes such as hedging.

Invesco Asia Infrastructure Fund (“the Target Fund”) is a sub-fund of Invesco Funds (the “SICAV”). The SICAV is incorporated as a société anonyme under the laws of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg and qualifies as an open-ended société d’investissement à capital variable. The SICAV is authorized as an undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities under the law of 20th December, 2002. The SICAV was incorporated in Luxembourg on 31st July, 1990. The Directors of the SICAV are responsible for the management and administration of the SICAV and for its overall investment policy.

The Directors of the SICAV have appointed Invesco Management S.A. as management company to be responsible on a day to day basis under the supervision of the Directors, for providing administration, marketing, investment management and advice services in respect of all Invesco Funds. Invesco Management S.A. has delegated the investment management services to Invesco Hong Kong Limited (“Invesco Hong Kong”), who has discretionary investment management powers in respect of the Target Fund. Invesco Management S.A. was incorporated as a “société anonyme” under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on 19th September 1991 and its articles of incorporation are deposited with the Luxembourg Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés. Invesco Management S.A. is approved as a management company regulated by chapter 13 of the 2002 Law. As at December 2007, its capital amounts to USD 3,840,000 and the Directors of the SICAV are also composing the board of directors of Invesco Management S.A.

Invesco Management S.A. shall ensure compliance of the SICAV with the investment restrictions and oversee the implementation of the SICAV’s strategies and investment policy. Invesco Management S.A. shall send reports to the Directors of the SICAV on a quarterly basis and inform each board member without delay of any noncompliance of the Company with the investment restrictions. J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. (“JPMorgan”) has been appointed as the Custodian of the assets of the SICAV which will be held either directly by JPMorgan or through correspondents, nominees, agents or delegates of JPMorgan. J.P. Morgan was incorporated as a société anonyme incorporated on 16th May, 1973 and has its registered office at 6, route de Trèves, L-2633 Senningerberg, Grand- Duchy of Luxembourg.

Investment objective and policy

The Target Fund aims to achieve long term capital growth from investments in a diversified portfolio of Asian securities of issuers which are predominantly engaged in infrastructure activities. At least 70% of the total assets of the Target Fund (without taking into account ancillary liquid assets) shall be invested in equity and debt securities denominated in any convertible currency issued by Asian companies predominantly active in the infrastructure sector. “Asian companies” shall mean companies listed in an Asian stock market and having their registered office in an Asian country or established in other countries but carrying out their business activities predominantly in Asia or holding companies investing predominantly in equity of companies having their registered office in an Asian country. Up to 30% of the total assets of the Target Fund may be invested in aggregate in cash and cash equivalents, money market instruments, equity and equity related instruments or debt securities (including convertible debt) issued by companies or other entities not meeting the above requirement.

Invesco Hong Kong is an active manager combining bottom-up and top-down multi-factor analysis, although they have a strong focus on bottom-up stock selection where they believe it can add value. The investment universe mainly includes companies in the Asia Pacific ex-Japan region that are principally engaged in infrastructure-related activities, including companies that are involved in providing the foundation of basic services, facilities and institutions upon which the growth and development of a community depends. In addition, ‘soft’ infrastructure that includes financial support (e.g. project financing from investment banks) and maintenance support (e.g. management of communication networks) also fall into this definition. Broadly speaking, infrastructure can be classified as but is not limited to: Economic Infrastructure – to support the long term growth of the economy.

These assets have a long operating life and strong monopoly position. Examples: roads, airports and ports. Utilities – to provide essential services for the community. Examples: gas/ energy/ electricity generation, distribution and retailing, water distribution and waste treatment. Social Infrastructure – to provide public sector facilities for the society. This sector has emerged as governments have embraced the public private partnership concept in order to encourage operation efficiency.

Examples: train stations, hospitals, schools and stadiums. Commercial infrastructure – private sector initiatives to cater for technology advancement. Examples: satellites, cable networks and renewable power plants. For the purpose of this Fund, the Manager will be investing in Class C of the Target Fund. As at LPD, only Accumulation Shares are available for this share class. Investors holding Accumulation Shares will not receive any distributions. Instead, the income due to them will be rolled up to enhance the value of the Accumulation Shares.


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