FUND MANAGEMENT NEWS

PICTET LAUNCHES LONG-SHORT ASIA FUND
Pictet funds, the fund distribution arm of private Swiss bank Pictet & Cie, has launched a long-short UCITS III-compliant Asia fund. It will be managed be Lan Wang Simond and seeks to capture Chinese growth while minimising losses during periods of high volatility and reducing correlation to the broader market. It will aim to derive at least 30 per cent of its earnings from the greater China region. Lan says: “By using hedging and short selling techniques we are able to manage impacts from falling markets and offer investors an improved risk-return profile.”

HIGH INFLOWS TO ASIA FUNDS
Data from EPFR Global shows that the week ending 22 September saw a 15-month high in inflows into Asia ex-Japan equity funds as investors fled funds with exposure to the US and Europe. Pacific equity funds had their best week for nearly four months, with overall emerging market fund inflows hitting $3.38bn. In terms of asset classes, bond funds were popular, swelling by $4.8bn, while equity funds expanded $3.3bn. But while bond funds are up $306bn year-to-date, equity funds are still down $37bn, reflecting an anemic attitude to risk.

SCHRODERS’ FUND GETS ELITE RATING
Morningstar, the fund research firm, has upgraded its ratings for the Schroder. Japan Alpha Plus fund to elite, its highest possible rating. It is only awarded to funds that the firm believes can consistently outperform their peers for years to come. Morningstar’s Mark Laidlaw said: “Schroder Japan Alpha Plus isn’t your typical Japan equity fund, but we think it’s one of the best. Nathan Gibbs runs a concentrated go-anywhere portfolio of 30-35 names across the market cap spectrum, searching out companies that he sees as undervalued.”