Emirates NBD Asset Management (Emirates NBD AM), one of the largest asset managers in the region, announced that its Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund had moved to daily trading from March 13, 2012, making it the largest MENA fixed income fund available in the region, with a fund size of $51.6m.
Emirates NBD AM, the asset management arm of Emirates NBD, a leading bank in the region, also announced a series of enhancements to its fund range. These changes have been made in response to investor demand and market requirements, both in terms of currency alternatives on a number of funds, and improved liquidity terms on its flagship fixed income product.
The enhancements also come alongside the appointment of State Street, one of the leading global financial services providers, as the new administrator and custodian to the offshore fund suite managed by Emirates NBD Asset.
The fund will benefit from improved liquidity terms, with all share classes now being made available to investors for subscriptions and redemptions on a daily basis. While each class represents a similar interest in the fund’s portfolio, the varying fees and expenses and the resulting expense ratio distinguish the share classes. It is anticipated that this change will make the top performing fund even more appealing to investors and move the fund to the front of its peer group.
In response to investor demand, new Sterling-denominated classes are available as follows for the various funds:
a. GBP-denominated B and C Share Class for the Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund, in addition to the improved liquidity terms
b. GBP-denominated B Share Class for the Emirates Active Managed, Balanced Managed and Conservative Managed funds. These new share classes have been added in response to significant interest in the range of funds managed ENBD AM from investors seeking Sterling denominated investments.
Emirates NBD Asset Management also announced the appointment of a new fund administrator and custodian to its range of 13 Jersey-domiciled funds. State Street Fund Services (Jersey) Limited will be the new “Administrator” and State Street Custodial Services (Jersey) Limited the new “Custodian”, following a comprehensive review process that sought to bring the best possible service to investors.
State Street is a global leader in the fields of administration and custody and it is expected that all investors in the Emirates NBD AM managed range of 13 funds will benefit comprehensively from the new service providers. With US$21.8 trillion in assets under custody and administration, State Street is an industry leader with a clear and long-standing reputation and is consistently positioned at the top of industry rankings. Commenting on these enhancements to the ENBD AM managed fund range, Deon Vernooy, Senior Executive Officer, Emirates NBD Asset Management, said: “We are always seeking ways to improve both our fund range and service offering to clients. We are very pleased with the first class returns that are being delivered to investors across all of our funds, and believe we now offer better choices for GBP investors, as well as enhanced access to our very successful Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund. These recent changes should help all the funds to build on their solid track records and witness continued growth.”
He added: “In addition to providing clients with access to our fund range both directly and through the extensive Emirates NBD Group network, we have chosen to partner with leading international life insurance companies such as Zurich International, Friends Provident International, Hansard, Metlife, Alico and Skandia. Providing such broad access has been well received by our clients and we expect to continue to successfully attract new investors with our leading range of products.”
The Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund has just celebrated its second anniversary, and has a current fund size of $51.6m, making it the largest MENA fixed income fund available with daily liquidity. It is an open-ended US dollar denominated fund, which aims to achieve a high level of income as well as capital growth, through investing in a portfolio of fixed-income instruments, predominantly from issuers in the MENA region. It has proved particularly popular amongst investors in the UAE for its stable returns and impressive track record.
In the 12 month period to 29th February 2012, the fund returned 10.14% and has a running yield of approximately 5%.
This was achieved despite the challenging backdrop to global markets, which saw global equities fall by 1.11% in the same period, whilst global bonds rose by just 6.96%.