by Ernie B. Calucag
Manulife Singapore has launched an investment-linked insurance fund that seeks to tap into the strong fundamentals of Singapore economy as well as its growth potential as an Asian hub.
The Manulife Income Series – Singapore Fund is the first fund for an investment-linked plan to provide a regular monthly income. It targets to pay a dividend of S$0.036 per unit per annum or S$0.003 per unit per month.
Catering to retirement needs and other financial objectives, the fund seeks to provide medium- to long-term capital appreciation and income by primarily investing 60 per cent into the Manulife Singapore Bond Fund and 40 per cent into the Manulife Singapore Equity Fund both of which are managed by the group’s asset management team.
Pang Cheng Duan, head of fixed income at Manulife Asset Management (Singapore) Pte Ltd, noted that the balanced portfolio approach is designed to cushion the impact of market volatility.
“The fund has the flexibility to actively allocate between these two asset classes, aiming to strike a balance between achieving stable returns from the bond market while still giving investors access to long term growth potential of the equity market,” he said.
In the hunt for potential high returns in the equities market, the portfolio manager said they will invest in blue chip companies with good earnings and strong balance sheet such as DBS Group, Keppel, Singtel, Sembcorp Marine, among others.
In the bond space, the fund will buy into bonds issued by sovereign and strong corporates in Singapore, but not limited to Singapore dollar-denominated bonds. Pang said they are looking at buying into foreign currencies-denominated bonds as well to hedge against foreign exchange risk and to access investment capital available in foreign markets.
Manulife targets the fund to hit S$30-50 million over the next 12 months.
Investors can choose from two products; Manulink which offers higher protection, and Manulink Investor which is more focused on investment. Minimum investment is S$5,000.