Funds Watch and product launches


News from Polar Capital, SYZ & CO, Natixis Global Associates, Cheyne Capital, Fitch, iShares


Cheyne Capital’s property debt fund takes defensive stance

The real estate credit investments fund run by Cheyne Capital, has taken a defensive stance in terms of geographic exposure and high cash holdings, given the deteriorating economic outlook for Europe.

Shamez Alibhai, RECI’s manager, detailed the fund's conservative positioning after revealing its first net loss in nine quarters of €10.8m.

Bond positions in the fund, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, have a market value of £74.7m. Their combined face value, however, is £125.9m, “so there is £50m worth of capital gain in the portfolio, and [realising those gains] is not a distant event, we are getting capital returns from our portfolio every quarter.”

RECI also declared a dividend of 0.864p per share, producing a healthy yield based on the current share price of about 4.2%.

Alibhai said RECI’s latest quarterly loss was attributable to marking the bond portfolio’s holdings to falling markets, not any deterioration in the credit quality of the holdings themselves. “It is more a result of correlation [of markets] to the eurozone crisis,” he said.

Buyers prefer boutiques for European equities funds – Fitch

Allocators have preferred boutiques running European equities to larger managers this year, as most of the 30 companies enjoying the largest net inflows were outside the largest 30 houses for the strategy.

In the 12 months to July, research by Fitch found Schroders’ European equities program took in most investment, followed by BlackRock, and then banking group Credit Suisse. Only Schroders and BlackRock sold more than €1bn of European equities products this year.

All the next most popular 17 groups were independent boutiques, including in descending order of assets Edmond de Rothschild, Fin Echiquier, Oddo Asset Management, Threadneedle, Mandarine, Alken AM and Dalton Strategic Partnership.

Aymeric Poizot, managing director in Fitch’s fund and asset manager rating group, said: “Among the 800 managers that are active in the European equity field, few are capturing new money. Interestingly, most of this new money is going to independent houses.”

iShares launches emerging market dividend ETF

iShares, the exchange traded funds platform of BlackRock, has launched the iShares Dow Jones emerging markets select dividend ETF, which targets exposure to emerging market companies that can sustain an appropriate dividend programme over time.

The fund, which is a physically replicating fund and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, aims to track the performance of the Dow Jones emerging markets select dividend index SM. The index consists of 100 companies across 18 emerging markets.

iShares says the fund aims to provide investors with both an income stream and the potential for long-term capital growth. "The new product is a distributing fund, giving investors the flexibility to withdraw income on a quarterly basis or to reinvest the income payments received according to their investment objectives."

Axel Lomholt, head of iShares product development EMEA, said: "With many developed market interest rates at historic lows, investors are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve their income targets. This ETF offers investors the potential to achieve dividend yield combined with access to the growth potential of emerging markets companies. The net indicated annual yield for the index was 7.34% at the end of October.

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