James Williams, Hedgeweek

Gibraltar to slash UCITS application fees by more than 60 per cent… UCITS funds make average gains of 0.21 per cent in April…

The UCITS Alternative Index Global posted gains of 0.21 per cent in April according to Alix Capital, who host the index. This puts the index at +1.80 per cent for 2013, compared to +1.28 per cent through April last year. Continuing on from strong gains in March, the UAI CTA posted the best performance for April, up +1.81 per cent to leave it at +4.13 per cent for the year.

The next best strategy was UAI Multi-Strategy, up +0.80 per cent, followed by UAI Fixed Income, up +0.50 per cent. Conversely, the UAI FX and UAI Commodities recorded losses of -1.23 per cent and -1.05 per cent respectively. YTD, aside from UAI CTA the next biggest gains have been achieved by the UAI Long/Short Equity (+3.19 per cent) and the UAI Multi-Strategy (+2.24 per cent).    

Matthews Asia has rolled out a UCITS-compliant version of its smaller companies strategy
reported Portfolio Adviser this week. The strategy has been available to US investors since it launched in September 2008. Lydia So is lead manager of the fund, with Kenichi Amaki as co-manager. It had USD421million in AuM as at 31 March 2013, according to the company’s website.

Domiciled in Luxembourg, the Matthews Asia Small Companies Fund – an Asia ex-Japan mandate - will focus on companies with a market cap of between USD300million and USD3billion. By launching with a UCITS wrapper, European investors will now have the chance to invest in a strategy whose US version has delivered a three-year annualized return of 10.39 per cent, compared to 4.45 per cent for the benchmark (MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Small Cap Index).

So and Amaki said that many investors’ portfolios in either global or regional emerging markets were comprised of large-cap companies. “Typically these portfolios will invest in companies that have a market cap far in excess of USD5billion and therefore make only very small allocations to small companies. We believe this fund complements holders of core emerging market and Asian equity funds,” the two portfolio managers were quoted as saying.  

Gibraltar has slashed its regulatory fees for UCITS funds in a bid to entice managers and make the island a more attractive jurisdiction on the international stage. The Financial Services Commission has confirmed that it will lower its regulatory fees for UCITS from 2013/14 reported InvestorsOffshore this week. The FSC took the decision at the request of the industry although it was quick to state that Gibraltar’s current fee level had not deterred any UCITS applications stating that regulatory fees “are incidental to the overall cost of setting up a UCITS. However, the FSC understands the importance of the industry remaining competitive and is therefore making proposals to lower this fee.” The plan is for the FSC to bring its fees more in line with those charged by Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Malta.

UCITS application fees when managers are setting up new funds will be slashed from GBP12,000 to GBP4,000. Any additional sub-funds will have a fee reduction from GBP3,000 to GBP1,000. Annual fees for UCITS will fall from GBP13,335 to GBP4,000 while additional annual fees for each subsequent sub-fund will fall from GBP3,334 to GBP1,000. This is certainly a proactive move by Gibraltar and it will be interesting to see what the net effect has been in 12 months’ time with respect to fund numbers. 

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