James Williams, Hedgeweek

TCW Group opens offices in Paris and Hong Kong… UBS launches commodity-focused ETF…

After launching the Ashburton Africa Equity Opportunities fund last month, Jersey-based asset management firm Ashburton has rolled out its second UCITS fund reported Citywire Global this week. The Luxembourg-domiciled Ashburton Global New Energy fund will be managed by Richard Robinson, with Alan le Maistre acting as deputy manager. The fund will target long-term growth opportunities in companies operating in oil, gas, coal and renewable energy sources. Three quarters of its assets will be invested in listed companies with up to 10 per cent being allocated to unlisted companies. The fund is benchmarked against the MSCI Energy index. 

UBS Global Asset Management has launched a new commodity-focused ETF. The UCITS-compliant UBS-ETF CMCI Composite is listed on the London Stock Exchange and will track the UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity (CMCI) Total Return Index. The index provides diversification across the entire futures curve, spanning multiple sectors and maturities, allowing investors to benefit from lower volatility than conventional commodities indices. This new ETF is just the latest in a broad array of ETFs offered by UBS. Last year the bank launched 66 funds on the London Stock Exchange. In January 2013 it listed 61 ETFs on the Borsa Italiana, while in April it launched a corporate bond ETF.

EFAMA has reported that April saw the highest level of monthly inflows into UCITS bond funds since it began collecting monthly data in 2008
. Net sales of bond funds surged to EUR30billion, up from EUR15billion in March. By comparison equity funds saw net inflows fall from EUR9billion to EUR1billion. Net sales of balanced funds remained steady in April at EUR13billion. For April as a whole, UCITS funds attracted EUR44billion of net inflows, slightly up on March’s figure of EUR38billion. Total net assets of UCITS and non-UCITS fund in Europe stood at EUR9.473trillion at end April 2013.

Commenting on the figures, Bernard Delbecque, Director of Economics and Research at EFAMA, said: “In April, net inflows into equity funds continued to fall amid uncertainty about growth prospects and stock prices, whereas bond funds attracted a surge in net inflows in the context of declining bond yields.”      

TCW Group has announced the expansion of its distribution efforts in Europe and Asia with the opening of two new offices in Paris and Hong Kong
reported Funds Society this week. The firm has already established a UCITS fund platform in Luxembourg to build out a UCITS franchise by replicating the most successful funds in the TCW and MetWest US fund complexes, which have USD53.8billion in net assets. Overseeing the Paris office is Heinrich Riehl, with Stacy Hsu overseeing the Hong Kong office.

David Lippman, TCW President and CEO
said that expanding its international distribution platform was a “significant priority” for TCW, adding: “We look forward to working closely with investors across those key regions to build new partnerships and develop new products that meet the needs of international investors.” The firm has forged sub-advisory relationships with Amundi and Pictet in Europe and a partnership with NCB in the Middle East to offer Shariah-compliant funds. Founded in 1971, the TCW Group manages approximately USD130.7billion of assets (as of end March 2013).

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