Pru holds on to Pacific markets fund

Prudential plans to retain one unit trust following its raft of mergers into M&G funds.

Pru investment director Andy Brown says the firm will keep the £532m Pacific markets unit trust because of the high cost of transferring the assets.

Pru, which bought M&G in 1999, has been merging its unit trusts into the M&G range. In June, it merged five unit trusts into their M&G counterparts and in August it announced plans to merge another five. Brown says Pru will merge a further 10 unit trusts by mid-2012.

He says all Pru’s funds except the Pacific markets trust contain UK assets and because there is no change in beneficial ownership, there is no stamp duty to pay, so the cost of transferring assets is small.

He says: “There are no UK assets in the Pacific markets unit trust and with some Asian taxation authorities, you cannot get dispensation because they see the transfer of assets as a change of ownership so want to charge stamp duty. This cost would be charged to the fund and that is too high a cost for the unitholder.”