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UBS seizes on neglected opportunities

UBS Global Asset Management&#39s developed Asia equity fund has been created through a conversion of an exempt unit trust into an Oeic fund for retail investors.

The original fund was established in 1990 for pension funds and charity investors but has been revamped to fill a gap in the UBS retail fund range. The new fund currently has around 66 holdings but the typical range will vary between 50 and 70. It will invest in the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan, covering Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Australia. The fund is likely to invest mainly in Australia and Hong Kong, with lower weightings in New Zealand and Singapore.

The fund is managed by Yvonne Thomas, who has more than 20 years&#39 investment experience with UBS. She also manages the UBS global emerging markets equity fund.

The developed Asia fund will follow the UBS house style of looking for stocks where price does not reflect growth potential but where there is likely to be a catalyst for change. Bottom-up stock selection will be combined with a top-down approach, drawing on UBS&#39s extensive research resources.

This fund differs from many other funds which invest in the Asia Pacific region as it invests mainly in areas which usually represent smaller parts of a fund portfolio. This means it could discover opportunities which its competitors may miss because they are focusing their research on more popular regions.

However, this is a specialist fund and its appeal may be limited to investors who want a small part of their overall portfolio have exposure to a narrow range of developed regions in Asia.

According to Standard & Poor&#39s, the UBS global emerging markets fund is ranked 17 out of 22 funds based on £1,000 on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested over three years to June 28, 2004.

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