2015 Winners feature- Best Islamic MYR Bond Fund and Best MYR Bond Fund- Libra ASnitaBond and Libra BondExtra

Mr Mohd Fadzil Mohamed, CEO/CIO-Fixed Income and Ms Elyzza Syazreen Zailan, Fixed Income Fund Manager, shed lights on topics such as their team structure, how various risks have affected their investment decisions, and the major portfolio changes over last year.

Nelly Poon 15.04.2015
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Mr Mohd Fadzil Mohamed, CEO/CIO-Fixed Income & Ms Elyzza Syazreen Zailan, Fixed Income Fund Manager, shed lights on topics such as their team structure, how various risks have affected their investment decisions, and the major portfolio changes over last year.

 

 

Category Winner: Best Islamic MYR Bond Fund - Libra ASnitaBond

Key Stats

Inception Date: 2005 Mar 18
Morningstar Rating (as of 2015-03-31):
Total Net Assets (Mil, as of 2015-03-31): 23.17 USD 
Manager: Mohd Fadzil bin Mohamed
Manager Start Date: 2009 Mar 18

 

Category Winner: Best Islamic MYR Bond Fund - Libra BondExtra

Key Stats

Inception Date: 2002 Feb 28
Morningstar Rating (as of 2015-03-31): 
Total Net Assets (Mil, as of 2015-03-31): 7.17 USD 
Manager: Mohd Fadzil bin Mohamed
Manager Start Date: 2009 Mar 18

 

M: Morningstar   L: Mr Mohd Fadzil Mohamed, CEO / CIO-Fixed Income & Ms Elyzza Syazreen Zailan, Fixed Income Fund Manager

 

M: Could you highlight any major changes you made to the portfolio over the course of 2014? Were there any particular holding that drove the fund’s performance for the year?

L: We swiftly rebalanced our portfolio ahead of the interest rate hike in July 2014. Subsequently, we increased the funds’ weightage in longer-term bonds/ Sukuk, with a view that the market correction was overdone. The bond/ Sukuk market rallied from June to October in line with our prediction. Our funds were already well positioned to ride the market rally, thus boosting returns.

 

M: What is your economic outlook for 2015 specific to the markets you cover and how are you positioned to take advantage of opportunities and/or mitigate potential risks?

L: The global economic outlook is expected to remain challenging in 2015 given a widening divergence in monetary policy between the US and other economies. On the domestic front, growth is expected to be anchored by domestic demand, amidst resilient household consumption, supported by higher disposable income given lower fuel prices. On the same note, domestic inflation is anticipated to remain contained going forward as lower fuel prices will partially offset the impact of GST. In view of this, prospects for the local bond market remain positive as interest rates are expected to remain accommodative. Demand for local bonds is expected to remain strong given flush liquidity in the market, which may drive bond prices higher. We will continue to look for investment opportunities to enhance the funds’ returns, while continuously managing risk exposure.

 

M: Can you comment on the macro risks facing the global economy, including potential US rate hikes, QE programs in the Eurozone and Japan, and the growth headwinds facing the emerging world? How do these risks affect your investment decisions?

L: While the US remains a bright spot in the global economy, other countries have not been faring too well. Recently, several major economies loosened monetary policy to spur growth, e.g. China, Eurozone, India and Australia. Against a softer global economic backdrop, the US Fed is widely expected to raise interest gradually, which may help US Treasury yields to normalize at a moderate pace. Nevertheless, as part of our investment strategy, we maintain sufficient liquidity in the funds and flexible duration strategy to allow us to respond quickly to changes in market environment and sentiment.

 

M: How is your investment team organized? Have there been or do you anticipate any changes to the investment team or structure over the course of the year? Do you anticipate adding to the team in the near future?

L: Our fixed income fund managers are supported by a team of analysts. We do not anticipate any material changes to the structure at the moment. Nevertheless, we are looking to expand the team in the near future as we broaden our market coverage.    

 

M: Can you highlight any areas where you feel that the investment team or the investment process can be improved upon?

L: We have diversified our investments into the global bond market. There is always room for improvement as we enhance our coverage of global markets to better identify investment opportunities.

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Nelly Poon  Nelly Poon is an editor with Morningstar.

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