BlackRock launches Asian absolute return fund

BlackRock launches Asian absolute return fund

BlackRock has launched an Asian equity long/short absolute return fund to be managed by Oisin Crawley and Andrew Swan.

The firm said the BlackRock Strategic Funds (BSF) Asia Pacific Absolute Return fund will invest in stocks benefiting from structual reform, but short those facing internal and external pressures.

Mr Crawley, who is co-head of research for Asian equities, and Mr Swan, who is head of Asian equities, will run the strategy with support from a team of 21 based in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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The Class A share class will have an ongoing charges figure of 1.98 per cent, a 20 per cent performance fee and a minimum investment of £5,000.

It will typically hold approximately 40 to 60 long and 40 to 60 short positions, including the use of equity swaps, contracts for difference, index futures or exchange-traded funds, and the selective use of equity options.

BlackRock said the liquid equity long/short Ucits will target positive absolute returns, regardless of volatility in Asian markets.

Alex Hoctor-Duncan, head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa retail at BlackRock, said: “The BSF Asia Pacific Absolute Return Fund is for investors who are keen to explore what the region has to offer and want to diversify their portfolio without taking on excessive market risk.”

Scott Gallacher, director of Leicester-based Rowley Turton, said: “For advisers or clients running portfolios with pre-set asset allocations which require them to invest in certain areas regardless of market conditions, an Asian absolute return fund could be a godsend.”

But he added that he was concerned about the charges on this particular fund, especially the 20 per cent performance fee which Mr Gallacher pointed out was set against a relatively low bar of three-month London Interbank Offered Rate.