Pru Life offers more invesment opportunities

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Insurance firm Pru Life UK on Tuesday said it would be offering a balanced fund expected to provide wider access to investment opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.

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“You’ve got a slew of sectors across Asia that are cheap, just waiting like cherries waiting to be plucked. [So] that’s what we’re doing,” said Robert Rountree, director and global strategist of Pru Life asset management arm Eastspring Investments.

Investments in the Philippines remain limited to six sectors, dominated by financial, industrial, and real estate, while more extensive opportunities in Asia such as information technology, pharmaceutical, healthcare, and energy stay untouched.

“We are really encouraging our customers to diversify their portfolio offshore. The main reason is because the capital markets here in the Philippines continue to be shallow and the funds [are]too big, so customers need to diversify,” Pru Life UK President and CEO Antonio de Rosas said.

The balanced fund, to be offered beginning Oct. 10, will be split into two: an Asia Pacific equity fund and another for dollar-denominated Asian bond funds and Asian bonds in local currencies.

“As the old saying goes, you don’t put all the eggs in one basket,” de Rosas said.

Pru Life UK Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Anthony Garces II said: “We would like to tell our clients to diversify, strike a balance. You [already have]investments here, try to look at opportunities outside the Philippines.”

Pru Life UK, a subsidiary of UK-registered Prudential Plc., has been operating in the Philippines for two decades. Its asset management arm, Eastspring Investments, operates in 10 markets and claims to be the biggest retail asset manager in Asia.

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