KUALA LUMPUR, 21 March 2019 – Morningstar Asia Limited, a subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has announced the winning funds for its 2019 Malaysia Fund Awards.The winners of the 2019 Morningstar Malaysia Fund Awards are:

Fund Category Awards Winners
Best Asia-Pacific Equity Fund  I Affin Hwang Select Asia Pac (ex Jpn) Dividend Fund
Best Malaysia Bond (Syariah) Fund  I AmBon Islam
Best Malaysia Bond Fund  I AmDynamic Bond
Best Malaysia Large-Cap Equity (Syariah) Fund  I PMB Shariah Premier
Best Malaysia Large-Cap Equity Fund  I Kenanga Blue Chip

The 2019 Morningstar Malaysia Fund Awards ceremony was held on 21 March 2019 at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel.

In his opening speech, Morningstar’s Head of Business Development (Southeast Asia) Shihan Abeyguna alluded to the fact that the global independent research outfit has expanded its research capabilities in sync with a shift in the fund management industry to one of a higher fiduciary.

“Investors need to understand the risks in their portfolios and whether the investments align with their goals,” he pointed out. “Whether it is through Morningstar or another industry provider, we find that research matters regardless of whether the standard is set by the regulator or through market practice.”

Another initiative that Morningstar is working on is the environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing criteria which transcends beyond the return on investment (ROI) numerator and return over risk denominator.

“With corruption and misconduct allegations of large global institutions, the awareness of social issues that we are seeing with gender inequality and gun violence for example, investors and asset allocators are increasingly looking beyond the numerator and denominator to evaluate more holistic measures of success,” added Shihan.

Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) Executive Director (Chairman’s Office) Ong Liang Heng noted that the local fund management industry’s ability to grow over the years, including during periods of challenging market conditions, is due to investors’ trust and confidence in the Malaysian capital market.

“On this note, the SC will continue to focus on encouraging market participants to play their respective roles to uphold market discipline,” he stressed. “Good conduct is expected from all stakeholders and must not be compromised.”

With regard to market vibrancy, Ong said Malaysia needs a consistent pipeline of IPO (initial public offering) companies which are reasonably large with high growth prospects.
“At the same time, we are working with the industry to review the primary market framework, including IPO approvals,” he revealed. “The objective is to make the process more efficiently balanced with accountability.”

In terms of equities trading, Ong said the SC is working closely with the stockbroking industry to make the trading experience more seamless. The Brokerage Industry Digitisation Group (BRIDGe) project is an on-going initiative to accelerate the digitalisation of the whole value chain, including digital on-boarding, e-KYC (know your customer), straight-through clearing and settlement process.

“This should improve the level of participation in the market where last year domestic private institutions contributed around 42% of total trading value compared to 25% by the foreign investors,” he added.

The annual Morningstar Malaysia Fund Awards are designed to help investors identify the funds that added the most value for investors within the context of their relevant peer group in 2018 and over longer time periods.

Morningstar selects the winners using a quantitative methodology with a qualitative overlay that considers the one-, three-, and five-year performance history of all eligible funds, and adjusts returns for risk using Morningstar Risk, a measure that imposes a higher penalty for downside variation in a fund’s return than it does for upside volatility.

(From left to right): Germaine Share, Associate Director, Manager Research of Morningstar; Shihan Abeyguna, Head of Business Development (Southeast Asia) of Morningstar; Liong Chee How, Senior Portfolio Manager (Investment) of Kenanga Investors Berhad; Wong Yew Joe, Head of Fixed Income (Islamic) of AmInvest; Raymond Lew, Senior Vice President of AmInvest; Najmi Haji Mohamed, CEO of PMB Investment Berhad; Lim Chia Wei, Portfolio Manager (Equity) of Affin Hwang Asset Management Bhd; Ong Liang Heng, Executive Director (Chairman’s Office) of Securities Commission Malaysia, and Andrew Daniels, Senior Analyst of Morningstar.

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