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Morningstar Awards Highlight Quality of Investments

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Morningstar lauded the retail funds and fund houses that have added the most value for investors.

By Lee Min Keong

This year, Morningstar Asia Limited announced the winning funds and fund houses for its Morningstar Fund Awards Malaysia in a rather unconventional way. The awards ceremony, which is typically held annually in Kuala Lumpur, was instead hosted via a special webcast on March 19 in light of the Covid-19 outbreak globally. 

Nevertheless, the change in the awards ceremony format did not prevent Morningstar Asia Limited, a subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research, from recognising retail funds and fund houses that have added the most value for investors within the context of their relevant peer group in 2019 and over longer time periods. 

Morningstar selects the winners using a quantitative methodology, along with a qualitative overlay. Weightings to one-, three-, and five-year risk-adjusted performance are factored into the methodology.

Public Mutual Bhd was the biggest winner, sweeping four out of the five awards on offer. Malaysia’s leading unit trust company took home the awards for Best Asia-Pacific Equity Fund, Best Malaysia Large-Cap Equity Fund, Best Malaysia Bond Fund and Best Malaysia Bond (Syariah) Fund. 

Principal Asset Management Bhd’s Principal Islamic DALI Equity Fund (formerly known as CIMB Islamic DALI Equity Fund) won the Best Malaysia Large-Cap Equity (Syariah) Fund. 

In his speech delivered via the webcast, Morningstar Asia chief executive officer Nick Cheung said Morningstar’s Annual Awards highlight the quality and breadth of investments available for investors in each region. “Our 2020 winners have been great drivers of investor success. It is our honour to recognise their outstanding achievements and commitments to investors.” 

Nick Cheung

Cheung pointed out that every year, Morningstar presents awards to more than 30 countries globally to recognise exceptional fund managers and investment teams who deliver value to investors, and put investors’ interest at the first place.

“This is in perfect alignment to Morningstar’s vision, which is to empower investors to make more informed investment decisions, and make better investment outcomes. Morningstar has a long history of helping investors.

“Despite the current diff cult environment, we continue to invest to allow investors to have more and expanded research coverage on equity, fund, ETF, ESG and private investments,” Cheung said. 

For example, he said Morningstar will soon roll out a new web-based analytic platform of Morningstar Direct which has new features and data sets to allow investors to make better informed investment decisions. 

Delivering market-beating returns

Wing Chan, Morningstar’s director of Manager Research Practice, EMEA & Asia, said the 2019 rally in both equities and bonds has rewarded investors handsomely. “However, it was also one of the more unpredictable periods in history, with low interest rates, heightened geopolitical uncertainty, and stretching asset valuations continuing to worry investors. 

“The awards winners, across our equity and fixed income categories, have proved their ability to deliver market-beating returns over the long term without undue risk,” he added. 

On what Morningstar looks for when picking the winning funds for the annual awards, Andrew Daniels, senior analyst, Equity Strategies, Manager Research for Morningstar Asia, said the goal is to recognise those funds that have added the most value within the context of a relative peer group for investors over the past year and the longer term. 

On how Morningstar plays a key role in helping bring about better outcomes for investors, Daniels said Morningstar offers a global reach and has earned investors’ trust through its unbiased and independent research, investor-centric mission, and thought leadership.

“Since its founding more than 35 years ago, Morningstar’s mission has been to empower investor success. We believe that by taking something nebulous, such as the financial services industry, and making it transparent, investors gain the knowledge to make better decisions. 

“As a result, Morningstar builds unique products and services that connect people to the investing information and tools they need, because when investors are successful, so are we.”

Please click here to read the full article in the digital edition of Smart Investor (April 2020 issue).

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