BPI mutual funds, UITF swell to P261 B

Ted P. Torres (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Total value of investment funds managed by the Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) hit P261.24 billion in 2015, up 5.8 percent from the P246.91 billion recorded in 2014.

BPI senior vice president Mario T. Miranda heads the asset management group (AMG), which oversees all investment funds.

The AMG investment funds is composed of the BPI Asset Management, Odyssey Funds, and the BPI Investment Management Inc. (BIMI), the latter manages the mutual funds under the generic brand name, ALFM Mutual Funds. Funds under BPI Asset Management and Odyssey Funds are unit investment trust funds (UITFs).

UITFs under BPI Investment Fund expanded 22.45 percent in 2015, from P110.83 billion in 2014 to P135.71 billion.

UITFs under the Odyssey Funds reached P28.77 billion in 2015, down 27.82 percent from P39.86 billion in 2014.

Mutual funds under BIMI grew slightly from P96.21 billion in 2014 to P96.75 billion last year.

“The BPI Investment Funds grew the most by 22.45 percent in end 2015. This is primarily due to healthy flows going into the BPI equity funds, both local and global equity strategies.” Miranda pointed out.

The novelty of the new feeder and fund-of-funds (BPI European Equity Index Feeder Fund, BPI US Equity Index Feeder Fund and the BPI Global Equity Fund-of-Funds) also contributed to this growth, he added.

Particularly, the BPI Investment Funds which experienced a significant increase in net asset value (NAV) last year were: BPI Phil High Dividend Equity Fund – up 275.89 percent; BPI European Equity Index Feeder Fund – up 240.57 percent; BPI Philippine Equity Index Fund – up 153.45 percent.

In terms of investment returns, the dollar-denominated bond funds provided strong returns due to high demand for Philippine assets particularly ROPs given the strong fundamentals of the country.

The AMG manages funds of 100,000 customers.

Meanwhile, Miranda said that BPI remains ahead in terms of multi-channel platform for transacting investment funds.

Aside from personal appearances at BPI branches, investors can use both internet (via BPI Expressonline) and mobile (via BPI Express Mobile) as alternative channels.  

Of its investment fund clients, 84 percent are already enrolled in these alternative channels.

“Our investors are also slowly getting into the habit of investing regularly,” the BPI senior vice president said.

The number of customers who enrolled their investment fund into the bank’s Regular Subscription Plan went up by 43 percent in 2015.  

“We always emphasize cost-averaging as a strategy that our clients can take to improve their investment returns instead of timing the market,” Miranda added.

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