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New fund taps investments in real estate across Asia-Pacific

/ 05:09 AM February 11, 2019

Insurer Manulife Philippines unveiled a new US dollar-denominated fund that allows investors to participate in a diversified portfolio of exchange-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) across the Asia-Pacific region.

Manulife’s Asia Pacific Property Income Fund (APPI) gives exposure to REITs in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Thailand and Malaysia.

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REIT gives investors the option to invest directly in finished projects that are already earning money, such as residential and office units, hotels or shopping malls or even infrastructure ventures like toll roads and power plants. This was meant to attract investors to recycle capital through the distribution of a large portion of the income.

In a press statement, Manulife said investors of APPI could enjoy the following benefits: twice-a-year income payouts, potential long-term capital appreciation, access to a diversified real estate portfolio and liquidity.

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As REITs are investment instruments which work similar to mutual funds, they make it possible for average investors to put their money in assets that would otherwise be unaffordable or inaccessible to them if they were investing on their own. REITs earn from rental income on the real estate properties they invest in.

“(APPI) is also a very good instrument to hedge against inflation. With APPI, customers can grow their investments, be protected with life insurance coverage, and even enjoy semi-annual payouts,” said Ryan Charland, president and chief executive of Manulife Philippines. “We develop innovative solutions like this to make it easier for Filipinos to make financial decisions that will help improve their lives,” he added.

APPI is a feeder fund that invests in Manulife Asset Management and Trust Corp.’s Asia Pacific REIT Fund of Funds. It is available through the following single-pay variable insurance products: Manulife Affluence Gold, Manulife Affluence Max Gold and Manulife Affluence Max Elite.

A variable insurance product means that investment returns depend on the market performance of the fund where the premium is invested in. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

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