CPFIS funds up for 3 straight quarters

They post average return of 1.32 per cent for the three-month period ending Dec 31

Funds included under the Central Provident Fund Investment Scheme (CPFIS) posted an average return of 1.32 per cent in the three months to Dec 31, marking three straight quarters in the black.

Unit trusts rose 2.36 per cent while investment-linked insurance products (ILPs) inched up 0.69 per cent, according to fund research firm Thomson Reuters Lipper yesterday.

Equities posted returns of 2.5 per cent, mixed-asset funds grew 0.51 per cent and money market funds increased 0.08 per cent.

But bonds posted negative returns of 2.65 per cent. During the same three-month period, the MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan Index fell 0.66 per cent while Citigroup WGBI TR dipped 3.08 per cent.

Mr Xav Feng, head of Asia-Pacific research at Thomson Reuters Lipper, urged investors to stay alert for potential surprises or uncertainty.

"President (Donald) Trump's economic policies are slated to affect the United States and global markets, as well as the pace of interest rate rises by the US Federal Reserve. Moreover, China's debt problem may be further alleviated as the country undergoes structural economic reform," he noted.

POTENTIAL RISKS

Investors are advised to stay on top of political and economic movements on a macro level and maintain a diversified portfolio to counteract potential risks.

MR XAV FENG, head of Asia Pacific research at Thomson Reuters Lipper.

"Investors are advised to stay on top of political and economic movements on a macro level and maintain a diversified portfolio to counteract potential risks."

CPFIS-linked funds performed better on a longer-term perspective.

The overall performance of these funds was up 4.82 per cent on average in the 12 months to Dec 31. Unit trusts grew 5.43 per cent while ILPs rose 4.46 per cent. On average, equities (5.7 per cent) outperformed bond offerings (2.39 per cent), mixed-asset (4.23 per cent) and money market funds (0.64 per cent).

Citigroup WGBI TR rose 3.47 per cent and MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index climbed 7.71 per cent in the same period.

CPFIS-included funds reported strong growth of 11.92 per cent on average for the three years to Dec 31 last year. This was accounted for by a gain of 13.56 per cent from the scheme's unit trusts and 11.07 per cent from ILPs. Equities were the lead gainer with growth of 13.22 per cent, while the money market portfolio posted 1.31 per cent on average.

MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan Index surged 15.88 per cent and Citigroup WGBI TR rose 11.56 per cent over the three years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2017, with the headline 'CPFIS funds up for 3 straight quarters'. Print Edition | Subscribe