A day in the life

Here for this generation and the next

United SGD Fund

Celebrating two decades of consistent returns

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The Chinese character ‘传’ (Chuán) often signifies passing on something of value to the next generation. The specially commissioned calligraphy of the Chinese character ‘传’ (Chuán) is by Mr Tan Rui Rong, 2013 UOB Painting of the Year Silver Award Winner (Established Artist).

The United SGD Fund:
What you need to know

The United SGD Fund is one of UOB Asset Management’s flagship funds. Managed by award-winning fund manager, Joyce Tan since 2007, it has grown into one of Singapore’s largest fixed income funds with a fund size of over S$1.4 billion (as of 31 May 2018). With stable returns and a low-risk profile, it is a universal fund that is suitable for investors looking to make their funds work harder for them.

Here are 20 key facts about the fund that an investor should know.

Fund Manager, Joyce Tan
Joyce Tan

Portfolio Manager, Senior Director and Head of Fixed Income Singapore, UOB Asset Management

Question 1

When was the fund launched?

The United SGD Fund was launched in 1998.

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Question 2

Who is the fund manager of United SGD Fund?

Joyce Tan, Senior Director and Head of Fixed Income Singapore, UOB Asset Management is the fund manager of the United SGD Fund.

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Question 3

What is the fund size?

The fund size of the United SGD Fund is at S$1.4 billion as of 31 May 2018. This makes the United SGD Fund one of the biggest fixed income funds in Singapore.

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Question 4

What does the fund invest in?

The fund aims to offer a regular, fixed income payout for investors by investing in global short-term, high quality investment-grade bonds, with the aim of providing a better yield than Singapore dollar deposits.

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Question 5

What are the fund’s top 5 holdings (%)?

The United SGD Fund’s top five holdings are

(as of 31 May 2018)

  • CHINA
    MINMETALS CORP REGS 12/99 VAR
    2.84%
  • HYUNDAI
    CAPITAL SERVICES REGS 09/20 2.625
    2.78%
  • FEDERAL
    INTERNATIONAL FI REGS 05/21 4.125
    2.77%
  • RHB BANK
    REGS 10/21 2.503
    2.77%
  • KOREA
    HOUSING FINANCE CO COVERED REGS 10/21 2
    2.73%
Question 6

How has the fund performed since inception?

The United SGD Fund (ACC) SGD’s annualised performance since inception is 3.19%* (before sales charge).

*Source: UOBAM as of 31 May 2018, SGD terms, on a NAV basis with dividends and distributions reinvested.

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Question 7

What is the fund’s benchmark?

The United SGD Fund’s benchmark is the 6-month Singapore Interbank Bid Rate (SIBID) benchmark.

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Question 8

How many awards has the fund won over the years?

The United SGD Fund has won 14 awards since 1999, including ‘Best Fund Over 3 Years’ in 2015 and ‘Best Fund over 5 and 10 years’ in the 2013 and 2014 The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards.

Joyce has received 12 personal accolades over the years for managing the United SGD Fund.

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Question 9

What is the fund’s winning investment strategy?

Interest rates fluctuate over time, making it difficult for traditional fixed income funds to deliver consistent returns. To overcome this challenge and smoothen out the impact of fluctuating interest rates, the United SGD Fund utilises a laddered investment strategy.

Essentially, the fund invests in investment grade bonds with different maturity dates across a three-year timeframe. This way, investment maturities of bonds are spread across one-year, two-year and three-year time frames. This strategy works both in environments of rising or falling interest rates.

In an environment of rising interest rates, the capital from matured bonds in the fund will be re-invested into higher yielding, shorter dated bonds. In an environment of lower interest rates, the capital stays invested in longer maturity bonds and continues to earn higher yields.

To further aid in delivering consistent returns, the United SGD Fund also invests in various bond securities covering a diverse geographical footprint and multiple sectors. It also invests in bonds denominated in different currencies for greater diversification. To minimise foreign exchange risk, all non-SGD exposures are hedged back to Singapore Dollar.

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Question 10

How has the fund’s investment approach changed since inception?

The United SGD Fund was one of the first funds to adopt a dynamic approach when investing for portfolios with base-currency in Singapore dollar as early as 2009. Unlike the conventional approach that considers SGD-denominated bonds only, the United SGD Fund aims to invest with no currency constraints. All non-SGD exposures are then hedged back to the Singapore dollar to insulate the portfolio from foreign exchange risk. This approach allows the fund to invest in an unlimited investment universe regardless of currency and markets. The diversification and effective relative valuation also led to better risk-adjusted returns. This dynamic approach gradually received recognition and eventually proved popular with both investors and markets that facilitated the stunning AUM growth of the fund from S$30 million in 2007 to over S$1.4 billion* – an increase of close to 50 times! The fund is currently one of the largest Singapore fixed income unit trusts.

In embarking on the new approach, the fund raised awareness of fixed income funds among local investors, showing that it is possible to combine stability, consistency and performance.

*Source: UOBAM (as of 31 May 2018).

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Question 11

Fixed income funds do not usually deliver high returns. What was the highest return that the fund delivered over the past 20 years?

The United SGD Fund achieved its highest return of 11.6%* in 2009, outperforming its benchmark 6-month Singapore Interbank Bid Rate (SIBID) return of 0.4%, on a net asset value basis.

On hindsight, 2009 marked the start of market recovery post-Global Financial Crisis that began in 2007/2008.  We saw an opportunity amid significant price dislocation in bond markets such as the SGD bond market, hard currency markets as well as convertible bonds of Singapore companies. The Fund switched out of government bills and bought into high quality bonds at significantly depressed prices with all non-SGD foreign exchange exposures duly hedged back to the Singapore Dollar. This allowed the fund to outperform the benchmark without compromising the overall credit quality of the portfolio.

* Source: Lipper as at end June 2018, SGD terms, on a NAV basis with dividends and distributions reinvested.

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Question 12

What about the fund’s worst year?

There was only one year during which the United SGD Fund recorded a negative return. This was during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, the worst year for global financial markets since the Great Depression.

The United SGD Fund posted a -0.64%* decline in value, compared with large declines in other major asset classes ranging from between -5% to -30% such as global bond funds and global equity funds.

*Source: Lipper as at end June 2018, SGD terms, on a NAV basis with dividends and distributions reinvested.

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Question 13

What is the dividend payout?

The United SGD Fund intends to make regular quarterly distributions* of 2% per annum.

*Past payout yields and payments of the scheme is not necessarily indicative of the future payout yields and payments. Distribution may be made out of the income, capital gains or capital of the relevant distribution class, and is expected to result in an immediate reduction of the NAV per unit.

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Question 14

What is the subscription fee and management fee?

The subscription fee is 2% and the annual management fee is 0.63%.

Please refer to the fund prospectus for more details on fees and charges.

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Question 15

Who are suitable investors of this fund?

The United SGD Fund is suitable for investors who seek to achieve a yield enhancement over Singapore dollar deposits with a 2 to 3 year investment horizon; and are comfortable with the volatility and risks of a bond fund which invests in money market and short term interest bearing debt instruments and bank deposits. Interested investors should consult your financial adviser if in doubt whether the Fund is suitable for you.

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Question 16

How many countries is the fund sold in?

The United SGD Fund is distributed in Singapore and Brunei.

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Question 17

What is the base currency of the fund?

The base currency of the United SGD Fund is the Singapore Dollar.

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Question 18

Where can I buy the fund?

Investors may purchase the fund at UOB branches and selected distributors.

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Question 19

UOBAM recently launched the United SGD Plus Fund. What is the difference between the United SGD Fund and the United SGD Plus Fund?

The United SGD Plus Fund launched because of the success of the United SGD Fund. While the United SGD Fund has been widely known to be a reliable and stable fixed income fund, there was growing appetite for a fixed income solution that provided higher risk-adjust returns.

The result was the development of the United SGD Plus Fund which has an absolute return focus with an aim to make regular monthly distributions of up to 4%* a year. Having the new United SGD Plus Fund managed by Joyce and her team provides additional assurance to investors.

*Based on its distribution policy, the United SGD Plus Fund intends to make regular monthly distributions of up to 4% p.a. The fund paid a distribution of 3.6% p.a. from January to March 2018. Past payout yields and payments of the scheme is not necessarily indicative of the future payout yields and payments. Distribution may be made out of the income, capital gains or capital of the relevant distribution class, and is expected to result in an immediate reduction of the NAV per unit.

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Question 20

What are the key milestones of the fund?

  • 2007
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2010
  • 2014
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2018

*Source: Lipper as at end June 2018, SGD terms, on a NAV basis with dividends and distributions reinvested.

#For more information on the United SGD Fund and United SGD Plus Fund, please refer to the respective Fund Prospectuses available on www.UOBAM.com.sg or you may obtain a copy of it from UOBAM or any of our authorised agents or distributors.

Read more on how our flagship United SGD Fund has thrived over market cycles

*Source: The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

  • Best Asia Fixed Income Fund House 2018 for UOBAM

    International Finance Awards 2018

  • Best of the Best Performance Awards

    - Asian Bonds (10 years performance)

    Asia Asset Management 2018, 2017 and 2014 Best of the Best Awards

  • Best Fixed Income Fund House

    Morningstar Awards Singapore 2017

  • iFast Best Selling Fund 2016 for United SGD Fund

    iFast Awards 2017

  • Top Selling Recommended Fund for the United SGD Fund

    Fundsupermart Choice Awards 2016

  • Best Fund Over 3 Years - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Dollar Bond Category)

    The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards 2015

  • Best Fund Over 10 Years - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Dollar Bond Category)

    The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards 2014

  • Best Fund Over 5 Years - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Dollar Bond Category)

    The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards 2014

  • Best Fund Over 10 Years - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Dollar Bond Category)

    The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards 2013

  • Best Fund Over 5 Years - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Dollar Bond Category)

    The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards 2013

  • Best Fund Over 5 Years - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Dollar Bond Category)

    The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards 2011

  • Best Fund Over 3 Years - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Dollar Bond Category)

    The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards 2011

  • Best Fund Over 5 Years - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Dollar Bond Category)

    The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards 2010

  • Best Fund Over 3 Years - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Dollar Bond Category)

    The Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund Awards 2010

  • Singapore Investment Fund Awards 2001
    - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Bond Category)

    Singapore Investment Fund Awards 2001

  • Singapore Investment Fund Awards 2000
    - United SGD Fund

    (Singapore Bond Category)

    Singapore Investment Fund Awards 2000

  • Manager of the Year 2018 (Asia Fixed Income)

    Benchmark Fund of the Year Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2018 in Asian Local Currency Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • Manager of the Year 2017 (Asia Fixed Income)

    Benchmark Fund of the Year Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2017 in Asian G3 Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2017 in Asian Local Currency Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2016 in Asian G3 Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2015 in Asian G3 Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2015 in Asian Local Currency Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2013 in Asian G3 Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2013 in Asian Local Currency Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2012 in Asian G3 Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2012 in Asian Local Currency Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • The Most Astute Investors 2011 in Asian Local Currency Bonds, Singapore

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

  • The Highly Commended Investor 2010 in Singapore Dollar Bonds

    The Asset Benchmark Research Awards

Important notes and disclaimer

This document is for general information only. It does not constitute an offer or solicitation to deal in units in the Fund (“Units”) or investment advice or recommendation and was prepared without regard to the specific objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person who may receive it. The information is based on certain assumptions, information and conditions available as at the date of this document and may be subject to change at any time without notice. No representation or promise as to the performance of the Fund or the return on your investment is made. Past performance of the Fund or UOB Asset Management Ltd (“UOBAM”) and any past performance, prediction, projection or forecast of the economic trends or securities market are not necessarily indicative of the future or likely performance of the Fund or UOBAM. Investments in Units involve risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested, and are not obligations of, deposits in, or guaranteed or insured by United Overseas Bank Limited (“UOB”), UOBAM, or any of their subsidiary, associate or affiliate (“UOB Group”) or distributors of the Fund. The Fund may use or invest in financial derivative instruments and you should be aware of the risks associated with investments in financial derivative instruments which are described in the Fund's prospectus. The UOB Group may have interests in the Units and may also perform or seek to perform brokering and other investment or securities-related services for the Fund. Investors should read the Fund’s prospectus, which is available and may be obtained from UOBAM or any of its appointed agents or distributors, before investing. You may wish to seek advice from a financial adviser before making a commitment to invest in any Units, and in the event that you choose not to do so, you should consider carefully whether the Fund is suitable for you. Applications for Units must be made on the application forms accompanying the Fund’s prospectus.

To find out more about the United SGD Fund and United SGD Plus Fund, please speak to our distributors or email UOBAM@UOBGroup.com