KOTA KINABALU: Former Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the recent economic downturn
hitting the region has failed to stop the unit trust industry from growing.
This had given positive indications of a brighter future prospect for the industry,
considering that the number of unit trust companies as well as the variety of unit trust funds had increased significantly over the last few years, he added.
According to him, the industry has a lot of room to grown in the country, taking into
account that total funds managed made up a mere 8.76 per cent of total market capitalisation of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.
The comparative percentages like the United States, United Kingdom and Japan range from 20
to 40 percent, he said.
Yong said this while officiating at the opening of Pacific Mutual Fund Berhad's first
agency office in Sabah, here, Saturday.
He noted there were 34 unit trust companies in the country offering more than a hundred
unit trust funds to the public.
Yong, who is Gaya MP said units in circulation increased 13 percent last year from 46.5
billion to 52.6 billion while the value of funds under management also rose strongly by 12 percent from RM38.7 billion to RM43.3 billion.
"What is even more encouraging is last year saw 300,000 new investors, raising the
total number to 8.9 million by the end of 1999," he added.
He also noted the increasing number of unit trust management companies offering basic
financial planning services.
Investors would now receive one-on-one help to identify their personal financial needs,
rank their priorities, assess their risk profile and allocate their investments over a variety of unit trust funds to meet their financial goals according to their
risk tolerance, he said.
He described such facilities as a huge leap in the right direction of offering the public
financial solutions rather than mere products.
"The increased professionalism of unit trust consultants will no doubt raise the image
and credibility of the unit trust industry and spur its further growth, all for the good of the Malaysian economy," Yond said.
Also present was Pacific Mutual Fund Bhd assistant general manager (business development)
Roy Soon Chen Loy.