Two top SCMP fund manager laurels to JF Asset Management


JF Asset Management has won two of the top four prizes in the South China Morning Post Fund Manager of the Year Awards 2000.

The awards are made to groups with the best performing funds in four different time frames – one, three, five and 10 years.

JF Asset Management won the awards for five and 10 years, Citigroup Asset Management for three years and Goldman Sachs (Asia), for one year.

Another 106 awards were made to individual funds in 36 categories.

In presenting the awards, Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said the investment fund industry had registered strong growth in Hong Kong.

"In the five years to December 2000, the number of authorised funds grew from about 1,200 to nearly 2,000, a rise of more than 60 per cent," he said.

"But the net asset value of those funds grew from US$82 billion to about US$311 billion, an increase of almost 280 per cent.

"The industry is growing well and, I believe, it will continue to do so."

Mr Tsang said Hong Kong’s funds industry had been boosted by the introduction of the Tracker Fund and the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF).

Annual MPF contributions were expected to be about HK$10 billion initially and to reach HK$60 billion after 30 years.

Strong growth was expected in China’s investment funds industry following its accession to the World Trade Organisation.

Mr Tsang said the mainland has 40 closed-end funds operated by 14 companies.

"Compare this with the nearly 2,000 authorised funds available in Hong Kong and you will realise the enormous potential for growth in the mainland," he said.

Fund managers had a difficult year in 2000 as equities struggled against concerns about rising inflation in the United States and the bursting of the technology stock bubble last spring.

"The year 2000 was a particularly tough one for fund managers," said South China Morning Post business editor Grant Clelland.

"This year’s winners demonstrate that even in such tough times, it is possible to make money if you know the right places to invest – a tribute to good fund management."

The judging of the awards was carried out by Standard & Poor’s Fund Services.