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Active Portfolio Management
The management of funds where the investment manager chooses to buy and sell investments based on changes in the potential returns. Opposite of Passive Portfolio Management.
Annual Management Fee
A fee, calculated and accrued daily, based on the Gross Net Asset Value of the Fund paid by the trustee from the assets of a UTS to the UTMC for ongoing management of the UTS. The Gross Net Asset Value takes into account fees earned by (but not paid to) the UTMC up to the previous day. Annual management fees reduce the income of a UTS [see also Net Asset Value (NAV)].
Annual Growth Rate
Total return for a UTS over a year, or over a number of years, and averaged out to give an annual figure (usually as an annual compound rate of return).
Document accompanying a prospectus (or sometimes incorporated within a prospectus) of a UTS, which is completed by an investor prior to being forwarded to the UTMC with the investor’s application money. The application form, which contains the personal and other data necessary to record the investor as a unit holder in the register of unit holders of the UTS, is signed by the investor evidencing agreement to be bound by the terms of the trust deed.
The practice of spreading a portfolio of investments across a range of investment assets (i.e. asset classes), e.g. cash, bonds (or fixed income securities), equities and real property, to reduce the level of risk to match the risk tolerance of the investor.
A group of securities or other investment assets, e.g. equities, real property, cash or even artworks and antiques.
Assets of a UTS
Investments, amounts receivable (e.g. debtors for securities sold, amounts due from a UTMC for unit creations), dividends receivable, accrued income and cash.
Identification document held by a UTC. Evidence that the holder has met, and continues to meet, his or her obligations as set out by securities laws, the SC and FIMM, and is authorised to distribute units in a UTS.
An investment of a UTS that meets the restrictions on investment imposed under the terms of the trust deed. A trustee will refuse to settle the purchase of an investment that is not an authorised investment.
Distributions from a UTS may, at the election of the unit holder, be automatically reinvested in additional units in the UTS by the UTMC. The UTMC may reduce the initial service charge payable by an investor on the units acquired as a result of making such an election.
An investor who thinks market prices will fall. A bear market is one where there are more sellers than buyers and hence the prices of investments are falling. Opposite of Bull.
A generic description given to large and well-capitalised companies whose shares are listed on a stock exchange.
Debt security issued as evidence of a loan by the bondholder to the bond issuer. A bond issuer may be a government, government authority or corporation. The bondholder is entitled to repayment of the amount of the loan at some future time plus interest payable during the period of the loan.
An investor who buys investments in anticipation that prices will rise. A bull market is one where there are more buyers than sellers and hence the prices of investments are rising. Opposite of Bear.
Cancellation of Units
A cancellation (or liquidation) of units represents a decrease in the number of units in circulation of a UTS. A unit is cancelled by the trustee at the request of the UTMC and the trustee pays an amount from the assets of the UTS to the UTMC. The amount payable reflects the NAV of a unit, thereby maintaining the NAV of all units in circulation following the act of cancellation.
Loans repayable at short notice, e.g. bankers acceptances, call deposits (or equivalent Islamic products for Syariah-based UTS). In a UTS, notes and coins do not generally form part of the assets of the UTS.
After the purchase of units in a UTS, a unit holder may receive a certificate (or scrip). This is evidence of ownership. The certificate will show the number of units the unit holder holds in the UTS and will be signed by the trustee and the UTMC. Now commonly replaced by statements of units held in a UTS printed on request. Units of a UTS for which certificates are not issued are sometimes referred to as non-certificated units.
A UTS (or other collective investment vehicle) that does not offer a regular opportunity to attract investors through the issue of new interests in the UTS. An existing investor in a closed-end fund is usually required to sell his or her interests through a secondary market. Commonly associated with a UTS that invests in illiquid assets such as real property. The number of units in circulation of a closed-end fund is fixed at launch and sold over a short period. Opposite of Open-End Fund.
A UTS that has a limited number of units available. After those units are sold (which may take several years), the UTS is ‘closed’ and only units repurchased by a UTMC can be sold on to new investors.
A generic term for pooled investment products, such as a UTS, where a professional fund manager manages the investments on behalf of the investors, who are entitled to a share of the total return generated in proportion to the amount each contributed (usually measured in the form of units).
Amount payable by a UTMC to UTC for selling units in a UTS to clients and calculated as a percentage of the application amount (known as initial commission); or for continuing to provide service to clients who remain as unit holders in the UTS and calculated as a percentage of the value of the unit holder’s units paid at regular intervals (known as a trail commission).
A series of procedures and practices designed to ensure that both external laws and regulations applicable to an entity (such as a UTMC, trustee, UTS) and its internal rules are complied with.
The requirement imposed by the SC on a UTMC to offer a unit holder in a UTS the opportunity to reconsider, in not fewer than six business days of the date of purchase, his or her purchase of units in the UTS and receive a refund as per the Guidelines on Unit Trust Funds.
Creation of Units
A creation of units represents an increase in the number of units in circulation of a UTS. A unit is created in exchange for cash payable by the UTMC to the trustee for the account of the UTS. The amount payable reflects the NAV of a unit, thereby maintaining the NAV of all units in circulation following the act of creation.
The selling price of a unit in a UTS is cum distribution when it includes an entitlement to the next declared distribution. Opposite of Ex Distribution.
Usually the trustee (or a trustee-appointed bank or other financial institution responsible to the trustee), who has custody or safekeeping of securities and other assets of a UTS. Term is sometimes used interchangeably with ‘trustee’. A custodian has, however, fewer fiduciary responsibilities than a trustee.
The term used to describe the purchase and sale of units in a UTS by an investor through the UTMC of the UTS. Most unit trusts can be dealt in daily, i.e. each business day.
The legal document executed between the trustee of a UTS and the UTMC, which lays down the framework within which all the parties, including the unit holders, must operate. It specifies in detail how the UTS is to operate and be managed and how fees are to be charged. The investor agrees to be a party to the trust deed by completing and signing an application form for units in the UTS.
Securities the value of which is determined from another security. Examples include futures and options.
Payments or income distribution made to unit holders out of the accounting income of a UTS. Distributions are paid with an income tax credit reflecting tax payable on the income of the UTS. A unit holder can offset the credit against his or her tax liability or, if no tax liability exists, can reclaim the tax paid. A tax voucher issued to each unit holder by the UTMC contains the required information. At the investor’s request, the distribution can be paid or reinvested in additional units in the UTS (see Automatic Reinvestment).
The date when a distribution is paid to (or reinvested on behalf of) a unit holder in a UTS. This date is usually several weeks after the distribution has been announced. Most UTS pay distributions once a year.
Document provided to a unit holder who is entitled to a distribution from a UTS. Sets out the unit holder’s details, the number of units, the income entitlement, details of each part of the total distribution, and the amount paid or reinvested in additional units in the UTS.
A UTS will spread its assets among a number of investments (or asset classes) in order to reduce portfolio risk. Thus, the impact of losses incurred on some investments is expected to be offset by gains on those increasing in value. One of the major benefits of investment in a UTS.
Dollar Cost Averaging
An investment strategy whereby an investor invests the same amount of application money each period in a UTS, such that when unit selling prices are high fewer units are bought, and when unit selling prices are low more units are bought. By investing in such a way, the investor avoids placing all his or her funds in the market at either the top or the bottom of the market cycle, thereby reducing risk.
A fee charged by a UTMC to an investor in a UTS who sells his or her units in the UTS. Also called a redemption fee, repurchase charge or back-end load. The amount payable is usually a percentage of the NAV per unit from the sale of units, which is deducted from the proceeds prior to payment to the investor.
A UTS that predominantly invests in equities or shares. There are various types of equity trust classified according to the category of equities in which each invests, e.g. growth, income, international, small cap, etc.
Unit selling price of a UTS is quoted ‘ex distribution’ following the last day (record date) on which entitlement to a declared distribution of a UTS is available to investors. An investor buying units during the ex distribution period (which ends on the payment date) is not entitled to the distribution subsequently paid. An investor whose units are repurchased during that period is, however, entitled to receive that distribution.
Obligations to act in the best interests of another person or persons. A fiduciary must, for example, avoid any conflict of interest situation and should not make a ‘secret’ profit from his or her position. A UTMC and trustee of a UTS have fiduciary responsibilities to the holders of units in a UTS.
Method by which the price of units in a UTS (calculated from NAV determined at a specific valuation point) is applied by the UTMC to an investor’s application money to calculate the number of units allotted or to determine the proceeds from the investor’s sale of units. Under forward pricing, the price applied to an application for units or a repurchase of units is that determined at the next valuation point following receipt of the application form or repurchase request. Forward pricing is the SC’s preferred method for applying unit prices to dealings in units. Opposite of Historic Pricing.
An organisation or individual (or group of individuals) responsible for the investment management of the assets of a UTS. A UTMC may internalise its funds management by appointing its own staff to act as fund manager, utilise the services of a fund manager within another part of the corporate group of which it forms part, or appoint an external fund manager operating independently of the UTMC.
Financial contracts (or derivatives) that give the holder the obligation to buy or sell a certain commodity or financial instrument at a fixed price at a specified date in the future. A UTS may invest in futures contracts (within strict guidelines imposed by the SC) for hedging purposes only.
A method of acquiring units in a UTS with borrowed money. The lender usually takes security for the loan against the units acquired. The borrower (i.e. the investor) expects to earn a total return from the units acquired that is in excess of the cost of borrowing. Gearing considerably increases the investor’s risk.
A UTS which expects to pay a very low annual distribution (if any) and concentrates on investing with a view to increasing the price of the units by focusing on growth assets such as shares and real property.
Term used to describe investment transactions taken by a UTMC to protect an existing portfolio of a UTS against adverse fluctuations in the prices of those investments. Fund managers can choose between various methods including futures, options and forward rate agreements.
Method by which the price of units in a UTS (calculated from NAV determined at a specific valuation point) is applied by the UTMC to an investor’s application money to calculate the number of units allotted or to determine the proceeds from the investor’s sale of units. Under historic pricing, the price applied to an application for units or a repurchase of units is that determined at the last (most recent) valuation point prior to receipt of the application form or repurchase request. Historic pricing is not the SC’s preferred method for applying unit prices to dealings in units and can only be used when variations to NAV are within SC-determined limits. Opposite of Forward Pricing.
Amount of income of a UTS for an accounting period from which the directors of the UTMC of the UTS decide (with the approval of the trustee) the amount of the distribution that is to be payable to, and divided equitably amongst, unit holders in the UTS. The income entitlement of each unit holder in a UTS is determined in accordance with the trust deed. Most commonly, a distribution amount (in sen per unit) is applied to the number of units each unit holder holds on the record date. Alternatively, a unit holder’s income entitlement may be determined on a unit day entitlement basis. Other methodologies of determining a unit holder’s income entitlement may be described within a trust deed of a UTS. The difference between the amount of income of a UTS and the distribution to unit holders is carried forward to future years.
Income of a UTS
Amount of dividends, interest, rents, realised net capital gains, etc derived from the assets of a UTS, less expenses included within the Management Expense Ratio and taxation, and plus equalisation that is available for distribution to unit holders in a UTS.
A UTS whose main aim is to produce income rather than capital growth for unit holders. The UTS would invest in assets, such as shares that pay a high dividend and fixed income investments. Income funds expect to pay a high level of regular distributions to investors.
A passively managed UTS that attempts to capture the returns of a stock exchange index comprising shares (or bonds) by holding shares (or bonds) in the same composition as that of the index. This allows the total return of the UTS to closely track the performance (total return) of the index.
Initial Offer Price
This is normally associated with the launch of a UTS. When a UTMC decides to launch a UTS, it normally sets aside about three weeks as the initial offer or selling period. During this period, it will sell units at a fixed price, usually at an initial offer price of RM1.00 per unit. Following the close of the initial offer period, the selling price of units may fluctuate in line with the NAV of the UTS.
Initial Service Charge
A sales charge or entry fee levied by a UTMC on the initial purchase of a UTS. The charge is sometimes called a ‘load’ or ‘front end load’, sales or entry charge. The charge can be expressed either as a fixed amount or calculated as a percentage of the NAV of a unit.
An organisation (such as a UTMC, insurance company, pension or provident fund, or a fund manager who invests on behalf of such investors) that invests either its own assets or the assets of others (which are usually held on trust).
An asset held purely for the purpose of generating income and/or capital growth.
Group of individuals (minimum of three) whose role is to formulate, implement and monitor investment management policies of a UTS in accordance with the objectives of the UTS and in compliance with the trust deed, securities laws, Guidelines, regulations and internal rules, and to ensure that the investments are properly managed. A UTS must appoint an Investment Committee of which at least one-third of the members must be independent of the UTMC.
The amount of a UTS’ assets that is not invested. Liquidity is also referred to as ‘cash’ or ‘cash available for investment’
Lump Sum Investment
A one-off receipt of application money for investment into a UTS (see Regular Savings Plan).
Management Expense Ratio (MER)
The sum of the expenses charged to, or paid by, a UTS during an accounting period (excluding certain costs such as brokerage on acquisitions and disposals of investments, and taxation), divided by the average NAV of the UTS during that period. Usually expressed as a percentage. The MER is a summary of the ongoing expenses incurred by a UTS, which act as a drag on the investment performance of the UTS. Calculated by the UTMC, usually each year in arrears, and disclosed to investors in a prospectus for the UTS.
A single prospectus containing an invitation to investors to acquire units in more than one UTS.
Money Market Fund
A UTS in which assets are held entirely as cash (i.e. money market instruments with a maturity of less than 12 months). Objective of the UTS is to offer investors access to higher rates of interest usually available in the institutional money market compared to those obtainable from retail banks and similar financial institutions. Also known as a ‘cash management trust’ or ‘money fund’.
A collective investment vehicle commonly found in the United States. Similar to a UTS but usually structured as an open-end investment company.
Net Asset Value (NAV)
The value of the underlying investments held in the portfolio of a UTS (based on quoted last sale or mid¬market prices), together with other assets, less liabilities. When divided by the number of units in circulation, the result is the NAV of the UTS per unit (quoted in ringgit). It is the starting point in the determination of unit selling and repurchase prices.
A collective investment vehicle operated outside the jurisdiction of the Malaysian authorities.
A UTS (or other collective investment vehicle) that offers regular (often daily) opportunities to invest through the issue of interests in the fund. An investor is normally required to apply on the basis of a prospectus, which must meet regulatory requirements, issued by the promoter of the fund. An investor is able to sell back his or her interests in the fund to or through the promoter and hence, the fund invests predominantly in assets that are traded on secondary markets or which are otherwise readily liquid. The number of units in circulation of an open-end fund is not fixed. Opposite of Closed-End Fund.
A financial contract (or derivative) that gives the holder the right but not the obligation to buy (i.e. receive) or sell (i.e. deliver) a certain commodity or financial instrument at a fixed price at a specified date in the future. An amount paid for an option that is not exercised is lost. Exchange Traded Options are options over listed equities, which are usually bought and sold on an exchange prior to the expiry date to close an existing position (rather than be exercised). A UTS may invest in options (within strict guidelines imposed by the SC).
Passive Portfolio Management
The management of funds where the investment manager buys and sells investments comprising an index without regard to their potential, and with a view to achieving total returns equal to that of an index. Generally, the investment manager makes no judgement on the merits or otherwise of individual investments held in the portfolio. Opposite to active portfolio management.
A holding of various investments structured in such a way as to meet the owner’s (for example, a UTS) investment objectives, e.g. by asset class or by investment sector within an asset class.
Portfolio Turnover Ratio
The result derived from adding total purchases of investments to total sales of investments in a UTS for a period and dividing by two, and further dividing the quotient by the average value of the UTS for that period. A Portfolio Turnover Ratio of one means that 100% of the portfolio of the UTS has been turned over or ‘sold’ that period. A measure designed to indicate the relative degree to which a UTS is aggressively managed or traded.
The legal document (lodged and approved by the SC) that describes the investment objectives, risks, investment limitations, policies, services and fees of a UTS. It must be made available to all investors who wish to invest in UTS and must comply with the securities laws and the SC’s Guidelines prior to issue. Issued by a UTMC whose directors take sole responsibility for its content. Has a life of no more than 12 months from the date of issue.
Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
A UTS that invests in real property. Various types of property trust exist, usually classified (especially overseas) according to the categories of property in which each invests (eg. commercial, retail). However, many do invest more generally, i.e. in several categories. A property trust is usually listed, since the illiquidity and non-divisibility of real property makes it otherwise difficult for unit holders to sell units to the UTMC prior to cancellation with the trustee and the release of UTS assets.
Land and buildings held by a property trust for the benefit of unit holders. Returns generally include rent (net of expenses) and capital appreciation as the value of the land and buildings grows or as development of the land and buildings occurs.
Regular Savings Plan
A periodical payment (usually monthly or per pay period) of application money for investment into a UTS. Usually payments are made by direct debit, standing order, or by payroll deduction to the UTMC for investment on the applicant’s behalf (see Lump Sum Investment).
The unit price at which a UTMC buys back units in a UTS from a unit holder who wishes to sell his or her units. Sometimes referred to as the ‘bid price’ or ‘buying price’.
Individuals who invest their savings either directly in the financial markets, or indirectly through collective investments such as a UTS. Retail investors are the major target market for most UTMC. The major advantages of indirect investment are the ability to spread risk across a range of investments or asset classes and the professional management of those investments at a reasonable cost, given the smaller investment amounts contributed by retail investors.
In lending, it is the extra payment imposed by the lender or promised by the borrower over and above the loan. In trading, it is mostly the difference in weight in the exchange of gold of different measures of purity, e.g. 10gm of 750 gold with the 8gm of 835 gold; or the difference in time between payment and delivery in foreign currency exchange, e.g. payment of RM10,000 at 10.00am and delivery of USD3,800 at 3.00pm on the same date.
The volatility of an investment, or the probability that the investment will lose value. A UTS investing in bonds (where the regular interest receipts and capital return at maturity are more predictable) is likely to be less volatile than a UTS investing in equities (where the dividends and ultimate value on disposal are considerably less predictable). The probability of an investor losing all or part of his or her investment when investing in an equity UTS is therefore likely to be greater than when investing in a bond UTS. By contrast, a fixed term deposit with a major bank is an investment with no capital volatility and low repayment risk, and therefore is an investment with negligible risk.
The ability of an investor to accept the risk of loss, either temporarily or permanently (i.e. total loss), of his or her investment capital. The risk tolerance of an investor depends on a number of factors, including the period of time for which the investment can be retained before disposal.
A system used in regulating capital markets where the government regulator (e.g. the SC) delegates some of its duties and powers (e.g. to discipline) in relation to a section of the capital market to an organisation (e.g. an industry body), which is permitted to regulate itself (at least partly).
The price at which units in a UTS are sold to the public by the UTMC.It should be the NAV per unit of the UTS and sometimes referred to as the ‘offer price’ or ‘sell price’.
Addition to a current prospectus required by law to be issued by the directors of a UTMC to ensure that the original prospectus continues to be compliant with the law. Changes during the life of a prospectus may have the effect of making the prospectus misleading to potential investors and therefore non-compliant with the law. A supplementary prospectus must accompany the original prospectus but cannot extend the life of the original prospectus.
Fiqh or Islamic Law comprising the whole body of rulings pertaining to human conduct derived from the rulings’ respective particular evidences. The respective particular evidences are the sources of the Syariah, the primary sources being the Quran, Sunnah, ijma and qiyas, and the secondary sources being the method of reasoning applied by Muslim jurists in their ijtihad (personal reasoning).
Group of individuals (minimum of three) who ensure that a UTS is managed and administered in accordance with Syari’ah principles. A UTS
Sukuk (Islamic Bond)
Plural of sok, it is being used in the singular to refer to a document or certificate evidencing an undivided pro-rate ownership of an underlying asset. It is a capital market financial instrument traded in the secondary market.
A repurchase of units in a UTS by a UTMC at the request of a unit holder and the immediate reinvestment of the repurchase proceeds as application money into a different UTS managed by the same UTMC. A UTMC may reduce the initial service charge in relation to an application that is part of a switch.
An Islamic insurance protection plan based on Syariah principles. A person becomes a participant by undertaking a contract of tabarru’ and paying a participative contribution (tabarru’) to a common takaful fund, whereby he allows his contributions to be used to help other participants whenever they suffer defined losses. The commercial contracts of Mudharabah and Wakalah are incorporated into tabarru’ contracts to increase the size of the takaful fund.
The return accruing to a unit holder in a UTS from distribution entitlements (if any) plus or minus the difference between the price per unit paid for units (selling price) and the price obtainable on selling units (repurchase price) during the period of ownership. As a better indicator of investment performance of a UTS (e.g. for comparison with a benchmark), it is common to exclude any entry fee paid by an investor by taking the buy price on both the date of purchase and the date of sale.
An organisation (such as a subsidiary of a bank or other financial institution) approved by the SC to act on behalf of unit holders in a UTS. The role of the trustee is to ensure that the UTMC adheres to the conditions laid down in the trust deed (and securities laws and regulations) and to protect unit holders’ interests. The trustee holds the assets of a UTS in its own name or under its control through a custodian.
A single interest in a UTS. Each unit in a UTS is equivalent to any other unit (especially in value) and has the same rights and entitlements, e.g. to vote and to share in the income and capital of the UTS. In many respects, but not all, similar to a share in a limited liability company.
Unit Trust Consultant (UTC)
A UTC is a person who distributes units in UTS managed by UTMC. A UTC must pass a qualifying examination conducted by a body approved by the SC or a recognized self-regulatory organization.
Investor in a UTS and owner of interests in the UTS. The number of units held represents the extent of an investor’s interest in the UTS. In some, but not all respects, similar to a shareholder of a limited liability company.
Division of a single unit of a UTS into several units, the total value of which is exactly equal to the value of the unit prior to the split. A unit valued at RM2 would become two units of RM 1 each following a 2 for 1 split. The objective of a split is to make the selling price of a unit more attractive to potential investors; a lower selling price following the split means an investor would be allotted a greater number of units in the UTS for a given amount of application money. A split does not increase or decrease the NAV of the UTS or the value of unit holders’ interests in the UTS.
Units in Circulation
The total number of units in a UTS at a point in time. The SC approves the maximum number of units in a UTS that a UTMC may have in circulation. As the number of units issued to investors in the UTS approaches the maximum, the UTMC may apply to the SC for an increase in the maximum. Method by which the SC monitors the growth of the industry and, more significantly, UTMC with a view to protecting investors from the effects of unbridled expansion beyond the capacity and capabilities of a UTMC.
Type of collective investment vehicle established under a trust deed. The preferred structure of investors, particularly retail investors, in Malaysia for the benefits of pooled investment.
A UTS, the units of which are not listed on a recognised market. An investor may buy units in an unlisted UTS through a PDUT or directly from the UTMC. The UTMC sells units in a UTS to, and repurchases units from, investors as principal.
The market or assessed value of an investment held by a UTS used to determine the NAV of the UTS. The market value of an investment is usually obtained from an external pricing service that obtains actual prices at which trades have been transacted on a market such as Bursa Malaysia. The assessed value of an investment is a ‘fair’ value as determined by a skilled valuation specialist such as a real estate valuer, fixed interest dealer or, less commonly, by the auditor of a UTS.
The point in time at which the NAV of a UTS is determined by reference to market prices and from which the selling price and repurchase price of a UTS are calculated.
The current yield of a UTS is the amount of the most recent distribution for an accounting period of 12 months generated by the UTS (in sen per unit) divided by the selling price of a unit in the UTS. It is usually quoted gross (i.e. before the investor is subject to income tax on the distribution). The distribution amount used in the calculation is after all fees included in the MER have been deducted from the gross income of the UTS (see also Total Return).