FAQs

What is an Asset Management Company (AMC)?

An Asset Management Company (“AMC”) is a specialized financial institution that provides asset management services to both institutions and individuals.  In Pakistan, AMCs are licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) under the Non-Banking Finance Companies Rules, 2003 and Notified Entities Regulations, 2007.


What is a mutual fund?

A mutual fund is an investment vehicle comprising a pool of funds collected from many investors for the purpose of investing in securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments, securities, treasury notes and other capital markets instruments.  In Pakistan, Mutual funds are legally established in the form of a Trust, under the Trusts Act of 1882 (preferred & new system) or a company formed under The Companies Ordinance 1984 (old system).  All assets of the mutual fund are held by an independent trustee and the AMC only serves as a portfolio manager for the mutual fund.


What is the SECP?

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) was established under Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Act, 1997, with a mandate to regulate the corporate sector, capital markets, insurance companies and other non-banking finance companies.  The SECP has oversight of various external service providers to the corporate and financial sectors, including chartered accountants, credit rating agencies, corporate secretaries, brokers, surveyors and other related entities.

The predecessor to the SECP was the Corporate Law Authority (CLA).


 

What types of funds are available in Pakistan?
What is an open-end fund?
What is a closed-end fund?

Open-end Funds: Continually issue new units and redeem outstanding units on investor request.  The unit holders buy units of the fund and may redeem them at the published Net Asset Value (NAV).  Typically, these funds have a perpetual lifespan.  The asset management company launches the fund and continues to remain the counter party in the sales and purchase transactions with the unit holder, as in if the investor wishes to buy or sell units of the fund they contact the AMC which then submits the information to the Trustee.

Closed-end Funds: Fixed number of share certificates issued by the fund, the units trade in the stock markets.  Market price of the unit certificates is determined by their demand and supply and they are not necessarily traded at the NAV.  Though many of these funds have a perpetual lifespan, others have a limited lifespan.  The asset management company launches the fund and no longer remains the counter party in the sales and purchase transactions with the unit holder, so when an investor wishes to buy or sell units of the fund they have to find a buyer or seller on the stock exchange.

 


What are the factors that influence the performance of Mutual Funds?

The performance of a mutual fund is directly influenced by its portfolio investments. For example, the performance of an equity fund is the result of its investments in stocks, and hence is influenced by the performance of the stock market and in particular the stocks in the portfolio.

Interest rates and the credit quality influence the performance of Income Funds. As interest rates fall, prices of underlying securities rise and vice versa thus affecting the value of the portfolio. 


What are loads?

A mutual fund often charges an entry and/or exit fee. These are also referred to as sales loads. The proceeds of such charges/ load helps the AMC market the fund and cover distributions costs.

  • Front-end load is charge when investors purchase units.
  • Back-end load is charge when investors redeem/sell their units.
  • No-load funds are sold with no sales loads. Askari Sovereign Cash Fund (ASCF) is an  example of a no load fund.

What kind of risk is involved with mutual funds?

Investments in Mutual Funds are subject to market risks.  The value of the units may go up or down based on the investment portfolio of the fund and market conditions.  A fund that aims to achieve a high level of growth will be more volatile than one whose objective is to preserve the original capital.  Complete details regarding the risk associated with the investment in the fund are provided in the offering document.

As a new investor how do I select a particular scheme?

Choice of any scheme would depend to a large extent on the investor preferences.

 

Investors interested in:

Should invest in:

High return and high risk

Equity Funds

Regular Income & Capital stability (low risk & medium to long term horizon)

Income Funds

Regular Income & Capital stability (low risk & short-term horizon)

Money Market Funds

An important aspect while selecting a particular scheme is the duration of the investment.  Depending on your time horizon you can select a particular scheme.  Besides all this, factors including management quality, sponsor background, objective of the fund, independent rating, and returns given by the funds on different schemes should be taken into account while selecting a particular scheme.


What is a Unit?

“Unit” means one undivided share in the Trust.  Each Unit Holder has a beneficial interest in the Scheme proportionate to the Units by such Unit Holder.


What is NAV?

Calculation:

The value of a unit of the mutual fund, known as the net asset value per share (NAV), is calculated daily based on the net value of assets divided by the number of units issued and currently outstanding.  Buying and selling into funds is done on the basis of NAV-related prices.  NAV is calculated as follows:

NAV = (Total Assets – Total Liabilities) / Total Number of Outstanding Units

Offer Price = NAV + load
Redemption Price= NAV – load