DBS Asset Management launches DBS absolute return Fund

Teams Up with Alternative Investment Specialist Ivy Asset Management a Subsidiary of The Bank of New York

Move Further Expands Suite of DBS Wealth Management Solutions for Customers

SINGAPORE, JANUARY 22, 2003 ? DBS Asset Management (DBSAM) today announced the launch of the DBS Absolute Return Fund, its first in a series of alternative investment solutions for investors, to be distributed exclusively by DBS Bank.

Some investors have become averse to prolonged and excessive market volatility. Particularly for those impatient with the prolonged negative returns on the stockmarket, the focus is increasingly shifting towards absolute, rather than relative, returns, said Joseph Tern, Executive Director of DBSAM. The introduction of this new asset class will serve as a booster to retail investors? overall portfolio performance, after three years of weak equity market performance.

The initiative is also a perfect fit with DBS? move to deepen and broaden its wealth management solutions for its customers.

Elsie Foh, Managing Director and Head of Business Segments, Consumer Banking Group Singapore at DBS said: We are committed to taking a customer-focussed, needs-driven approach to provide customers with a diverse and innovative range of wealth management offerings tailored to their varying needs. Now, our customers have another innovative investment offering available to them, which capitalises on the synergies of both our asset management and treasury and markets teams, as well as the expertise of a leading global specialist.

Our customers will be guided through a needs analysis process before we recommend appropriate investment options for their consideration.

DBSAM has teamed up with US-based Ivy Asset Management, which will act as the fund?s advisor, to offer investors access to one of the world?s leading alternative investment experts.

Absolute return funds seek to deliver returns independent of how fixed income, cash and equity markets perform. This differs from traditional unit trusts, where performance is usually pegged to a benchmark as well as the direction of markets. Managers of absolute return funds are typically able to employ flexible investment strategies and invest in a wide range of assets to extract positive returns from market inefficiencies. The skill of the fund manager is therefore integral to the performance of such funds.

Fully owned by the Bank of New York, Ivy is one of the most established managers in this arena with over 18 years? experience. It is ranked among the top 10 alternative investment management firms globally in terms of assets under management, handling in excess of USD$6.2 billion of investor capital as of October 1, 2002.

The value proposition of funds delivering absolute returns is compelling, but the nature of its risks differs from traditional equity funds. For this reason, we have devoted an extensive amount of resource, time and effort in selecting a preferred partner who can work with us to deliver the most appropriate solution for our customers, said Tern.

To be managed by DBSAM, the DBS Absolute Return Fund will be offered to retail investors, as well as institutional clients, with a minimum initial subscription of either S$5,000 for the capital guaranteed version or S$20,000 for the non-guaranteed option.

For the DBS Absolute Return Fund, DBSAM has excluded volatile strategies like global macro, commonly associated with volatile hedge funds, managed currencies and short selling to build a customised product that has a high quality return profile coupled with low volatility, added Tern.

Tern noted that absolute return funds are the fastest growing asset class globally, with the potential to be a significant asset class in Asia in time to come.

Jeffrey Lindenbaum, Managing Director of Products and Markets at Ivy Asset Management, believes the Asian market is ripe for this product category. We believe that Asian investors will welcome the chance to garner the benefits of investing in alternative investment funds, he said. Ivy Asset Management?s extensive experience and investment track record can help investors reduce the impact of market volatility on their investments and better manage their portfolio risk.

The DBS Absolute Return Fund will invest in a selection of over 20 underlying managers allocated to three broad strategies as follows:

The guaranteed version of the DBS Absolute Return Fund will pledge that the net asset value of each unit on maturity will not be less than the guaranteed amount, which will be S$1.00 per unit.

Both the guaranteed and non-guaranteed funds will be available from tomorrow, Thursday January 23, 2003 at all DBS/POSB branches until March 14, 2003. Investment forms and the prospectus are available online at

A fact sheet with details of the DBS Absolute Return Fund isenclosedfor reference.

DBS Bank is the largest bank in Singapore as measured by assets, with dominant positions in consumer banking, treasury and markets, securities brokerage, Singapore dollar loans, deposits, and equity and debt fund raising. Through its Dao Heng Bank and DBS Kwong On Bank operations, DBS Bank is the fourth largest banking group in Hong Kong. Beyond the anchor markets of Singapore and Hong Kong, DBS Bank serves corporate, institutional and retail customers through its operations in Thailand, The Philippines, and Indonesia. The Bank?s credit ratings are amongst the highest in the Asia-Pacific region. More information about DBS Group Holdings and DBS Bank can be obtained from our website.

DBS Asset Management (DBSAM) is one of the largest and most experienced investment management organisations in Singapore and South East Asia, managing over S$6 billion (approx. HK$27 billion) in assets for retail and private investors as well as institutional clients.

DBSAM has almost 20 years? experience in investment management, and more than half of its investment team has over 10 years of experience individually. An award-winning fund manager, DBSAM offers a full range of investment management solutions covering the entire risk spectrum of asset classes, with core competencies in Asian equities and fixed income. It also provides a comprehensive range of global investment solutions through strategic alliances with leading fund managers around the world. More information on DBSAM can be found on.

Ivy Asset Management Corp, a Registered Investment Advisor, is recognised as one of America?s leading multi-manager alternative investment specialists. It is one of the most established Fund of Hedge Fund managers with over 18 years experience, and is ranked among the top 10 fund of hedge fund asset management firms in the world based on assets under management. As of October 1, 2002, the firm managed in excess of USD$6.2 billion of investor capital. Its investor portfolio include multi-national insurance corporations, Fortune 500 companies, governmental and Taft-Harley pension plans, global investment banking firms, professional money mangers, foundations and endowments, and high net worth investors. Ivy Asset Management is 100 per cent owned by the Bank of New York. More information about Ivy is available at its website on.

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