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Infrastructure, Investments

Fine-tuned infrastructure fund launched

unhedged international infrastructure

A global equities manager has launched an unhedged infrastructure income fund replicating its hedged version to give investors greater flexibility.

Global fund manager ClearBridge Investments has added to its suite of products by launching an unhedged international infrastructure fund.

The new offering is a revised version of its hedged Rare Infrastructure Income Fund with no foreign exchange protection overlay. The existing hedged version of the fund has exceeded the annual return benchmark by 4.4 per cent since its inception in 2009.

Like the hedged version of the fund, the new product will again invest in assets that generate predictable income streams, including gas, electricity, renewables, toll-roads, airports and communication infrastructure.

According to the manager, the fund is aiming to outperform the OECD G7 Inflation Index by 5.5 per cent yearly net of fees over a five-year investment period.

Further, it is looking to provide additional diversification benefits to portfolios through its lower beta and correlation with global equities, and it incorporates a defensive characteristic.

“The decision to create an unhedged version of the popular infrastructure income fund reflects feedback from both institutional and retail investors who demanded greater choice and flexibility to invest in our funds and traditionally manage their own currency risk,” ClearBridge Investments portfolio manager Charles Hamieh said.

“The new unhedged fund has a minimum investment of A$20,000 and is accessible via most major investment platforms used by the advisory industry.

“The fund will typically invest in 30 to 60 stocks spread across geographic regions both in the developed and emerging markets.”

In the 12 months to 31 May 2021, the hedged ClearBridge Rare Infrastructure Income Fund returned more than 14 per cent annually. Since its inception in 2009, the offering has surpassed its benchmark by 4.4 per cent yearly, providing investors with an average return of 14.4 per cent a year.

The hedged version of the fund has $403 million in funds under management, while its unhedged counterpart manages $284 million.

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