KUALA LUMPUR: ValueCAP Sdn Bhd, an investment firm owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) and Permodalan Nasional Bhd, plans to increase its assets under management (AUM) to RM7.5 billion by year end, from RM5.2 billion currently. Its director Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad said this would be achieved on the back of the group's funds – a RM1 billion Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Index Fund that it plans to launch within the year as well as new mandates that it is trying to secure. "Our role is to provide product variety and we're looking forward to having a few more (funds) in the pipeline with foreign underlying (securities). This will be useful for domestic investors to have foreign exposure in their portfolio," he told a press conference after the listing of the MyETF MSCI SEA Islamic Dividend (MyETF-MSEAD) here yesterday. Its subsidiary i-VCAP Management Sdn Bhd listed the MyETF-MSEAD on Bursa Securities, making it the first Southeast Asia syariah exchange traded fund (ETF) and Malaysia's third syariah ETF. i-VCAP CEO Mahdzir Othman said it expects i-VCAP's AUM to reach RM1.5 billion by year end, from RM1.1 billion currently, via new and existing ETFs, wholesale funds and private mandates. "We certainly want to see at least a 50% increase (in AUM) from what we have now," said Mahdzir, adding that i-VCAP plans to launch another open ended, Islamic regional fund with a size of RM500 million this year. The MyETF-MSEAD is managed by i-VCAP and it is an open-ended fund with an approved fund size of 500 million units. The fund tracks the MSCI South East Asia IMI Islamic High Dividend Yield 10/40 Index, which comprises of up to 30 syariah-compliant dividend yielding stocks listed on the stock exchanges in Southeast Asia. Mahdzir said even though MyETF-MSEAD can be traded like stocks, its price movement is similar to a collective investment scheme or unit trust. However, the benefit for investors when they trade an ETF is that they will never have to incur any front-load or sales charge that are much higher than the trading charges on Bursa Securities. "With an ETF, investors will have immediate exposure to regional market in a convenient way." Pursuant to the closing of the subscription period on April 22, 2015, a total of 20 million units of MyETF-MSEAD have been created and subscribed by retail and institutional investors. "The subscription for MyETF-MSEAD during its initial offering period saw a marked improvement, doubling the subscription amount for our previous ETF launched last year. This reflects that there is growing interest by investors in ETF product and partly due to MyETF-MSEAD being the first regional syariah ETF to be listed," said Mahdzir. MyETF-MSEAD opened at RM1.005 on its trading debut, a slight premium to its net asset value (NAV) of 99.82 sen and the initial issue price of RM1 per unit. Mahdzir expects its price to be close to the NAV of the fund, which will be disclosed daily to investors via Bursa Securities and the MyETF Series' website. The fund closed 2% lower at 98 sen with 3,536 units traded on its opening day.