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Canadian investors gain access to ‘New India’ with launch of two investment strategies from Excel Funds

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Excel Funds Management has launched two India-focused mutual funds that seek to capitalise on the myriad of growth and income opportunities in the world's fastest-growing economy.

The Excel India Balanced Fund will target monthly cash distributions and long-term capital appreciation by obtaining exposure to an actively managed, diversified portfolio comprised primarily of publicly-listed equity securities and investment-grade fixed-income securities, in each case, issued by entities located in India. Initially, it will pay an attractive annual distribution, estimated to be in the range of 4 per cent.

"In addition to investing in Indian companies that are expected to benefit from domestic growth, the fund provides access to the Indian fixed-income market which, previously, was not readily accessible to Canadian investors," says Christine Tan, Chief Investment Officer with Excel Investment Counsel Inc. "The Indian fixed-income market offers attractive yields, underpinned by a liquid market and creditworthy issuers."

The Excel New India Leaders Fund seeks to maximise long-term growth of capital by investing in an actively managed portfolio comprised primarily of equity securities of companies located in India that are considered to be emerging leaders. From an investment universe of over 700 companies, the fund will target a concentrated set of under-researched and under-valued stocks to help generate alpha for investors.

"Mid- and small-cap companies tend to grow at a faster pace than larger companies during periods of strong economic growth, providing the scope for higher returns," says Tan. "These businesses are typically more nimble and entrepreneurial."

The two new funds will be part of an expanded lineup of India-focused investment strategies that includes the Excel India Fund, which is the largest and longest-running, India-focused mutual fund in Canada, and winner of the 2015 Lipper Fund Award for Best Fund over three years, in the Geographic Equity category.

The funds will be actively managed by Aditya Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company Pte Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company Limited, which is one of the largest and most respected asset managers in India, with US$20 billion in assets under management, as of 31 December, 2015.

"By being on the ground in India, Aditya Birla Sun Life's large team of portfolio managers and analysts has firsthand knowledge of the companies in which they invest, backed by a strong emphasis on in-house systematic research," says Bhim D. Asdhir, President and Chief Executive Officer of Excel Funds. "They can perform hundreds of onsite visits and management meetings prior to making investment decisions, providing a competitive edge in finding the best investment opportunities."

"Excel Funds has a longstanding track record of successful investing in India, dating back to 1998," notes Asdhir. "India's attractiveness as one of the top investment destinations in the world stems from the acceleration in its economic growth, buoyed by pro-business political and regulatory reforms; record levels of foreign investment; declining inflation; a strong currency; and increasing consumer demand resulting from rapid urbanisation."

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