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September 2nd, 2012:

Australia: Big Tobacco Crashes At First Legal Hurdle On Plain Packaging

Download PDF : australia-big-tobacco-plain-packaging-legal-suit-2012

HSBC underperforming fund invests in Philip Morris International

SCMP Laisee 02 Sep 2012

Recently we noted the lamentable performance of MPF funds over the past 12 years – an average of 16.75 per cent, compared with the tracker fund, which has gained 75 per cent over the same period. A reader has complained to us after scrutinising his HSBC North American Equity Fund. This MPF fund provides exposure to US equity markets at a cost of 2 per cent a year, which is not cheap given that the SPY US index tracker charges 0.19 per cent a year. The largest component of this fund is the HSBC Index tracker – American Index fund (14.6 per cent of the fund). Looking at the HSBC American index tracker in more detail, we see that it charges 0.53 per cent. So, HSBC charges those that invest in its MPF vehicle 2 per cent per annum to buy another HSBC tracker that itself charges 0.53 per cent. It’s not hard to see who’s benefiting from this cosy arrangement. Then if we look at the largest holdings of the HSBC’s US tracker fund (Apple, IBM, Chevron, Microsoft, AT&T) we see there is a remarkable similarity to the largest holdings in HSBC’s North American MPF vehicle. So HSBC’s MPF vehicle buys its own tracker fund (thus increasing its fee income) and then buys further US stocks that more or less replicate the tracker fund. The term “ripped off” comes to mind.

Download PDF : HSBCPMI