Prior to making an investment in any of the East West Bank Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs), East West Bank is hereby informing you of the nature of the UITFs and the risks involved in investing therein. As investments in UITFs carry different degrees of risk, it is necessary that before you participate/invest in these funds, you should have:
1. fully understood the nature of the investment in UITFs and the extent of your exposure to risks;
2. read this Risk Disclosure Statement completely; and
3. independently determined that the investment in the UITFs is appropriate for you.
There are risks involved in investing in the UITFs because the value of your investment is based on the Net Asset Value per unit (NAVpu) of the Fund which uses a marked-to-market valuation and therefore may fluctuate daily. The NAVpu is computed by dividing the Net Asset Value (NAV) of the Fund by the number of outstanding units. The NAV is derived from the summation of the market value of the underlying securities of the Fund plus accrued interest income less liabilities and qualified expenses.
INVESTMENT IN THE UITF DOES NOT PROVIDE GUARANTEED RETURNS EVEN IF INVESTED IN GOVERNMENT SECURITIES AND HIGH-GRADE PRIME INVESTMENT OUTLETS. YOUR PRINCIPAL AND EARNINGS FROM INVESTMENT IN THE FUND CAN BE LOST IN WHOLE OR IN PART WHEN THE NAVPU AT THE TIME OF REDEMPTION IS LOWER THAN THE NAVPU AT THE TIME OF PARTICIPATION. Gains from investment is realized when the NAVpu at the time of redemption is higher than the NAVpu at the time of participation.
Your investment in any of the East West Bank UITFs exposes you to the various types of risks enumerated and defined hereunder:
Interest Rate Risk. This is the possibility for an investor to experience losses due to changes in interest rates. The purchase and sale of a debt instrument may result in profit or loss because the value of a debt instrument changes inversely with prevailing interest rates.
The UITF portfolio, being marked-to-market, is affected by changes in interest rates thereby affecting the value of fixed income investments such as bonds. Interest rate changes may affect the prices of fixed income securities inversely, i.e. as interest rates rise, bond prices fall and when interest rates decline, bond prices rise. As the prices of bonds in a Fund adjust to a rise in interest rates, the Fund’s unit price may decline.
Market/Price Risk. This is the possibility for an investor to experience losses due to changes in market prices of securities (e.g., bonds and equities). It is the exposure to the uncertain market value of a portfolio due to price fluctuations.
It is the risk of the UITF to lose value due to a decline in securities prices, which may sometimes happen rapidly or unpredictably. The value of investments fluctuates over a given time period because of general market conditions, economic changes or other events that impact large portions of the market such as political events, natural calamities, etc. As a result, the Net Asset Value per Unit (NAVPU) may increase to make profit or decrease to incur loss.
Liquidity Risk. This is the possibility for an investor to experience losses due to the inability to sell or convert assets into cash immediately or in instances where conversion to cash is possible but at a loss. These may be caused by different reasons such as trading in securities with small or few outstanding issues, absence of buyers, limited buy/sell activity or underdeveloped capital market.
Liquidity risk occurs when certain securities in the UITF portfolio may be difficult or impossible to sell at a particular time which may prevent the redemption of investment in UITF until its assets can be converted to cash. Even government securities which are the most liquid of fixed income securities may be subjected to liquidity risk particularly if a sizeable volume is involved.
Credit Risk/Default Risk. This is the possibility for an investor to experience losses due to a borrower’s failure to pay principal and/or interest in a timely manner on instruments such as bonds, loans, or other forms of security which the borrower issued. This inability of the borrower to make good on its financial obligations may have resulted from adverse changes in its financial condition thus, lowering credit quality of the security, and consequently lowering the price (market/price risk) which contributes to the difficulty in selling such security. It also includes risk on a counterparty (a party the UIT Fund Manager trades with) defaulting on a contract to deliver its obligation either in cash or securities.
This is the risk of losing value in the UITF portfolio in the event the borrower defaults on his obligation or in the case of a counterparty, when it fails to deliver on the agreed trade. This decline in the value of the UITF happens because the default/failure would make the price of the security go down and may make the security difficult to sell. As these happen, the UITF’s NAVPU will be affected by a decline in value.
Reinvestment Risks. This is the risk associated with the possibility of having lower returns or earnings when maturing funds or the interest earnings of funds are reinvested.
Investors in the UITF who redeem and realize their gains run the risk of reinvesting their funds in an alternative investment outlet with lower yields. Similarly, the UIT fund manager is faced with the risk of not being able to find good or better alternative investment outlets as some of the securities in the fund matures.
In case of a foreign-currency denominated UITF or a peso denominated UITF allowed to invest in securities denominated in currencies other than its base currency, the UITF is also exposed to the following risks:
Foreign Exchange Risk. This is the possibility for an investor to experience losses due to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. The exchange rates depend upon a variety of global and local factors, e.g., interest rates, economic performance, and political developments.
It is the risk of the UITF to currency fluctuations when the value of investments in securities denominated in currencies other than the base currency of the UITF depreciates. Conversely, it is the risk of the UITF to lose value when the base currency of the UITF appreciates. The net asset value per unit (NAVpu) of a peso-denominated UITF invested in foreign currency-denominated securities may decrease to incur loss when the peso appreciates.
Country Risk. This is the possibility for an investor to experience losses arising from investments in securities issued by/in foreign countries due to the political, economic and social structures of such countries. There are risks in foreign investments due to the possible internal and external conflicts, currency devaluations, foreign ownership limitations and tax increases of the foreign country involved which are difficult to predict but must be taken into account in making such investments.
Likewise, brokerage commissions and other fees may be higher in foreign securities. Government supervision and regulation of foreign stock exchanges, currency markets, trading systems and brokers may be less than those in the Philippines. The procedures and rules governing foreign transactions and custody of securities may also involve delays in payment, delivery or recovery of investments.
Other Risks. Your participation in the UITFs may be further exposed to the risk of any actual or potential conflicts of interest in the handling of in-house or related party transactions by East West Bank. These transactions may include own-bank deposits; purchase of own-institution or affiliate obligations (stocks, mortgages); purchase of assets from or sales to own institution, directors, officers, subsidiaries, affiliates or other related interests/parties; or purchases or sales between fiduciary/managed accounts.