Fund Openings, Closings, Manager Moves: Kinetics Fund to Focus on Asian Tech Stocks - TheStreet

Kinetics Asset Management

, the folks who brought you the currently sputtering

(WWWFX) - Get Report

Internet fund, is developing a new Asian tech fund that will be run by local managers.

The

Kinetics Asia Technology Fund

will invest in firms that can benefit from technological advances and derive significant revenue in Asian or Pacific Rim nations, excluding Australia and New Zealand, according to a preliminary prospectus with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

.

Kinetics has hired New York-based

UOB Global Capital

to run the fund. Thio Boon Kiat will hold the reins under the supervision of Daniel Chan. Both managers are based in Singapore. The filing doesn't note any previous retail U.S. fund management experience for either manager, but it does disclose that Kiat runs the firm's global tech/telecom sector team. Chan has more than 20 years of investment experience, according to the filing.

This will be the eighth stock fund the White Plains, N.Y.-based firm has rolled out to complement its flagship Internet fund. Due to its early success, the fund still boasts a 103% three-year annualized return, but it's down more than 26% this year, trailing 95% of its tech-fund peers, according to

Morningstar

.

Before turning to local experts for the Asian fund, Kinetics had taken a do-it-yourself approach with the slew of other funds it has rolled out. In-house managers currently run all the firm's stock funds, including the

Middle East Growth

fund and the

(WWWGX)

Global Growth fund. Most of Kinetics' new funds, including the Middle East Growth and Global Growth funds, are underwater so far this year.

While there are Asian funds and there are tech funds, there aren't many Asian tech funds. The market hasn't been kind to either this year. Since Jan. 1, the average Asia fund is down more than 14%, and the average tech fund is up 2.7%, according to

Lipper

. The

(MATFX) - Get Report

Matthews Asian Technology fund, which started at the end of 1999, is down 22.1% this year, according to the firm's Web site.

While the Kinetics Asian tech fund does look risky, it's relatively cheap. The fund won't charge a load, and its estimated 2.25% annual expense ratio is lower than the average Asia fund's 2.76%, according to Morningstar.

Janus Prepares for Sales Charges

Janus

has taken one more step toward launching funds that come with sales charges.

On Monday, the top-selling Denver-based shop filed a preliminary prospectus for its

Adviser Series

funds, which are actually new share classes added to 11 existing institutional funds sold under the

Aspen

brand name.

The Adviser Series funds will levy a 0.25% annual marketing fee, known as a

12b-1 fee, which will be used to pay financial advisers for selling the fund. The filing is dated July 31, indicating that's when Janus hopes the paperwork will be approved.

The popularity of the Janus' high-octane growth style is undisputed. The firm's assets have doubled over the past year and currently stand at some $290 billion. Consequently, the firm has had to close seven stock funds to new investors, leaving only nine stock funds open, including the soon-to-launch

Orion

.

Some of the Aspen funds getting Adviser share classes closely resemble Janus' popular and closed funds.

TSC

previewed the funds on April 5.

See Monday's

Fund Openings, Closings, Manager Moves.