A LOCAL fund investment company is trying to remove the mystery behind investing in mutual funds overseas. Thornton Management (Asia) is offering market-specific unit trusts, such as the New Tiger Selection Fund. It is an authorised fund that can be sold as a unit trust, according to Thornton's joint managing director, Christopher Day. Comprising individual funds for 11 Southeast Asian countries, the Tiger funds allowed an investor to speculate. It enabled him to move funds from one country to another, Mr Day said. 'This allows the investor to be more risk-specific to a particular market,' he said. 'Because we have a fund for every Asian country with a stock market, it works like buying shares but it is in non-certificated form. 'You can move it around anywhere you like. You can be in Malaysia today and put half of your money into Thailand two weeks later. You can be very trading-oriented.' What speeds the process is the use of the Thornton Tiger Privilege membership card. It comes automatically with the minimum investment of US$2,000 (HK$15,400). It is simple to use. Members phone the Thornton trading line, quote their membership number and personal identification number (PIN) and give instructions on the transaction. The transaction fee is 0.5 per cent of the value transacted. Members are entitled to advice from the investment department. 'We are trying to make investment straight-forward,' Mr Day said. 'Our view is investment management, unit trusts and mutual funds is not a highbrow business restricted to people who buy Mercedes. 'It should be available to everybody, so that is why we keep the price at an affordable level. 'The difference between us and a private bank is that they will give you advice on a day-to-day basis. 'Investors have to have a level of knowledge to know whether they want to put their money in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia or wherever.' When asked about the performance of market this year, Mr Day replied 'horrid'. As of October 30, only the funds for Hong Kong (1.41 per cent), Korea (0.32 per cent), Singapore (0.23 per cent) and Sri Lanka (0.05 per cent) had maintained a positive performance. For next year, Mr Day was bullish on Japan. The turn-around signs of low interest rates would lead the country out of its four-year downturn. He said he liked Japan with a fund manager but not as an index. 'The short-term interest rates are lower than 0.5 per cent. This is the Bank of Japan providing as much liquidity as it takes to make the economy recover.' Mr Day said with all of the liquidity coming into the region, he was also bullish on Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea and possibly Sri Lanka.