Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus PLC
New for 2019. A potential turnaround tale
This trust is not for the fainthearted. It has gearing of more than 12% of its net assets and invests in volatile Asian markets. The trust has found itself at the bottom of the performance league table, but a recent revamp gives us confidence in its future. It replaces the underperforming Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies.
In November 2018 Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies investment trust changed tack and was renamed Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus. It retains its focus on small companies, but it will be more concentrated, with the number of holdings falling from 80 to 60, 30 of which will be considered ‘core’.
Markuz Jaffe, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald says: “ is has helped further differentiate the fund from its peers and other Asian equity funds managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments, and could prove interesting when emerging markets, notably China, have been out of favour for much of 2018.”
Veteran Asia investor Hugh Young has been promoted to lead manager. The trust had previously been managed by a five strong team, including Young, in Singapore.
Young believes small firms in Asia, with their greater exposure to domestic markets, provide investors with a comparatively safe harbour from the trade disputes and currency fluctuations that have been dominating the news from the region. He likes quality companies that are well positioned to benefit from emerging technological trends and growing demand for better-quality products and services.
The trust has recently traded at a discount to net assets of 17%, which compares favourably with -10% or less during most of 2017, potentially offering investors a good Hugh Young entry point.
Narrative and ratings content all as of January 2019.See all Money Observer rated funds
|Bank OCBC NISP Tbk||4.19 %|
|Hana Microelectronics PCL||3.25 %|
|John Keells Holdings PLC||2.96 %|
|Bukit Sembawang Estates Ltd||2.80 %|
|Oriental Holdings Bhd||2.74 %|
|Cebu Holdings Inc||2.72 %|
|Asian Terminals Inc||2.56 %|
|M P Evans Group PLC||2.51 %|
|Sanofi India Ltd||2.46 %|
|Aeon Thana Sinsap (Thailand) PCL||2.39 %|
|Asia - Emerging||65.02 %|
|Asia - Developed||26.39 %|
|Financial Services||21.11 %|
|Consumer Cyclical||20.51 %|
|Consumer Defensive||10.86 %|
|Real Estate||9.61 %|
|Basic materials||7.03 %|
Pruksa Iamthongthong is an Investment Director on the Asian Equities Team at Aberdeen Standard Investments. Pruksa joined Aberdeen Asset Management in 2007. Pruksa graduated with a BA in Business Administration from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and is a CFA® charterholder.
Gabriel joined ASI in 2008 as part of the London-based Global Emerging Markets Equities team and transferred to Asian Equities in 2018. Gabriel graduated with a MA (Hons) in Land Economy from Selwyn College, Cambridge University and is a CFA Charterholder.
Hugh Young is a Director of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC and Managing Director of the Group's Asian business. He is in overall charge of active equities, fixed income, property and solutions for the Group. Hugh joined Aberdeen in 1985 to manage Asian equities from London, having previously held posts at Fidelity International and MGM Assurance. He founded Singapore-based Aberdeen Asia in 1992 and since then he has built the company into one of the largest and most well-respected managers of such assets globally. Hugh graduated with a BA (Hons) in Politics from Exeter University.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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