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||4.02 %|
|John Keells Holdings PLC||3.44 %|
|Asian Terminals Inc||3.28 %|
|Hana Microelectronics PCL||2.83 %|
|Oriental Holdings Bhd||2.78 %|
|Cebu Holdings Inc||2.68 %|
|Convenience Retail Asia Ltd||2.56 %|
|PT Ultrajaya Milk Industry & Trading Co Tbk||2.51 %|
|M P Evans Group PLC||2.45 %|
|Sanofi India Ltd||2.42 %|
|Asia - Emerging||68.65 %|
|Asia - Developed||24.14 %|
|Consumer Cyclical||20.22 %|
|Financial Services||19.45 %|
|Real Estate||10.87 %|
|Consumer Defensive||10.37 %|
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 Managing Director − Asia for Aberdeen Standard Investments. He was formerly a board director and head of Investment for Legacy Aberdeen (before its merger with Standard Life plc). Mr. Young joined Legacy Aberdeen in 1985 to manage Asian equities form its London office, having started his investment career in 1980. He founded Singapore-based Aberdeen asset Management Asia Limited in 1992. Mr. Young is a director of a number of Legacy Aberdeen subsidiary companies and of investment trusts and funds managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments. Mr. Young graduated with a BA (Hons) in Politics from Exeter University.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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