LF Morant Wright Nippon Yield Fund B Accumulation
Rated Fund 2013-19. Taps into growing Japanese dividend culture
LF Morant Wright Nippon Yield made it into Money Observer’s awards roll of honour for the first time in 2017, taking the highly commended Japan gong. This is one of the few Japan funds with an income orientation. At 2.8%, it has the highest yield in the sector. It pays income half yearly.
We like the fund group’s pure focus on investing in Japan. The fund’s six-strong investment team, led by company founders Stephen Morant and Ian Wright, are value investors. When choosing their investments, of which there are 70 in the portfolio, they start by looking at the company balance sheet, including key measures such as operating profit and ratios such as price to book value. They favour companies with the potential to grow over the long term without undue risk.
Although income and growthof income over the long term are the managers’ primary objectives, another plus for investors concerned about market volatility is that capital protection is a cornerstone of the approach.
The managers regularly meet Japanese companies both in London (where the fund group is based) and Japan and have commented on the welcome improvement in corporate governance. They point out that economic developments are positive and interest from private equity investors is helping to highlight the value in Japanese companies.
Importantly from their perspective, the trend towards increased dividends and share buybacks is continuing and, as a result, they are optimistic about the outlook for the fund. “We have met with a lot of companies recently. The message from management about the outlook remains generally reassuring and the improvement in shareholder returns continues,” they say.
Narrative and ratings content all as of 01 January 2019.See all Money Observer rated funds
|Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc||3.33 %|
|Toyota Industries Corp||3.11 %|
|MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc||3.11 %|
|Tokio Marine Holdings Inc||3.10 %|
|Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd||3.07 %|
|Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc||3.00 %|
|Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc||2.93 %|
|Honda Motor Co Ltd||2.92 %|
|Canon Marketing Japan Inc||2.91 %|
|Toyota Motor Corp||2.90 %|
|Consumer Cyclical||30.24 %|
|Financial Services||22.34 %|
|Basic materials||10.67 %|
Clough joined Schroders in 1983 as a senior analyst researching Japanese companies and the economy, and began managing the Schroder Tokyo Fund in 1985. In 1987 Clough was seconded to Schroders in Japan and returned to London at the end of 1989. Clough now manages Japanese equity portfolios for institutional funds. Clough is a Director of SIM International.
Millward is fund manager at Morant Wright Management Limited . He joined the firm in March 2009.Mr. Millward is a C.F.A. charter holder. He holds an honours degree in Economics and Management from University of Oxford.
Stephen Morant jointly founded Morant Wright Management in 1999. Previously he was a partner of Cazenove & Co. with overall responsibility for Japanese business. He joined Cazenove & Co. in 1978, becoming a partner in 1982. Between 1978 and 1984 he managed the Hong Kong office, which covered Asia generally, and returned to London in 1984 to concentrate on Japan. Previously he worked as an accountant in both industry and private practice. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and a Member of the Securities Institute.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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