Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Sustainability Fund Class B (Accumulation) GBP
New for 2019. Backs conscientious management teams
Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Sustainability is our choice for investors who want to invest in a socially responsible way. The fund benefits society by targeting companies that manage sustainability risks and have a positive sustainability impact. What’s more it was in the black during 2018, with a 7% return, while investors who were tracking its benchmark, the MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan index, lost money.
Outperformance was partly due to a near 25% weighting in defensive consumer staples and a 34% allocation to India, which was among the few bright spots across the region.
The fund is led by David Gait alongside Sashi Reddy, the duo behind Stewart Investors Indian Subcontinent, another new rated fund for 2019. The managers favour quality, long-term growth companies, and they take a pragmatic and sensible approach to ensuring company management teams are responsible and conscientious.
The portfolio is often significantly different to its MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan benchmark, and biases inherent in the strategy lead to a performance profile that can differ significantly from its peers.
The fund typically loses less than peers in market downturns, although it can lag in certain other market conditions, such as low quality or cyclical rallies. In 2017 returns were held back by a lack of exposure to China and the highly rated internet stocks that led the market higher.
Over the long term, the approach has “clearly shown its worth, delivering sparkling returns”, says Morningstar analyst Simon Dorricott. Fund- Calibre, the fund ratings and research provider, also likes the fund and says it could suit any investor looking for a core Asian equity fund.
Narrative and ratings content all as of January 2019.See all Money Observer rated funds
|Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd||8.18 %|
|Tech Mahindra Ltd||5.80 %|
|Tata Consultancy Services Ltd||4.36 %|
|CSL Ltd||3.52 %|
|Marico Ltd||3.24 %|
|Unicharm Corp||2.93 %|
|Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd||2.89 %|
|Manila Water Co Inc||2.67 %|
|Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd||2.57 %|
|Delta Electronics Inc||2.46 %|
|Asia - Emerging||62.41 %|
|Asia - Developed||24.12 %|
|Consumer Defensive||28.58 %|
|Financial Services||15.98 %|
|Consumer Cyclical||5.05 %|
Sashi Reddy joined First State Investments’ Global Emerging Markets/ Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) team in July 2008. Sashi is an investment analyst, responsible for providing research support to portfolio managers and will have a main focus on Indian equities. Before joining First State Sashi worked at Credit Suisse First Boston from 2005 to 2007 as an analyst covering the small and mid cap European market. He also worked with Irevna, an outsourced Indian equities research house. Sashi brings with him six years of industry experience, one year of which was gained at First State in a contract role. Sashi has an engineering degree from the National Institute of Technology, Trichy and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University in Toronto.
David Gait is Senior Portfolio Manager with First State Investments’ Global Emerging Markets/Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) team, having joined the company in 1997. David took on portfolio manager responsibilities in December 2005 managing the First State Asia Pacific Sustainability Fund. In August 2008 he was appointed lead portfolio manager of the First State India Subcontinent Fund. In early 1999, he joined the Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) desk as Senior Analyst. Having initially covered Korea, Taiwan and the Indian Sub-continent until the end of 2000, he then focused his research efforts on China and South-East Asia. David now covers all emerging markets with a specific focus on SRI and macro research. David holds an MA with honours in Economics from Cambridge University, and holds a Master of Science in Investment Analysis from Stirling University. He is an Associate member of the UK Society of Investment Professionals.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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