As with most global markets, Asia had a pretty good 2017.
The Asia-Pacific economy continues to move in the right direction, with GDP in the region growing by 5% last year, helped along by the strength of the global economy and it is expected that 2018 will be another good year for the region.
In this analysis, we take a look at the three best performing managers that have outperformed the Citywire-assigned MSCI AC Asia ex Japan TR over three years to end of Jan 2018, which returned 43.65%.
3. Jonathan Pines, Hermes Investment Management
- Fund: Hermes Asia ex Japan Equity
- 3-year performance: 67.2%
Kicking off the top three we have Citywire AAA-rated Jonathan Pines, the man behind the $4 billion Hermes Asia ex Japan Equity strategy. The South African born, UK-based manager was appointed to run the fund when it launched in 2012.
Pines focuses on finding attractively priced stocks relative to the quality of the company. He’s a contrarian investor, picking up firms that have been hit by negative news flows.
The Hermes strategy is overweight China and Korea, while underweight India, according to a fact sheet from the end of December.
The fund’s top holding — which doesn’t appear in the benchmark — was Chinese alcoholic beverage company Wuliangye Yibin. It made up 5.7% of the 80 stock portfolio.
2. Jane Andrews, Smith & Williamson
- Fund: Smith & Williamson Oriental Growth
- 3-year performance: 69.6%
In second we have Jane Andrews from UK-based firm Smith & Williamson, who has been running this fund since 2011.
As of December 2017, the fund had 80 holdings and had recently picked up Baozun, a Chinese IT consultancy providing online services to major international brands, which Andrews believes should benefit from ongoing consumption growth in China.
The fund saw a boost in December from its holding in Appen, which is the company behind the voice recognition technology used by Apple’s Siri, and Gourmet Master, a Taiwanese company specializing in Western-style bakery and beverage products.
1. Duncan Robertson, TT International
- Fund: TT Asia Pacific Equity
- 3- year performance: 72.2%
Citywire AAA-rated Duncan Robertson tops our list with the $154 million TT Asia Pacific Equity fund. Robertson has been at the helm of the strategy since July 2014, when he joined from UK firm USS Investment Management.
The fund aims to outperform its benchmark, MSCI All Countries Asia Pacific ex Japan, by 3% by building a high-conviction portfolio of about 50 holdings.
In a note published in early January, Robertson said he was constructive on India as growth could further accelerate if the government’s bank recapitalization plan kick starts lending and drives a recovery in the business cycle. He was also positive on Korea, as its export-driven economy is getting a boost from the global recovery. He added that it doesn’t hurt that it’s the cheapest market in Asia.