This fund benefits from a team that has a strong performance record of investing in Asian markets. The fund typically provides a degree of protection in falling markets, but is likely to underperform its benchmark in strongly rising markets. Whilst we like the disciplined approach - the manager focuses on high quality, shareholder friendly companies - a few years ago this fund's charges were increased to dissuade new investors, due to the large size of the fund at the time. However, existing investors requiring a more cautious approach to the Asia Pacific region should continue to hold. New investors should consider the five star rated First State Asia Pacific Leaders, which is also managed by Angus Tulloch.
This fund invests in companies in Asia (excluding Japan) and Australasia. It adopts more of an absolute return mindset compared to the peer group and defines risk as losing clients' money. Consequently, index outperformance is not a primary driver of investment decisions. The most significant source of ideas and research is country and company visits. The manager employs a fundamental bottom up (considers companies in their own right) approach to stock picking targeting companies that offer sustainable and predictable growth with an emphasis on company cash flow and balance sheet strength. The outlook is generally medium to long term and the team avoids 'momentum' type stocks. Stock research is conducted by a large and well-resourced team based in Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Singapore. This is supplemented through the resources made available by First State's parent company, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which has offices in Australia.