By James Thorneley Murray Johnstone is offering a 1% discount on its Japanese fund until the end of ...
By James Thorneley
Murray Johnstone is offering a 1% discount on its Japanese fund until the end of the year
During this period the initial charge on the Murray Japan Growth fund, a sub fund of the Murray Oeic, will be 4%. The annual fee of 1.5% will remain unchanged
The £18m portfolio is one of the few funds run by the group which has consistently outperformed its peer group, acc-ording to Murray Johnstone. Micropal ranked the fund five out of 66 over three years in the Japan peer group. Over one year it is ranked 25 out of 70 and over three months it is 59 out of 74
Graeme Sinclair, head of the Japan desk at the group said: "We continue to identify excellent investment opportunities in a series of Japanese industries including electronics, precision instruments, pharmaceuticals and the service sector. Japanese electronic component manufacturers produce 80% of the world's mobile telephone handset components. Over the next two years they will benefit from strong replacement demand as the next generation mobile communication system will be introduced in 2001
"In addition, better economic conditions should also improve the investment prospects for domestic stocks which have seen protracted share price declines in an environment of gloomy economic news and falling product prices. Many of these stocks now offer attractive valuations and we have already increased weightings
"A combination of top line sales growth and cost reductions should generate a profits recovery which will further improve the outlook for these shares, providing additional support to the stock market indices
In March the group increased its weighting in Japan, for general institutional funds, to the highest level since 1989. Leslie Robb, the group's chief investment officer, said: "The Japanese market is in an increasingly positive environment with corporate restructuring gathering pace and the stabilising effects of government action already taking effect. While Wall Street remains expensive, Japan is even more attractive to investors and we believe the time is right to increase exposure to the Japanese market
"If US investors were to increase their exposure to the market by moving to a neutral weighting this would amount to a potential $45bn/¥5trillion injection into the Japanese stock market
Since joining the group in November 1998, Robb has reshaped the fund management team to try and improve the performance of the group's funds. In particular he has appointed Doug Thomson as head of UK equities who is responsible for turning round the desk. Murray UK Growth, Murray Smaller Companies and Murray Equity Income are all ranked in the bottom quartile of their peer groups over three years
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