Baring Asset Management will convert the its Pacific fund to an ASEAN Frontiers fund in a bid to capture opportunities in smaller, faster growing markets in Asia.
Approximately 80% of the fund will be invested in the core ASEAN markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, while 10% will be invested in frontier markets such as India, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. The remaining 10% will have exposure to greater China.
Managed by SooHai Lim, the fund will use a ‘growth at a reasonable price’ investment philosophy. The number of fund holdings is expected to remain at about 40 to 50.
It will be an Irish-domiciled unit trust and use the MSCI South East Asia index as a benchmark.
More than a decade after the Asian financial crisis of 1997, Lim believes with restructured balance sheets, reined-in deficits and rising local currencies, “Asia’s tigers are ready to pounce again”.
“In our view, some of the markets with the greatest growth potential can be found amongst the members of ASEAN, in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.”
“With a total population base of over 550 million, and a combination of rich natural resources and world-class business expertise, we expect the major ASEAN economies to deliver superior GDP growth rates well into the medium to long term, leading to a robust earnings environment for individual markets.”
Until now, most investors have focused on China, but other countries in the region have benefited from a supportive environment too, says Lim.
Singapore has repositioned itself as an alternative private banking centre for wealthy Asians and investors from the Middle East and Europe. Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are major suppliers of commodities to their giant neighbours in Asia, while the Philippines is underwriting an economic boom through the remittance of the population’s hard earned savings.
The annual management fee will be 1.25% for Class A and 0.75% for Class I. Minimum investment will be $5,000 or £2,500 for Class A and $50,000,000 or £25,000,000 for Class I.IFAonline
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