Royal & SunAlliance International Financial Services (RFSAIFS) has added the $1.3bn GAM Japan fund to...
RSAIFS made the fund available across their entire range of life and insurance products on 6 December 1999.
The underlying fund, which is denominated in dollars, has an annual management charge of 1.5%, which is added to RSAIFS's charge, for the particular life or insurance product.
Since it was launched in 1985, the fund, managed by Paul Kirkby, has consistently outperformed the Tokyo Stock Exchange Index by 10% pa on average over the last 14 years. To early December, the total performance of the fund has been 1,536%, compared to the Index rise of 303% in the same period.
It is on the back of this performance, plus a belief that Japan is entering a period of recovery, that Isle of Man based RSAIFS has decided to mirror the fund.
Although this move does not necessarily represent the start of a series of Japanese mirror funds, it certainly reflects a strengthening belief in the health of the Japanese economy.
According to Chris Holland, marketing manager of RFAIFS, the positive attitude of both clients and managers has persuaded the company to keep a close eye on Japanese developments.
GAM believes restructuring in Japan will continue to provide opportunities for careful stockpickers.
There are three stages in Kirkby's investment strategy. He takes a macro view on the entire market, then does sector analysis that allows for strong positions to be held up to and including the exclusion of an entire sector.
Following that, stock selection is based primarily on market position and the willingness of companies to make extreme policy changes for the sake of increasing shareholder return. Unsurprisingly, the primary area of growth has been technology stocks.
Kirkby said: "The stock market continued its gentle ascent as foreign investors and domestic investment trusts continued to raise weightings in recognition of the end of the nine-year bear market.
"In line with many stock markets, gains were concentrated in technology stocks. So pronounced were the gains that the rise of the overall market masked weakness in many sectors.
"We remain optimistic about the prospects for earnings growth in the technology area but are less certain of the level that valuations have reached. We remain cautious bulls but have continued to reduce positions into strength."
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