Allianz swaps manager on China fund

By on

Allianz Global Investors has changed managers on its Allianz Greater China Dynamic fund in order to focus its strategy more towards the small cap sector, Citywire Global has learned.

Christina Chung, who managed the fund that invests in stocks listed in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, was replaced by Dennis Lai as lead manager at the beginning of this month.

'We have decided to reposition the Allianz Greater China Dynamic fund towards a much greater emphasis on smaller cap stocks,' a Hong Kong-based spokesperson confirmed to Citywire Global.

'As Dennis is our regional small and mid cap specialist, we feel his expertise is more appropriately leveraged to lead this endeavour.'

Hit by concerns over the broader economy, Chinese equities have underperformed this year. Compared to the MSCI World index which rose 6.9% in dollar terms in the last twelve months, the Shanghai Composite index fell 14.6% in the same period. 

With valuations falling to record lows in the past month, some managers have been buying up equities, especially in Chinese stocks, with an expectation that smaller caps will outperform their larger cousins.

Lai currently manages the Luxembourg-domiciled Allianz Little Dragon and Allianz Emerging Asia Equity funds. Chung, who manages the Allianz Hong Kong Equity and Allianz China funds, is now co-manager on the Greater China Dynamic fund.

The fund currently holds over a quarter in tech-related names and nearly a third in financials. Its top positions include the Hong Kong-listed tech appliances company Ju Teng International and the tech system distributor, Digital China Holdings.

Allianz said that whilst the change in strategy reflects current market conditions which look to favour stock-picking in small-cap firms, the move is specific to the Allianz Greater China Dynamic fund.

The Allianz Greater Dynamic fund rose 9.6% in the past three years. Its benchmark, the MSCI Golden Dragon TR index rose 12.5% in the same period.