Matthews Asia rolls out China income fund

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Matthews Asia has opened up its China income strategy with the launch of a Luxembourg mirror fund as part of a broader strategic initiative to deliver its expertise to investors outside of the US.

The new Ucits fund will follow the same investment approach as the San Francisco-based firm's Matthews China Dividend strategy which has been available to investors in the US since 2009.

It will be managed by the same team of Yu Zhang and Citywire A-rated manager Jesper Madsen. The duo also run the Matthews Asia Dividend strategy, which launched in 2006 in the US and in 2010 as a Ucits fund.

The firm said the new fund will provide international investors with an opportunity to gain exposure to a portfolio dedicated exclusively to investing in Chinese dividend-paying companies.

Over 840 Chinese companies paid dividends in 2011, compared with about 240 companies in 1998. Total dividend payments have increased from about $8 billion in 1998 to more than $72 billion today.

On the launch, Yu Zhang, lead portfolio manager on the fund said:

'China’s capital markets initially attracted investors for the growth potential but the country’s equity markets have evolved significantly over the past 10 years such that they have become among the largest and fastest-growing markets in Asia in terms of dividend payments.'

He added: 'We now have the ability to invest in a growing universe of dividend-paying companies offering both attractive current yields as well as the potential for future dividend growth.'