Following a strong year for Asian equities we take a look at the managers who came out on top.
Asia Pacific ex-Japan beats the World
The year 2012 was a good year for risky assets. Asian equities, represented by the FTSE World Asia Pac ex-Japan index returned a hefty 23.13%, handily beating the FTSE World return of 16.96% (in USD terms).
The top five best performing funds posted returns that beat the market and 201 managers are currently ranked by Citywire in the Asia Pacific ex-Japan Equity sector.
BDT Invest Oriental Focus A USD
BDT Invest Oriental Focus A USD is managed by founding fund managers Rob Brewis and Henry Thorton. Both managers have been active in the fund since October 2004. The duo’s 2012 performance on the fund outperformed the market by 9.63 percentage points (pp).
According to its end of December factsheet, the fund has significant geographical exposure to Hong Kong/China (24.7%), India (17.1%) and Thailand (13.1%).
Old Mutual Asian Select A Acc
Old Mutual Asian Select A Acc is managed by Ian Heslop who has been running the fund since December 2011. The fund’s 2012 performance of 33.5% outperformed the FTSE World Asia Pac ex-Japan TR USD by 10.38pp.
The fund’s end of December factsheet states heavy geographical exposure to Hong Kong/China (27.9%), Australia (21.2%) and South Korea (17.4%).
eQ Kasvava Aasia 1 K
Leppä’s management of the fund saw 2012 performance beat the benchmark by 14.89pp. The eQ Fund Management Company firn is an independent Finnish provider of mutual funds focusing on domestic institutional clients as well as private investors.
As of 31 December 2012, the fund’s largest holdings were People’s Food Holdings Ltd (5.97%), Japfa Comfeed Indonesia Tbk Pt (5.75%) and Pruksa Real Estate Pcl (5.44%). The fund also has significant exposure to Hong Kong/China, Thailand and Indonesia.
The fund has a high-conviction approach to investing, evidenced by their top holdings (as at 21 Jan 2013) in Rexlot (18.2%), Ticon (8.8%) and Labixiaosin Snacks (8.6%).
This approach is also evident from the fact that the top 11 holdings account for 85.4% of the overall fund's portfolio.
CC Asian Evolution USD
November 2012 factsheets put the fund’s three largest geographical exposures at 18% to China/HK, 17% to cash/other, and 15% to Indonesia.
Top Five Asia Pacific ex-Japan Managers of 2012
These five managers have all demonstrated their ability to outperform the market in 2012, as summarised in the table above.
Worth noting is a significant exposure to Hong Kong/China across all five funds, and should the markets of China and Hong Kong rally in 2013, we may well see these five funds top the rankings once again.