Fund Research

Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus

Last update 04 February 2019

Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus is a client of Kepler Trust Intelligence. Material produced by Kepler Trust Intelligence should be considered as factual information only and not an indication as to the desirability or appropriateness of investing in the security discussed.

Please see the important information by following this link or at the bottom of the page.

Investment objective

To maximise total return to shareholders over the long term from a portfolio made up predominantly of smaller quoted companies (with a market capitalisation of up to approximately US$1.5 billion at the time of investment) in the economies of Asia and Australasia, excluding Japan

As at:

01/02/2019

Group/Investment

Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus Ord

Ticker

AAS

Management Company

Aberdeen Asset Management (Part of Aberdeen Standard Investments)

Manager Name

Hugh Young;Adrian Lim;Christopher Wong;Flavia Cheong;

Association of Investment Companies (AIC) Sector

Asia Pacific - Excluding Japan

12 Mo Yield

1.5%

Dividend Distribution Frequency

Annually

Latest Market Capitalisation

£359,409,648

Latest Net Gearing (Cum Fair)

4%

Latest Ongoing Charge Ex Perf Fee

1.24%

Turnover Ratio 

10.0%

Shares Outstanding

 34,558,620

(Discount)/ Premium (Cum Fair)

-11.3%

Daily Closing Price

1030p

Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus, formerly Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies, aims to generate long-term capital growth by investing in Asian smaller companies with quality growth characteristics and holding these for the long run.

The trust returned to form last year with strong relative returns, as its focus on quality was rewarded in rough markets. In 2017 the trust had lagged as lower-quality, more speculative companies were bid up and China, a long-term underweight, outperformed. The manager, Hugh Young, believes that the current environment of rising global interest rates and the rolling back of QE is well-suited to his style.

Hugh, one of the most experienced fund managers in the market, was named lead manager in November as a part of an overhaul requested by the board. The number of holdings is being cut and the concentration in the highest-conviction names raised – the name change is intended to highlight this.

Hugh is focused on improving the speed of decision making and sharpening the focus on the strategy, which has served the company well over the long run. The basic strategy has not changed at all, with a focus on quality growth companies which are bought at attractive valuations and held for the long run, and a strong focus on corporate governance (the main reason for the low weighting to mainland China).

The discount has responded to the overhaul and the improving performance, almost halving from its wide point of 17.5% in October to the current level of 9.5%. However, it is worth pointing out that this is still twice as wide as the 4.8% sector average.

The trust yields 1.3%, and while this is not high the track record of dividend growth is strong, with 6.8% compound growth per annum over the past five years. In fact, the trust has managed to grow or maintain its dividend in each year since launch in 1995, except 1997 and 1998, and investors at launch would now be earning a 17p dividend on their initial investment.

Thomas McMahon

Important information

Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus is a client of Kepler Trust Intelligence. Material produced by Kepler Trust Intelligence should be considered as factual information only and not an indication as to the desirability or appropriateness of investing in the security discussed.

Please see the important information by following this link or at the bottom of the page.

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