The fund invests in countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as Asean markets. These include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philipines, Singapore and Thailand. It invests in 35 to 45 stocks that are selected mainly through analysis of regional themes and bottom-up analysis, but global perspectives are also considered. The resulting portfolio is focused on medium-sized companies that are overlooked, under-researched and mispriced.
GAM says the Asean markets are relatively cheap and offer opportunities for skilled stockpickers to find growth at a reasonable price. The fund will invest in the Asean region and other countries outside China which look attractive when risk-adjusted returns are considered.
The fund is managed by GAM investment director Michael Lai and investment manager Camille Vergara. The Hong-Kong based investment team has in-depth knowledge and experience of Asian markets. Lai is responsible for Asian funds and co- manages the firm’s pacific fund with Lesley Kaye. Lai joined GAM in 1998 and was previously with Trust Company of the West (Asia) and BZW Investment Management in Hong Kong.
This fund could be useful for investors who may want an alternative to Fidelity’s emerging Asia fund, which invests in the big well-known markets of India and China as well as the markets upon which GAM is focusing such as Indonesia and Malaysia. However, some investors who will be interested in the high growth potential of this concentrated portfolio will not have the appetite for the potentially high volatility that comes with it