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Baillie Gifford expands retail range

Baillie Gifford has expanded its range of retail funds by opening up its institutional developed Asia pacific fund to the IFA market.

This Oeic has been available to institutional investors since June 2001 and focuses on four countries — Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore. It aims for growth by investing in companies listed on the FTSE All World Developed Asia Pacific excluding Japan index.

The fund manager, Gerald Smith, takes a bottom-up approach to stockpicking in which each stock is analysed on an individual basis. He will look for growth at a reasonable price.

Smith heads up Baillie Gifford&#39s Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets department and is responsible for four Baillie Gifford funds in this area, including the emerging markets fund and Latin America fund.

Investing in the Far East can be risky, but expansion in the more developed regions, excluding Japan, is gathering pace on the back of a move towards recovery in the US. Some US and European companies have based the production side of their businesses in Asia because labour is cheaper, so a recovery would have a positive effect on this fund.

The fund is likely to suit investors who want exposure to a specialist Far Eastern fund, excluding Japan, as part of a wide portfolio. An advantage this fund has compared with a general emerging markets fund is that it will not be affected by volatile under-developed economies.

According to Standard & Poor&#39s, the Baillie Gifford developed Asia Pacific fund is ranked 65 out of 72 funds based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested over six months to April 5, 2002.

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