The UK Oeic version of Fidelity Emerging Asia typically holds 80 to 120 stocks from a universe of almost 1,000. It invests only in the emerging markets of Asia, with no exposure to the more developed markets of Korea or Taiwan. Hong Kong based portfolio manager Teera Chanpongsang focuses mainly on China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. He can also invest in the frontier markets of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and other newer emerging economies in Asia as opportunities arise.
As well as the new fund and the offshore fund of the same name, Chanpongsang also manages Fidelity’s India focus fund. He joined Fidelity in 1994 as a research analyst covering South Easy Asia and Thailand. He previously ran Thailand and Global Telecommunications funds at Fidelity, as well as a segregated emerging Asia fund.
Chanpongsang believes growth in the Emerging Asia region is driven by trends such as a young population, growing consumption trends, rising living standards, increasing urbanisation and infrastructure expansion, which will drive stockmarket performance.
TQ Invest head of investment Tom Biggar sees the new onshore fund as a good hybrid of an Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets fund, offering a blend between two long-term growth areas. He thinks it is an unusual proposition that comes with added volatility, but says the long-term story behind it and Chanpongsang’s credentials are strong.
However, some investors may prefer a broader global emerging markets fund such as Aberdeen emerging markets, while others who specifically want Asian exposure may prefer exposure through funds such as First State Asia pacific leaders.