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Julian Gibbs

I recently invested my Isa money in the Exeter Pacific growth fund

for five main reasons. First, Richard Scott is one of the best

investment managers in the industry. Second, he invests mainly in

undervalued investment trusts in the Far East.

Third, the Asian economies are growing at a much faster rate than

Western economies. Fourth, the Far Eastern stockmarkets usually

recover more quickly than others when a recession ends. Last, there

are a lot of stocks with enormous potential for growth which have not

been fully recognised by the market.

While the Sars crisis has set back these markets recently, Exeter

Pacific growth fund is now an excellent buying opportunity. South

Korea, China, Thailand and Taiwan all have attractive opportunities

within their stockmarkets.

Other funds I like are Hugh Young&#39s Aberdeen Far East emerging

economies and Aberdeen New Thai, as well as First State Asia Pacific

managed by Angus Tulloch.

While the GDP of most Far Eastern economies is growing by 4 per cent

or more, Japan is forecast to grow by less than 1 per cent. I am,

therefore, still uncertain about Japan, despite this market hitting

fresh 20-year lows.

However, for those with bigger portfolios, I think it is unwise to be

out of this market completely because, when it does recover, it is

likely to do so dramatically.

Funds investing in Japan I like are Schroder Tokyo for those who wish

to invest in bigger companies and Baillie Gifford Japanese smaller

companies, which has an excellent longer-term performance record,

being up by 39 per cent over five years compared with the MSCI

Japanese smaller companies index, which was down by 13.2 per cent. In

2000, this fund went up by 126 per cent, which is the sort of

recovery we all like to see.


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