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Liontrust roars in to Asia

Liontrust is building its profile in managing Asian funds with its Asian income fund.

The firm gained a presence in Asian markets last October when it acquired the fund management business of Occam Asset Management, but this is its first fund launch for former Occam head of Asia equities Mark Williams.

The new fund will target a yield of around 10 per cent above Asia Pacific ex Japan markets by investing in 50 to 70 stocks. When selecting stocks the Liontrust team will identify what is driving Asian equities to determine which types of firms are likely to benefit, particularly those that look likely to provide higher than average yields over the next six to 12 months. The weighting for each stock is determined by the team’s market outlook and their views of each region and stock.

Liontrust sees the Asia Pacific ex Japan region as an attractive source of income and growth as firms are increasingly focused on dividend payouts. It is confident about the sustainability of dividend payouts from Asian firms, which reflect their financial strength.

However, some investors and their advisers may prefer established funds such as Newton Asian income, Schroder Asian income and Schroder Asian income maximiser.

Defaqto insight analyst for funds Fraser Donaldson says: “ Liontrust is building a well respected reputation and using a strong investment process that has seen the performance of its UK funds, such as UK growth and UK smaller companies, attract substantial inflows.

“Liontrust may not have experience in managing Asian funds but its robust investment philosophy is easily transferable. It focuses on the key drivers for the market, understanding who the likely winners and losers of these drivers will be and then applying those to stock selection and portfolio construction.  

“With the expectation of good growth prospects for Asia, when compared to Europe and the UK this fund launch may seem well timed. If its process can be easily transferred to Asian equities, Liontrust may be on to a winner.”

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