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Polar Capital heads east to the sinking sun

Polar Capital is investing in the rising sun with the introduction of the Polar Capital Japan fund.

The fund is a UCITS and is aimed at high-net-worth UK and expatriate investors with at least $100,000 to invest.

Managed by James Salter, the fund will invest in medium to large cap Japanese companies, mostly ones which do the majority of their business in the Japanese domestic market. These will be spread across most market sectors.

Initially the fund will invest in around 70 companies, such as electronic retailing company Yamada, printing company Toppan, games software company Capcom and cinema company Toho Movie. However, it will avoid banks because of the current level of bad debt in Japan.

Polar Capital is targeting companies that have been doing well so far despite the poor state of the Japanese economy. However, Japan’s economy is expected to stay in recession this year, with negative growth of 0.5 per cent for 2001 according to the Japanese ministry of finance. Investors must be prepared for a rough ride ahead.

Salter was a director at Martin Currie from 1992 to 1997, where he managed the Martin Currie Japan growth fund. He then moved to Schroders where he helped to mange the Schroder Japan growth investment trust before joining Polar Capital in 2000.

Polar Capital has just one other offshore fund. According to Standard & Poor’s the Polar Capital global technology fund is ranked 67 out of 205 funds, based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with gross income reinvested over six months to November 2, 2001.

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