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Thai is top as Far East recovers from Sars

The Far East was the leading investment trust sector in October according to figures from the AITC.

The Far East has bounced back following the Sars scare this year which sent prices plummeting. Thailand has emerged as the focus of a lot of speculative market activity.

The Japanese smaller companies sector is the top performer over five years.

The Aberdeen New Thai fund is the top-performing fund over one year. Fund manager Hugh Young says Thailand has been the “standout market” of the year, thanks to tax breaks, a cyclical recovery in exports and improving corporate earnings.

Young, who also manages the Aberdeen new dawn and Aberdeen Asian smaller companies investment trusts, warns he can see evidence of “a credit-led spending binge in Thailand” but believes that the well run companies are doing the right things.

He says he continues to be bullish about long-term prospects in Asia, with valuations and earning prospects looking strong over the next 12 to 18 months.

Young says: “Companies are in good shape, with profitability up following years of restructuring and cost-cutting. In sum, there is enough evidence to suggest that Asia&#39s recovery will be more in the hands of Asia itself and that growth will become more balanced.”

AITC communications director Annabel Brodie-Smith says: “Investors need to be aware that stockmarket performance trends can often go in cycles, as the AITC figures testify. It is important to have a balanced portfolio. Performance figures are only one of the criteria that investors need to bear in mind.”

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