WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
Top-performing Asian stock funds since the start of the Chinese Year of the Ox.
China's Shanghai stock market has been on a tear this year, surging 29 per cent to Wednesday. That includes an 18-per-cent gain since ringing in the new year on Jan. 26.
We asked Globefund analyst Victor Tan to rank the Greater China, Asia Pacific and Asia Pacific ex-Japan funds by top returns from Jan. 26 to Wednesday. U.S. dollar, segregated and duplicate versions of the funds were excluded.
WHAT DID WE FIND?
The Year of the Ox is looking more like the Year of the Bull.
CIBC's Renaissance China Plus run by Hong Kong-based Hamon Investment Group hit the top of the chart with a robust 29.1-per cent gain.
While most managers get China exposure through the liquid, larger-cap Chinese H-shares traded in Hong Kong, Hamon also invests in the smaller-company B shares traded on the mainland. When the Chinese market soars, its funds benefit. When the market dives like last year, its funds can get hit hard.
Concerned about risk after last year's red ink, the promoter of Excel China ditched Hamon in January in favour of a more conservative strategy with Baring Asset Management Inc. Excel China's 22.4-per-cent gain is not too shabby, but it came from owning non-mainland stocks, according to co-manager William Fong.
His fund got a lift from infrastructure plays like China Communications Construction Group Ltd., Anhui Conch Cement Co. Ltd., Angang Steel Company Ltd. that are benefiting from China's $600-billion (U.S.) stimulus package to boost economic growth. Financial and property stocks also contributed to gains.
Mavrix Asia Pacific has risen 18.9 per cent with a big bet on China. It has a 70-per-cent weighting in China through H shares and Chinese companies listed in Canada and a 20-per-cent position in cash.
Recent performance has been helped by infrastructure stocks like Lonking Holdings Ltd. and Harbin Power Equipment Co. Ltd. He has also taken profits in Canadian-listed China plays like electrical bicycle maker Zongshen PEM Power Systems Inc. and fertilizer company Migao Corp.
The recent rally stems from the Chinese economy "showing some signs of bottoming," said manager Eric Yan. He expects China can achieve its target of 8 per cent GDP growth this year. While conceding there could be a correction in the Chinese market, he doesn't expect it to be protracted. "Right now it [market] is an overbought and profit-taking is very well in order," he said.
|Asian Funds January 26 to April 8, 2009|
|(Jan 26 to||(April 8)|
|(As of Mar '09)||Latest||Apr 8)||YTD||% returns (as of Mar. 31/09)|
|Fund name||Category Assets ($-mil)||MER||% rtn||% rtn||1-yr||3-yr||5-yr||10-yr|
|Renaissance China Plus||Greater China Equity||97.0||3.21||29.1||14.2||-17.9||4.1||3.3||14.7|
|Excel China||Greater China Equity||72.7||3.32||22.4||4.7||-29.3||2.6||4.4|
|HSBC Chinese Equity-I||Greater China Equity||175.7||2.56||22.2||5.3||-22.5||4.9|
|AGF China Focus Class||Greater China Equity||243.2||2.96||22.1||4.7||-24.1||4.8||5.0||11.6|
|Fidelity China A||Greater China Equity||33.3||2.68||21.9||11.5||-14.4|
|AGF Asian Growth Class||Asia Pacific ex-Japan Eq||40.1||2.99||20.9||7.0||-31.1||-3.8||-1.1||-0.1|
|Investors Greater China C||Greater China Equity||129.0||2.85||20.3||5.7||-20.6|
|BMO Greater China Class||Greater China Equity||86.7||2.75||19.7||5.6||-32.2||-2.7|
|Mavrix Asia Pacific||Asia Pacific Equity||0.4||6.03||18.9||9.1||-32.0|
|HSBC AsiaPacific-I||Asia Pacific ex-Japan Eq||37.1||2.37||17.7||5.3||-30.7||-5.4||0.9||1.7|
|Investors Pacific International-C||Asia Pacific ex-Japan Eq||207.0||2.85||16.6||4.7||-33.1||-6.0||1.4||0.3|
|Manulife China Opportunities Class||Greater China Equity||60.7||2.88||15.9||3.4||-26.6||2.0|
|Fidelity Far East-A||Asia Pacific ex-Japan Eq||48.4||2.64||15.0||4.0||-24.1||-0.4||5.7||3.6|
|Renaissance Asian||Asia Pacific Equity||6.1||3.23||14.5||0.3||-37.2||-13.8||-5.4||-1.9|
|Dynamic Far East Value||Asia Pacific Equity||64.2||3.42||13.9||6.4||-36.7||-13.8||-2.7||-0.5|
|Perpetual Indo-Pacific||Asia Pacific Equity||39.6||2.84||13.2||2.8||-21.8||-7.5||-1.8||-0.6|
|Pro FTSE RAFI Hong Kong China Idx-A||Greater China Equity||11.6||5.3||-27.7|
|Mackenzie Focus Far East Class A||Asia Pacific ex-Japan Eq||66.0||2.49||11.2||2.5||-31.1||-5.2||-1.6|
|TD Asian Growth||Asia Pacific ex-Japan Eq||111.2||2.73||8.8||-2.6||-32.2||-3.8||2.1||3.8|
|Investors Pan Asian Growth-C||Asia Pacific Equity||25.6||2.85||7.7||-3.5||-30.5||-14.6||-6.1|
|Quebec Professionals Asian Equity||Asia Pacific Equity||1.38||7.5||-4.5||-28.2||-14.3||-6.1||-2.9|
|FÉRIQUE Asian||Asia Pacific Equity||43.4||1.25||7.1||-2.6||-27.1||-12.1||-2.9|
|CIBC Asia Pacific Index||Asia Pacific Equity||14.4||1.10||6.4||-6.2||-25.5||-10.5||-3.0|
|Fidelity AsiaStar A||Asia Pacific ex-Japan Eq||77.7||2.69||5.5||1.3||-15.8|
|Scotia Pacific Rim||Asia Pacific Equity||19.3||2.73||5.5||-6.3||-33.4||-13.1||-4.5||-0.6|
|BMO Guardian Asian Grth & Inc-M||Asia Pacific Equity||205.0||2.75||5.4||1.0||-23.1||-3.4||2.3|
|TD Pacific Rim-I||Asia Pacific Equity||31.1||2.47||4.7||-6.9||-29.8||-11.6||-4.3||-0.9|
|CIBC Asia Pacific||Asia Pacific Equity||95.2||2.88||3.7||-6.6||-24.9||-11.5||-4.0||-0.7|
|RBC Asian Equity||Asia Pacific Equity||501.1||2.15||2.7||-8.1||-32.2||-15.4||-5.3|
|Altamira Asia Pacific||Asia Pacific Equity||36.3||2.68||1.9||-7.9||-21.0||-10.3||-3.6||3.1|
|National Bank Asia Pacific||Asia Pacific Equity||5.0||2.67||1.4||-8.5||-21.8||-10.1||-3.5|
|CI Pacific||Asia Pacific Equity||75.0||2.33||-1.9||-11.1||-25.3||-9.7||-2.0||-1.0|
|HANG SENG Stock Index||15.1||0.6||-40.6||-4.9||1.4||2.2|
|NIKKEI 225 Price Index||11.9||-3.0||-35.3||-22.0||-7.1||-6.5|
|Shanghai Composite Index||17.9||28.9||-31.7||22.3||6.4||7.4|
|SOURCE: GLOBEFUND, BLOOMBERG, COMPANY|
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