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Ask The Experts: Explaining the Top Picks of This Japan Equity Fund


Chern-Yeh Kwok, Head of Investment Management, Japan at Aberdeen Investment Management K.K., speaks to Fundsupermart about the portfolio allocation behind the Aberdeen Japan Equity Fund.

Questions:
Japanese equity funds seem to generate a wide range of returns. For example, the three year annualised return of Japanese equity funds on the Fundsupermart platform ranged from -1.5% to close to 10%. Does this signify a more inefficient market and thus more opportunities for active managers like Aberdeen to exploit?
- All global markets have inefficiencies
- Most important thing is to look for good companies and to invest in them over the long-term
- Such an investment process should be able to generate better returns over time

The fund has a large allocation to the Consumer Goods sector at 28.9% of the portfolio. What are the reasons for this large weighting?
- In Japan, consumer goods comprise of a broad range of companies such as auto companies (Honda, Toyota), tobacco companies (Japan Tobacco) and infant product companies (Unicharm) etc
- Long-term shareholders of many of these companies mentioned previously

The top three holdings (Canon Inc, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., FANUC Corp) on the fund as of its January factsheet are the only companies that have more than 5% allocation. Can you briefly explain the reasons behind these investments?
- Canon has shown over the years that they are able to make very good products
- In the digital SLR space, it is basically a duopoly between Nikon and Canon
- They also have a large range of lenses which make them a lot of money
- Canon also makes photocopiers and printers which are distributed globally and Canon is able to generate recurring income through the ink cartridges
- Shin-Etsu makes silicon wafers which feeds into semiconductors and other consumer products such as iPads and personal computers
- Operates in oligopolistic markets with a few big producers with pricing power
- FANUC makes robot arms or factory automation
- FANUC is also very good at computer numerical controls which is similar to an operating system for machine tools
- FANUC has a 60% market share in this particular market
- Also has strong balance sheet and attractive business models


Broadcast Date 22 March 2012
Video Duration 00:07:25
Programme Ask The Experts: Explaining the Top Picks of This Japan Equity Fund
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RELATED FUNDS
Aberdeen Japan Equity

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