Fidelity launches Asia Pacific Opportunities Fund

MyanmarFidelity Worldwide Investments launched yesterday the Fidelity Asia Pacific Opportunities Fund, aimed at an audience willing to take a long-term view.

Anthony Srom, who has more than 17 years of investment experience in the Asia Pacific region, will manage the fund. Srom has worked as a Fidelity analyst in the region for 11 years, and in the last six years has managed a specialist Thailand fund and a number of broad Asia Pacific mandates.

Overall the fund will contain around 25 to 35 stocks, which must be capable of delivering a total return of at least 10% per year in order to be considered for the portfolio.

There will be an average holding period of over two years and the fund will consist of a core of large, cash-generative businesses such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. Fidelity, which has £169.6 billion (€215.9 billion) in assets under management (AUM), has managed Asian equity strategies since 1973.

Economic activity across some of the Asia Pacific region is expected to increase with the launch of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

Baring Asset Management says the initiative is positive for countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The AEC, whose aims include a single market for trade as well as full integration into the global economy, will comprise 600 million consumers and help the ASEAN region deliver improved risk-adjusted returns for investors compared to other emerging markets, says
SooHai Lim, investment manager of the Baring ASEAN Frontiers Fund.

"The ASEAN market's cyclical recovery from the 2013 and early 2014 volatility has had a tangible impact on investor sentiment across the region, with momentum fully supported by the start of the AEC in 2015.

"The continued rise of a consumer class is having a very positive influence on economic development and growth: for instance, the percentage of middle class households in Indonesia is forecast to grow from 27% in 2014 to 45% by 2020."

Following the election of Joko Widodo as Indonesian President in July, plans to increase government infrastructure spending are expected to have a positive impact on the country's economic growth. Barings also predicts that Vietnam will be attractive to foreign investors, due to an increasingly diversified export base.

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