Fidelity Asian Values - taking stock 25 years on

As Fidelity Asian Values turns 25 years old, portfolio manager Nitin Bajaj reviews how the dramatic changes seen in Asia have shifted the centre of economic gravity from West to East - and are mirrored in the growth of the trust.

25 year fidelity asian values icon

As he reflects on the highs and the lows for investors, he examines the key lessons learned from the markets over the years.

Key points

  • The Asian story, seen alongside China’s rapid emergence, still has many years to go as newer population blocks seek to imitate China’s economic policy playbook.
  • For us, the most important lesson of this 25-year period has been the importance of avoiding speculative excesses in order to preserve capital.
  • We remain focused on owning good businesses run by honest people and owning them at attractive prices.

It has been 25 years since the launch of Fidelity Asian Values PLC - a period which has seen Asia move from the fringes of global economic development to the centre. This journey is very much mirrored by various stages in the growth of the trust.

An investment of £1,000 invested in the trust at launch would have returned £5,725 compared with £4,130 if the same sum had been invested in the MSCI Asia ex Japan Index and £4,504 if invested in the FTSE 100.

Returns on £1,000 invested in

Since launch to 30 June 2021

Fidelity Asian Values Trust

5,725

MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index

4,130

FTSE 100 Index

4,504

Source: Fidelity International, Refinitiv Eikon Datastream, 30 June 2021

 

 

June 2016 - June 2017

June 2017 - June 2018

June 2018 - June 2019

June 2019 - June 2020

June 2020 - June 2021

Fidelity Asian Values PLC share price

35.5%

6.3%

10.0%

-25.9%

59.1%

Fidelity Asian Values PLC NAV

22.8%

1.7%

2.1%

-15.7%

44%

MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index

27.0%

10.2%

-0.17%

1.9%

40.0%

MSCI Asia ex Japan Small Cap Index

16%

6.9%

-7.7%

-4.5%

62.5%

FTSE 100

16.9%

8.7%

-1.5%

-13.8%

18%


Past performance is not a guide to the future.

Source: Fidelity International, 30 June 2021. Based on total return in GBP terms. MSCI Asia Pacific Ex Japan Small Cap Index replaced MSCI Asia Pacific Ex Japan as official benchmark from 1 February 2020.

 

Global markets have seen a few crises over the last 25 years

FIDELITY ASIAN VALUES 25 YEAR GRAPH

Source: Fidelity International, Refinitiv Eikon Datastream, 30 June 2021


The launch and the first few years

The trust was launched in 1996 under the stewardship of John Morrell as Chairman of the board and K.C. Lee as portfolio manager.  It was originally expected to invest primarily only in Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

To think of an Asian portfolio without China, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam - the five largest population blocks in Asia - may seem strange today, but this change of mindset encapsulates Asia’s journey over last 25 years. Indeed, it’s been a journey where capitalist policies (with different twists and turns in individual countries) have unleashed immense productive capacity, leading to economic growth and social welfare in these countries.

What has happened in China in the last 25 years is nothing short of a miracle. Furthermore, based on what we currently see on the ground, this journey in Asia still has further to go as newer population blocks seek to imitate the Chinese economic policy playbook.

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Important information

The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.

Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. Investments in small and emerging markets can be more volatile than other more developed markets. Changes in currency exchange rates may affect the value of investments in overseas markets. The trust can use financial derivative instruments for investment purposes, which may expose them to a higher degree of risk and can cause investments to experience larger than average price fluctuations. The shares in the investment trust are listed on the London Stock Exchange and their price is affected by supply and demand. The investment trust can gain additional exposure to the market, known as gearing, potentially increasing volatility. Investments in smaller companies can carry a higher risk because their share prices may be more volatile than those of larger companies. Reference to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities and is included for the purposes of illustration only.

The latest annual reports and factsheets can be obtained from our website at www.fidelity.co.uk/its or by calling 0800 41 41 10. The full prospectus may also be obtained from Fidelity. The Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) of Fidelity Investment Trusts is FIL Investment Services (UK) Limited. Issued by Financial Administration Services Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Fidelity, Fidelity International, the Fidelity International logo and F symbol are trademarks of FIL Limited.

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