Fund Management

ASEAN Markets Remain A Strong Investment - Barings

Sandra Kilhof Reporter 8 August 2013

ASEAN Markets Remain A Strong Investment - Barings

Increasing levels of direct investment from multi-national corporations and strong growth in predicted earnings are providing strong investment opportunities in the ASEAN region, says the London-headquartered investment firm, Baring Asset Management.

From 2000 to 2011, net foreign direct investment into the ASEAN region increased at over 400 per cent with particularly strong momentum over the past three years, the firm said, referring to recent results of one of it’s funds.

The ASEAN Frontiers Fund recently reached $787 million in assets under management, having returned 10.7 per cent in annualised US dollar terms, since it was launched five years ago. Having grown its long-term capital, the fund has outperformed its benchmark index which has returned 10.5% over the same period, by investing in companies in Asia set to benefit from the economic growth of the region.

“We continue to see very good growth prospects in the ASEAN region. Multinational companies are increasingly considering a ‘China+1 strategy’ for the geographic diversification of their manufacturing bases,” said the fund’s investment manager SooHai Lim.

The firm also noted that certain ASEAN countries such as the Philippines have reported faster GDP growth year-on-year (7.8 per cent) than China, suggesting that the region could provide strong returns on investments.

“We have a very constructive view of South East Asia in the medium-term to long-term, and we believe the next few years should see good returns for regional equity markets. In this regard, we believe the recent correction is actually a good opportunity for investors who missed out on earlier strong performance,” SooHai Lim added.

Baring Asset Management, part of US-based financial services organisation MassMutual Financial Group, has Asian offices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

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