Fund Management

Asia-Dedicated Asset Manager Expands Fund Offering

Natasha Taghavi Reporter London 1 February 2013

Asia-Dedicated Asset Manager Expands Fund Offering

Matthews Asia, a US-based asset manager that deals exclusively with Asian investments, has expanded its Luxembourg-domiciled UCITS fund range offering, with the launch of the Matthews China Dividend Fund.

The fund will invest solely in Chinese dividend-paying companies; the firm believes that Asia-Pacific has evolved into one of the premier regions for investors seeking growing dividends and yield.

“China’s capital markets initially attracted investors for the growth potential but the country’s equity markets have evolved significantly over the past 10 years, such that they have become among the largest and fastest-growing markets in Asia in terms of dividend payments,” said Yu Zhang, lead portfolio manager.

“We now have the ability to invest in a growing universe of dividend-paying companies offering both attractive current yields as well as the potential for future dividend growth.”

The Matthews China dividend strategy has been available to investors in the US since 2009, and has delivered a three-year annualised return of 10.24 per cent versus a benchmark return of 1.80 per cent, the firm said. The UCITS China Dividend Fund will follow the same investment approach, and will be managed by Zhang and Jesper Madsen. The same team also oversees the Matthews Asia dividend strategy, which launched in 2006 in the US, and in 2010 as a Luxembourg-based UCITS fund.

“The universe of dividend-paying companies in Asia Pacific - and in particular China - has expanded significantly. Over 840 Chinese companies paid dividends in 2011, compared with about 240 companies in 1998. Total dividend payment increased from about $8 billion in 1998 to more than $72 billion,” the firm said in a statement.

Matthews had $20.9 billion in assets under management at end-December 2012, and 13 investment strategies.


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