BlackRock launches first Asian equity fund for UK retail investors
BlackRock has launched BlackRock Asia Fund, its first UK domiciled fund focused on Asian equities, to help investors capitalise on the opportunities created by the region’s changing investment and geographical landscape.
The BlackRock Asia Fund is managed by Andrew Swan, head of BlackRock’s Asian Fundamental Equities team. Mr Swan, who has 20 years’ experience managing Asia Pacific equity portfolios, joined BlackRock in August 2011 and has helped restructure investment processes and drive positive performance across the fund range.
The BlackRock Asia Fund is designed to replicate the successful investment strategy of the offshore BGF Asian Dragon Fund, which has achieved net returns of 36.10% versus the benchmark return of 26.38% since Andrew restructured the portfolio in October 2011.
The BlackRock Asia Fund aims to achieve long term capital growth by investing primarily in companies domiciled or operating in Asia excluding Japan. By focusing both on valuations and earnings potential, the fund retains flexibility to look beyond large company stocks and offers investors a genuine alternative to overbought, crowded trades seen in the marketplace.
The fund will look to invest over the medium to long term, aiming to invest in companies that can meet or outperform market expectations, typically holding between 50-80 shares at any one time.
“Asian equity valuations are below their long term averages making for an attractive entry point for long term investors,” said Mr Swan.
“And fundamentally, the profound changes taking place in consumption, income growth and demographics are reshaping the investment landscape in Asia.”
Jeremy Roberts, head of UK Retail Sales at BlackRock commented: “We are thrilled to offer UK investors this exciting investment proposition with proven track record. Andrew will be supported by a team of 10 regional focused analysts all based on the ground in Asia.
“In contrast to some other funds, the BlackRock Asia Fund’s flexible approach enables the team to identify the region’s ‘winners of tomorrow’, particularly amongst mid-cap and off-benchmark companies.”
Mr Swan also added: “For some Asian economies, the historic investment-led growth dynamics of the past are fading. While in other parts of the region, particularly India and Southeast Asia, the demand drivers of growth are increasingly being supported by domestic demand, enhanced incomes and growing young populations.”