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Eastspring, M&G launch funds in HK

Eastspring's strategy searches for Asia's small and "unloved" companies while M&G's product takes on infrastructure investing.
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Eastspring Investments Asian Smaller Companies strategy, launched today in Hong Kong, will target companies in Asia ex-Japan with a market cap below $5bn. It aims to hold 40-60 high-conviction stocks and follow a value style approach.

The fund will be managed by Krishna Kumar who has 22 years of investment experience in Asia, with a focus on India, according to a statement from the firm. He is the lead portfolio manager of the firm’s Indian equity and China-India equity strategies.

“The best approach to investing in this space is not to focus on the popular stock ideas or to chase the crowd, but look at the unloved, ignored and under-appreciated companies,” Kumar said in the statement.

“Asian small cap companies are not well covered by the research community, which means there are many opportunities lying in wait for those with the experience and the commitment to put in the hard work,” he added.

According to the statement, the initial portfolio is biased toward consumer, information technology and financial stocks while investing mostly in China, India, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Separately, M&G Investments today launched in Asia the M&G (Lux) Global Listed Infrastructure Fund, according to a firm statement. The announcement follows the launch of a UK vehicle for the same strategy in early October, as reported by FSA‘s sister publication Portfolio Adviser.

Infrastructure investments aim to provide high yield, stable cash flow, lower volatility than global equities and a degree of inflation protection. While critics point out that listed infrastructure funds do not deliver these benefits to the same extent as direct infrastructure investments, Deutsche Asset Management’s Matthias Meyer, head of liquid real assets for Asia & Europe, argued in an earlier interview that the downside is offset by the easy accessibility such funds provide.

M&G’s fund will invest in companies that own or control physical infrastructure, diversified geographically and by sectors. The fund’s manager, Alex Araujo, hopes to augment the traditional approach to infrastructure investment such as toll-roads and ports with new types of assets supporting digital services and high-speed connectivity, the statement said.

The fund integrates ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) factors in its investment process.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.