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“Both funds are big beasts and are core Asia ex-Japan holdings,” said Poole.
They are also recognised by leading fund research firms as among the best in their category.
The Fidelity product has a four-star rating from Morningstar, whose criteria is based on historical risk-adjusted returns. In addition, it has been awarded a silver analyst rating by the firm.
FE Fundinfo, which bases its assessment on a fund’s three-year history of delivering alpha, minimising relative volatility and producing consistent returns, awards the fund four crowns.
The firm also assigns the First State fund four crowns, but Morningstar gives it five stars, as well a silver analyst rating for its Hong Kong/Singapore retail share class.
On balance, Poole tilts towards the First State product, especially in this current period of extreme uncertainty.
“Lau’s primary philosophy of avoiding losses suits clients with less risk tolerance,” he said.
The Fidelity fund is perhaps better for investors prepared to ride out the inevitable market fluctuations, he added.