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The top performing global equity funds year-to-date

FSA finds out which international equity funds in the Hong Kong and Singapore market are outperforming so far in 2023.
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Morgan Stanley, PineBridge and Invesco funds are among the top performing international equity strategies year-to-date, according to data compiled by FSA.

As markets move past the third quarter of 2023, many global equity funds have bounced back after a turbulent year in 2022.

Equities have rallied in anticipation of inflation starting to moderate and central banks indicating that interest rates may be approaching a peaking point.

In dollar terms, the MSCI World index has rallied 14.73% so far in 2023, after a 19.46% drop in 2022.

Against this backdrop and with one quarter to go in 2023, FSA has compiled a list of the top performing strategies in the Hong Kong and Singaporean mutual fund market from FE fundinfo.

FundYTD returns (%)FundYTD returns (%)
Morg Stnly Global Endurance50.84MS INVF Global Opportunity26.52
AZ Equity Global Growth A-AZ28.34Franklin Innovation25.09
MS INVF Counterpoint Global27.78JPM Global Unconstrained Equity18.75
MS INVF Global Opportunity26.52Global X Autonomous and Electric Vehicles ETF17.83
Franklin Innovation25.09Invesco Global Focus Equity17.8
PGIM Jennison Global Equity Opportunities23.23Allianz Allianz Choice Global Equity14.92
Guinness Global Innovators21.73Amundi HK Disruptive Opportunities Equity Classic Dis13.82
MS INVF Global Insight21.5PineBridge Global Focus Equity13.45
Royal London Global Equity Select (IRL)21.33Principal International Equity13.19
Invesco Global Founders & Owners21.08Capital Group New Economy Fund (LUX)12.94
HSBC Islamic Global Equity Index20.2T. Rowe Price Global Select Equity12.89
JPM Global Unconstrained Equity18.75Templeton Select Global Equity12.81
Multipartner SICAV Baron Global Advantage Equity18.3Allianz Best Styles Global Equity12.62
VanEck MSCI World ex Australia Quality ETF17.99Lyxor MSCI World ESG Leaders Extra (DR) UCITS ETF12.52
Franklin Disruptive Commerce17.53Allianz Global Equity Unconstrained12.5
Natixis Loomis Sayles Global Growth Equity17.22Invesco Pooled Pooled Investment Global Strategic Equity12.12
Amundi POLEN CAPITAL GLOBAL GROWTH17.16Natixis Thematics Safety11.79
Dominion Global Trends Managed I17.02Invesco Global Equity Income11.62
Invesco Global Focus Equity16.99Ninety One Global Strategic Equity11.62
Lyxor MSCI World Climate Change (DR) UCITS ETF16.58Principal GIF Global Responsible Equity11.51
Source: FE fundinfo, Performance in US dollars terms

So far in 2023, within the Hong Kong international equity sector, only six (3.5%) out of 172 strategies have managed to outperform the MSCI World Index, the widely used global equity benchmark.

Similarly, in the Singapore international equity sector, just 31 strategies (5%) out of 602 strategies managed to outperform the MSCI World Index year-to-date.

There were a few global equity funds however that comfortably outperformed. These included funds run by Morgan Stanley’s Counterpoint Global team, which stand out with strong returns.

Morgan Stanley’s Global Opportunity, Counterpoint Global, Global Endurance and Global Insight all feature in the top performers year-to-date. They share an investment philosophy of focusing on bottom-up analysis and investing in companies with what they think have inherent sustainable competitive advantages.

The Morgan Stanley Global Endurance fund stood out as the best performer with a 50.84% return year-to-date. It runs a fairly concentrated portfolio of 36 stocks with a focus on companies in the mid-cap space.

It is worth noting however that the strategy was down over 67% in 2022, so despite the strong performance year-to-date it hasn’t made up the gains from its peak.

This was a common feature among the top-performers year-to-date: bottom-quartile performance over a longer time-frame.

This is due to the fact that many of the high growth funds that have performed well this year were down significantly during 2022.

Among the Hong Kong funds, three of the top five performers year-to-date have bottom-quartile returns over three years. Among the Singaporean funds, seven out of the top 10 were bottom-quartile.

However, there were a few funds that did deliver top-quartile returns both year-to-date and over a longer time frame. In the Hong Kong market, these were PineBridge Global Focus Equity and Principal International Equity.

The PineBridge fund follows a growth at a reasonable price (GARP) strategy with a concentrated portfolio of developed market blue chips such as Microsoft, JP Morgan and AstraZeneca. The Principal fund on the other hand has over 387 positions spread across the US, Europe, Japan and Asia Pacific.

In Singapore, the Invesco Global Founders & Owners stands out with top performance year-to-date and over three years, and the Guinness Global Innovators with top performance year-to-date and over five years.

Both of these funds run concentrated portfolios, with the Invesco fund focusing on companies where a founder or individual has a material share ownership represented in either management or the board of directors. This includes companies such as Constellation Software, 3i and Berkshire Hathaway.

The Guinness fund on the other hand focuses on companies where innovation is driving growth in the companies or their industries. Its biggest holdings are in the semiconductor sector, which has benefitted from a boom in demand for artificial intelligence compute.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.