Morningstar Asia fund reviews and re-ratings – March

Added 11th April 2016

Products from GAM, Pictet and Stewart Investors are rated in this month's report.

Morningstar Asia fund reviews and re-ratings – March

The research firm’s "analyst rating" is forward-looking. On an annual basis, analysts review and if necessary re-rate the funds on a five-tier scale with three positive ratings of Gold, Silver, and Bronze, a Neutral rating, and a Negative rating.

The analyst rating differs from the firm's backward-looking “star rating”, which assigns 1 to 5 stars based on a fund's past risk- and load-adjusted returns versus category peers.

The analyst ratings for March 2016:

 Fund   Analyst  rating   Previous  rating   Analysis  date 
 GAM Star China Equity USD Acc   Silver  Bronze  30 March
 Pictet-Emerging Local Ccy Dbt P  USD  Bronze  --  16 March
 Stewart Investors Glb EM Ldrs I Acc  USD  Bronze  Under Review  03 March

Source: Morningstar

1.       GAM Star China Equity USD Acc

We have upgraded the rating to Silver from Bronze. Veteran manager Michael Lai has managed GAM Star China Equity since its launch in July 2007, and we view his 26-year investment experience and unique perspective on investing in Chinese equities as the key appeal here. He aims to invest in quality growth companies starting from identifying a few top-down themes based on his macro view, then selecting stocks from within. Lai has expertly executed this investment process since the fund’s inception, and has produced a stellar track record few can match. In addition, the fund has a very competitive ongoing charge of 1.52%. 

-- Germaine Share, senior analyst, manager research

2.       Pictet-Emerging Local Ccy Dbt P USD

The product gets a Bronze rating. The fund boasts a stable and experienced management team of eight, led by veteran manager Simon Lue-Fong. The managers have built a solid record and follow a prudent and risk-conscious process. However, the fund’s generous use of developed market debt such as US treasuries may make the fund inappropriate for investors seeking pure-play emerging markets exposure. 

-- Shannon Kirwin, fund analyst

3.       Stewart Investors Glb EM Ldrs I Acc USD

The fund has been rated  Bronze after being Under Review, following the announcement of the change of manager that is due to take place in July 2016. From that date, lead manager responsibility will pass from Jonathan Asante to Ashish Swarup. Swarup is a relatively new addition to the Stewart Investors team, having joined the group in 2014, and has not managed money at the group in the past. However, he does have experience as a GEM manager and a successful track record from his previous house, Fidelity. He also appears to be fully integrated into the firm’s investment process and philosophy and will draw on group resources in managing this fund. We do not therefore expect significant changes to the way this fund is managed as a result of the new manager’s appointment. 

-- Simon Dorricott, fund analyst

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