Matthews Asia Debuts Two Asia Funds

The Asia Focus Fund and the Emerging Asia Fund were launched by Matthews Asia.

The Matthews Asia Focus Fund (investor class MAFSX, institutional class MIFSX) provides exposure to Asian companies the firm deems high quality. The fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in companies capable of sustainable growth based on fundamental research.  

Unconstrained by sector, geographic area or market capitalization, the fund is designed to invest in medium- or large-cap companies with a concentrated portfolio of 25 to 35 high-conviction holdings. Each company in the portfolio will have undergone a thorough due diligence of its business by the investment team to support Matthews Asia’s high-conviction approach. 

“Given the economic developments over the past decade, Asia now provides investors with a growing pool of established companies with good corporate governance, strong management teams, medium to long operating histories and that are recognized as global or regional leaders in their industry,” said Kenneth Lowe, lead manager. “We believe these companies would meet the high standards required for inclusion within a high-conviction portfolio that would appeal to more risk-tolerant investors looking to gain exposure to an active Asian equity strategy.” 

The Matthews Asia Focus strategy is managed by Lowe, a chartered financial analyst (CFA), supported by two co-managers: Sharat Shroff, CFA, and Michael Oh, CFA.  

The Matthews Emerging Asia Fund (investor class MEASX, institutional class: MIASX) invests primarily in companies located in the emerging and frontier Asian equity markets. 

The fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in growth-oriented companies in much smaller but rapidly developing Asian economies such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. 

The fund also will gain exposure to companies in more established Asia ex-Japan countries, such as India, China and Taiwan. In constructing the portfolio of 60 to 100 holdings across the market-cap spectrum, the investment team considers diversification, absolute risk and valuations. 

“The fast-growing economies of emerging Asia are underpinned by strong foreign direct investment, governments committed to liberalizing their economies and populations that are benefiting from rising employment and standards of living,” said Taizo Ishida, lead manager. “In recent years, their capital markets have deepened and they now offer a bigger universe of publicly traded firms that provide new investment opportunities. Relatively inefficient capital markets also make this an attractive region for fundamental investors such as Mathews Asia to consider.” 

The Matthews Emerging Asia strategy is managed by Ishida, supported by Robert Harvey, CFA. Both managers have considerable experience investing in emerging and frontier markets. 

Matthews is the largest dedicated Asia-only investment specialist in the U.S., with $23.8 billion in assets under management as of March 31.