Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus PLC

A fundamental, high conviction portfolio of well-researched Asian small caps.

Daily prices as of 19 Jan 2022

Share Price 1445.00p

Estimated NAV cum income 1614.50p

Estimated NAV ex income 1595.33p

Dividend Yield 2.2%

Premium / (Discount) to NAV cum income -9.3%

Premium / (Discount) to NAV ex income -8.2%

Online Shareholder Presentation

In advance of the AGM, in order to provide certainty, whilst encouraging and promoting interaction and engagement with our shareholders, the Board held an interactive Online Shareholder Presentation on Wednesday 19 January 2022. At the presentation, shareholders received updates from the Chairman and Manager, followed by an interactive question and answer session. A recording of the presentation will be available here shortly, but in the meantime registered shareholders still have until 10:00GMT on 25 January 2022 to submit their proxy votes prior to the AGM and General Meeting and we would encourage all shareholders to lodge their votes in advance in this manner. 

Proposed changes to the Company

On 30th November 2021, the Board of Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus announced annual results for the year ended July 2021, alongside its intention to propose a number of changes to the Company as follows:

- Amend the investment policy to allow more flexibility to invest in growing small companies across Asia;
- Strengthen the management team by adding Flavia Cheong, abrdn’s Head of Equities, Asia Pacific, as joint lead manager with Hugh Young. The investment management team will be bolstered to reflect the increasing importance of China;
- Increase the target dividend by 100% to 32.0 pence per ordinary share for the financial year ending 31 July 2022, payable quarterly and thereafter maintain the progressive dividend policy of the last 25 years;
- Reduce the running costs of the Company. abrdn have agreed to an amended, tiered management fee, still payable on market capitalisation. The amended fee will be 0.85% per annum for the first £250m, 0.6% per annum for the next £500m and 0.5% per annum for market capitalisation of £750m and above. It is currently set at 0.96% of market capitalisation;
- Increase the marketability of the Company’s ordinary shares for small investors by introducing a five for one ordinary share split; and
- Introduce a performance-linked tender offer, which would be triggered in the event of underperformance of the NAV per ordinary share versus the MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Small Cap Index over a five-year period commencing 1 August 2021.

For full details please read the announcements below.

Latest news

An update from our investment manager, Hugh Young - 30 November 2021

The emergence of the new Omicron variant has again underscored the fragility of the pandemic environment, re-introducing volatility to stock markets and a tightening of Covid restrictions across countries. Omicron has come just when we thought there was a positive turning point to the two-year pandemic. It is still early days yet, though, in understanding how the Omicron variant is transmitted, whether it spreads easily and fast and how deadly it is. New cases are rapidly emerging in many locations across the world, and this spread is very likely to continue. In Asia, we are seeing heightened vigilance from governments, and with some already tightening travel curbs. While we continue to monitor the Omicron outbreak closely, it is worth noting that vaccination rates today are far higher than when the delta variant surfaced, which should help keep severe case counts low.

 

Meanwhile, US-China geopolitical tensions will continue to drive China’s push for self-sufficiency, which in turn presents investment opportunities, whether in the domestic consumption sector, tech, or green energy. We continue to position our portfolio around structural growth themes such as these that will weather the near-term uncertainties.

 

Lastly, despite coronavirus-related disruptions, corporate earnings growth across Asia remains resilient for the most part, led in particular by the robust tech hardware sector. Vaccination rates are now accelerating across the region and should gradually lead to easing restrictions and further economic reopening. This would help mitigate inflationary pressures tied to near-term supply chain bottlenecks, albeit we are hearing more corporate updates around rising input costs and margin pressure. As stock-pickers, we remain focused on companies with pricing power and the ability to pass through cost pressures.

About us

A fundamental, high conviction portfolio of well-researched Asian small caps.

Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus is an Investment Company listed on the London Stock Exchange aiming to find the best managed Asian smaller companies that are setting the new standard.

The Company strives to maximise total return to shareholders over the long term from a concentrated, high-conviction portfolio focusing predominantly on exciting, smaller, listed companies in Asia and Australasia (excluding Japan).

Managers Hugh Young and Gabriel Sacks are both based in the region and are supported by a team of over fifty investment managers.

The portfolio is finely tuned to give shareholders the potential to benefit from Asia's expanding middle class. Stocks are highly diversified by market and sector with a strong focus on manufacturing and consumer products.


Learn more about the portfolio

Key people

Hugh Young

Hugh Young

Chairman of Asia Pacific

Hugh Young is the Chairman for the abrdn business in Asia. He was previously the Head of Asia Pacific for Aberdeen Standard Investments, a main board director and Head of Investments for Aberdeen Asset Management (before its merger with Standard Life plc). Hugh joined the company in 1985 to manage Asian equities from London, having started his investment career in 1980. He founded the company's regional headquarters in Singapore in 1992. Hugh is a director of a number of group subsidiary companies and group-managed investment trusts and funds. Hugh graduated with a BA (Hons) in Politics from Exeter University.

Gabriel Sacks

Gabriel Sacks

Investment Director

Chartered Financial Analyst, MA in Land Economy from Cambridge University. Joined the company in 2008 as part of the London-based Global Emerging Markets Equities team and transferred to Asian Equities in 2018.

Flavia Cheong

Flavia Cheong

Head of Equities - Asia Pacific

Flavia Cheong is the Head of Asia Pacific Equities on the Asian Equities team at abrdn, where, as well as sharing responsibility for company research, she oversees regional portfolio construction. Before joining abrdn in 1996, she was an economist with the Investment Company of the People’s Republic of China, and earlier with the Development Bank of Singapore. Flavia graduated with a BA in Economics and an MA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Auckland. She is a CFA charterholder.

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

Neil Sun

Neil Sun

Investment Manager

Neil joined abrdn's Asian Equities team in 2018 having previously worked as a Research Analyst at Deutsche Bank and prior to that JPMorgan Asset Management. Neil has passed level II of the CFA Program.

  • Hugh Young

    Hugh Young

    Chairman of Asia Pacific

    Hugh Young is the Chairman for the abrdn business in Asia. He was previously the Head of Asia Pacific for Aberdeen Standard Investments, a main board director and Head of Investments for Aberdeen Asset Management (before its merger with Standard Life plc). Hugh joined the company in 1985 to manage Asian equities from London, having started his investment career in 1980. He founded the company's regional headquarters in Singapore in 1992. Hugh is a director of a number of group subsidiary companies and group-managed investment trusts and funds. Hugh graduated with a BA (Hons) in Politics from Exeter University.

  • Gabriel Sacks

    Gabriel Sacks

    Investment Director

    Chartered Financial Analyst, MA in Land Economy from Cambridge University. Joined the company in 2008 as part of the London-based Global Emerging Markets Equities team and transferred to Asian Equities in 2018.

  • Flavia Cheong

    Flavia Cheong

    Head of Equities - Asia Pacific

    Flavia Cheong is the Head of Asia Pacific Equities on the Asian Equities team at abrdn, where, as well as sharing responsibility for company research, she oversees regional portfolio construction. Before joining abrdn in 1996, she was an economist with the Investment Company of the People’s Republic of China, and earlier with the Development Bank of Singapore. Flavia graduated with a BA in Economics and an MA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Auckland. She is a CFA charterholder.

    CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

  • Neil Sun

    Neil Sun

    Investment Manager

    Neil joined abrdn's Asian Equities team in 2018 having previously worked as a Research Analyst at Deutsche Bank and prior to that JPMorgan Asset Management. Neil has passed level II of the CFA Program.

Nigel Cayzer

Nigel Cayzer

Chairman

Chairman of Oryx International Growth Fund Limited and a director of a number of other investment companies.
Charlotte Black

Charlotte Black

Independent Non-Executive Director

Ms Black is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and an independent public affairs consultant. She was until 2015 director, Corporate Affairs at Brewin Dolphin Holdings PLC, having previously served within that company as Marketing Director and in investment management roles. Charlotte has served on the boards of a number of industry related entities including The Wealth Management Association, The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and Euroclear PLC.

Randal Dunluce

Randal Dunluce

Independent Non-Executive Director

A Partner of Sarasin & Partners LLP responsible for the management of private client and charity portfolios as well as selfinvested personal pension schemes. He is chairman of Sarasin’s London partnership. He is also a non–executive director of a number of other private companies.
Debby Guthrie

Debby Guthrie

Independent Non-Executive Director

Ms Guthrie is an experienced Japanese equity research salesman at Pelham Smithers Associates, having formerly been director, Yen Equity Sales at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and prior to that director, Japan Equity Sales at Smith New Court. As a first career, Debby worked in the Finance and Environment branches of the Hong Kong Government, as an Administrative Officer. Ms Guthrie is also a director of JP Morgan Japan Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC. With effect from 1 December 2020 Ms Guthrie was appointed Chair of the Audit Committee.

Image of Krishna Shanmuganathan

Krishna Shanmuganathan

Independent Non-Executive Director

A partner in Scylax Partners in 2016 and prior to that was managing partner at Hakluyt & Company (Asia), a risk advisory company, having established and led the Asia Pacific offices of the firm, based in Singapore. Before that Krishna held research and analyst roles at Fidelity International and Cambridge Associates after a successful and varied career in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He holds a number of other non-executive appointments including being on the advisory board of Serendipity Capital, chairman of the trustees of St Jude India Child Care Centres UK and a trustee of Solefield School Educational Trust.

  • Nigel Cayzer

    Nigel Cayzer

    Chairman

    Chairman of Oryx International Growth Fund Limited and a director of a number of other investment companies.
  • Charlotte Black

    Charlotte Black

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Ms Black is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and an independent public affairs consultant. She was until 2015 director, Corporate Affairs at Brewin Dolphin Holdings PLC, having previously served within that company as Marketing Director and in investment management roles. Charlotte has served on the boards of a number of industry related entities including The Wealth Management Association, The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and Euroclear PLC.

  • Randal Dunluce

    Randal Dunluce

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    A Partner of Sarasin & Partners LLP responsible for the management of private client and charity portfolios as well as selfinvested personal pension schemes. He is chairman of Sarasin’s London partnership. He is also a non–executive director of a number of other private companies.
  • Debby Guthrie

    Debby Guthrie

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Ms Guthrie is an experienced Japanese equity research salesman at Pelham Smithers Associates, having formerly been director, Yen Equity Sales at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and prior to that director, Japan Equity Sales at Smith New Court. As a first career, Debby worked in the Finance and Environment branches of the Hong Kong Government, as an Administrative Officer. Ms Guthrie is also a director of JP Morgan Japan Smaller Companies Investment Trust PLC. With effect from 1 December 2020 Ms Guthrie was appointed Chair of the Audit Committee.

  • Image of Krishna Shanmuganathan

    Krishna Shanmuganathan

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    A partner in Scylax Partners in 2016 and prior to that was managing partner at Hakluyt & Company (Asia), a risk advisory company, having established and led the Asia Pacific offices of the firm, based in Singapore. Before that Krishna held research and analyst roles at Fidelity International and Cambridge Associates after a successful and varied career in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He holds a number of other non-executive appointments including being on the advisory board of Serendipity Capital, chairman of the trustees of St Jude India Child Care Centres UK and a trustee of Solefield School Educational Trust.

 

Financial calendar

Year End 31 July
Accounts Published December
Annual General Meeting 27 January 2022
Dividend Paid 2 February 2022

Trust details

Aberdeen Standard Asia Focus PLC

Registered Office:
Bow Bells House
One Bread Street
London
EC4M 9HH

Registered in England and Wales as an Investment Company Number 3106339

Launch Date: October 1995

Risk Warning
Risk warning
The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may get back less than the amount invested. Please refer to the relevant Key Information Document (KID) prior to making an investment decision. Please be aware of scams that can affect investors.