With the Chinese New Year approaching, all eyes will be on prospects for financial markets in Asia.
In particular, investors will be eager to find out what’s in store for Greater China, which covers the China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.
With that in mind, Citywire Asia has analysed the performance of 41 managers who have an active track record of three years or more in the Greater China equities sector.
Out of this pool of talent, only 12 managed to outperform the most-commonly held benchmark, the MSCI Golden Dragon TR index, over this timeframe.
The index rose 43.64% in the three years to the end of November 2014, while the average of the 41 fund managers returned 31.98% during this period in US dollar terms.
With that in mind, let's take a closer look at the best-performing of this select group of outperformers.
*To be eligible in this list, managers must have funds registered for sale in Luxembourg or Ireland or in at least one Asian country.
5. Howard Wang & Emerson Yip – JP Morgan AM
Three year performance (Nov 2011-Nov 2014): 47.78%
At number five are JP Morgan manager duo Emerson Yip and Howard Yang. Citywire + rated Yip is a Hong Kong specialist within the Greater China team, while Wang, who is also +rated, is a regional investment manager and head of the Greater China team.
In the Greater China fund, Chinese equities accounted for 57.8% of geographic exposure, while Taiwanese stocks (24.6%) and Hong Kong (17%) are also well-represented.
Financials is the largest sector allocation (43.3%) while IT is the second biggest bet at 27.2%. On a stock basis, Taiwan Semiconductor is the largest stock holding (8%), followed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (6.8%).
4. Kai Kong Chay – Manulife AM
Three year performance (Nov 2011-Nov 2014): 49.72%
Kai Kong Chay is a managing director and senior portfolio manager of Greater China equities at Manulife AM in Hong Kong.He currently oversees two China focused funds. According to the latest available data, he had 93.6% of the Greater China Opportunities fund invested in Asia Pacific equities as at the end of November 2014.
3. David Raper – Comgest Far East
Three year performance (Nov 2011-Nov 2014): 53.60%
Coming in at number three is Citywire A-rated manager David Raper, who is a portfolio manager at French firm Comgest. Hong Kong-based Raper joined the asset management house in 2002 and focuses on Asia Pacific markets.
In the Greater China fund, which Raper manages with Baijing Yu, 63.2% of the allocation is currently in Chinese stocks, while Taiwanese equities made up 24.4% at the end of November 2014. On a single stock basis, semiconductor producer Taiwan Semiconductor was the top stock holding at 8.8%.
2. Mike Shiao & Lorraine Kuo – Invesco
Three year performance (Nov 2011-Nov 2014): 57.71%
At number two is Citywire A-rated Invesco duo Mike Shiao and Lorraine Kuo. Shiao, who is an investment director, manages Chinese equity portfolios and covers the Hong Kong and Chinese equity markets, while Kuo, a fund manager, is responsible for stock research and analysis of the Greater China markets.
The pair co-manage the Greater China Equity fund, which had a 53.7% allocation to Chinese equities at the end of November, while Taiwanese equities garnered 30.1%. Hong Kong stocks accounted for a further 13.6% of the portfolio.
1. Zhi-Hua Wang – CSOP
Three year performance (Nov 2011-Nov 2014): 72.65%
Leading the way over three years is Citywire A-rated Wang Zhihua, deputy CIO and portfolio manager at CSOP AM, which he joined in 2010. He has managed both the long-only Greater China equity funds and Hong Kong/China equity hedge funds in Hong Kong since 2008.
His fund has a 93.6% allocation to Asia Pacific equities, while 1.6% is invested in international equities. On a stock basis, CSOP FTSE China A50 ETF-HKD Hedgefund is the fund’s top holding, accounting for 15.72% of the portfolio. Ping An Insurance, with a 7.2% allocation, is the second largest position.