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Ashburton celebrates ten-year anniversary of regional equity funds

28 March 2007 Ashburton

Americas, Asia Pacific and European Equity Funds achieved top quartile performance over the past three years.

Ashburton, the active investment manager, is celebrating the ten year anniversary of its top performing Regional Equity Funds.  Over a rolling three year period, the Funds have achieved top quartile performance due to their strong equity methodology* and, since launch, have produced impressive returns.

Calvin Vaudin, Jonathan Schiessl and Nick Skiming, who are the investment managers of the successful funds, have nearly 60 years of industry experience between them. Jonathan Schiessl is also the investment manager of the recently launched Ashburton Chindia Equity Fund which is the first retail fund to focus on both the Chinese and Indian markets.  This Fund has achieved 3.08% growth since launch on 1 December 2006 and holds $36.53m assets under management.

A common methodology incorporating both top down and bottom up analysis is used in selecting securities. Global business opportunities are identified by analysis of global economic and political situations and projection of future trends.  This leads to each team favouring particular countries, sectors or individual business strategies. From this, specific themes may arise that ultimately shape portfolios.

Stocks are selected by identifying companies that will deliver Growth At a Reasonable Price (GARP). In doing so, a variety of techniques and measures are used, combining both qualitative and quantitative analysis, with any judgemental bias being exercised according to timing and the particular characteristics of each fund.

EUROPEAN EQUITY OUTLOOK & INVESTMENT STRATEGY

Calvin Vaudin said:  "There is no doubt confidence in a strong European domestic recovery is growing and that consensus earnings may now be conservative. Growth assumptions now put the European benchmark on a PE ratio of 13.6 times for 2007 and 12.4 times for 2008, which is not demanding. We have previously been investing in global growth stories but are now increasing weightings to certain domestic led sectors, in particular German construction. Our medium to long-term stance on the oil service sector remains very bullish, and both this and our other theme of alternative energy were given a boost following a speech by President Bush, in which he announced a wish to double the USA strategic oil reserves and encourage a greater use of alternative energy."

ASIA PACIFIC EQUITY OUTLOOK & INVESTMENT STRATEGY

Jonathan Schiessl said:  "Asian markets, like markets all over the globe, are increasingly fixated with problems afflicting the lower-end of the US housing market. If these problems push the US into slower growth, or even recession, how will Asia fare? The standard view, and the correct one for the last few years, is that Asia is a geared proxy on global growth and therefore gets hit disproportionately harder in any slowdown. Is this still true? On the face of it yes, but the emergence of the Asian consumer is beginning to have a profound impact on the global economy, even if statistics dont yet show it. We are rapidly approaching the point whereby Asia can stand on its own two feet, which will be an overwhelming positive for the global economy."

AMERICAS EQUITY OUTLOOK & INVESTMENT STRATEGY

Nick Skiming said: "Fears of inflationary pressures have largely subsided as company results are once again surprising to the upside and it appears that the longest period on record of quarterly double digit earnings seasons (13 in all) will remain unbroken. A revival in takeover speculation and private equity deals is revealing the true health of corporate America.  The Americas Fund has an over weighting in materials due to the increased political support now clearly in evidence for alternative energy and, as a general theme, other agricultural issues are held within the portfolio. We are also running an overweight position in the telecom sector which is becoming revitalized by adopting new technology (VOIP, Broadband), whilst our consumer discretionary commitments remain light.'

ASHBURTON REGIONAL EQUITY FUND FACTS
* Ashburtons Regional Equity Funds were launched on 6 January 1997. Calvin Vaudin, Jonathan Schiessl and Nick Skiming manage the Funds and are fully supported by a highly qualified team.
*  The Funds, which are managed on an unconstrained relative return basis, have achieved top quartile performance over three years. 
*  The Funds are truly actively managed, and focus on the quality and attractiveness of individual companies rather than the outlook for particular markets. 
*  The Investment Managers invest in securities traded in other markets where the underlying companies derive a significant proportion of their earnings from the appropriate regions.

 

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