Asian markets were up in December, and the fund rose 0.9 percent. Asia had one of its best years ever in 2017 and Carnegie Asia was up 31.4 percent, which means it has gained 69.8 percent since its launch in July 2014.
Asian economies are strongly interconnected with the rest of the world through their exports, so to claim that Asia is an option on global growth is no exaggeration. Western economies are undergoing a global boom and, despite repeated interest rate hikes in the United States since 2015, interest levels remain low. The Trump administration’s inability to implement its policies has led to the US economy doing well, but confidence in American politics is low. The result is a weak dollar. Strong global growth and a weak dollar are a golden combination for Asia. China’s stimulus over the past two years also means that earnings growth for companies looks better now than in a long while. The valuations of Chinese and Asian stocks are not challenging and are just below their historical averages. The fact is that if the West has good growth then Asia has even better growth, but at a lower valuation.
China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam have GDP growth between 6 and 7 percent. Profits in Asia are rising by 15–20 percent, compared with 5–10 percent in the United States. Valuations in Asia are at 14 times annual profits, while US stocks are valued at a peak of 18-20 times annual profits. Low interest rates and a weak dollar are whetting the risk appetite, and foreign venture capital is flowing into Asia.
There are a number of interesting investment themes driving growth in Asia. In addition to domestic consumption and investment in infrastructure, smartphone subcontractors and the production of electric vehicles are rapidly growing sectors. Growing regional tourism and rapidly expanding internet companies offering new services are also interesting.
New investments were made this month in Geely Automobile in China, and in Sterlite Technology and PC Jewellery in India.