Fidelity plans aggressive Asia fund

Fidelity is in the planning stages of launching a more aggressive version of its £1.1 billion South East Asia fund. Fund Strategy understands that the new fund, will invest in fewer stocks than the existing South East Asia Oeic, which was launched in 1984.

It is expected that the new fund will follow a slightly changed investment remit to the South East Asia fund, which Allan Liu has managed since 2003.

The new fund, to be managed by David Urquhart, will have a broader geographical range, including investments in Australia and possibly Pakistan.

Urquhart previously managed the Fidelity Funds Korea fund, a European Sicav from October 2005 to October 2007. On the new fund, as yet unnamed, he will adopt a more aggressive stance than that used on the South East Asia fund, investing in 50 to 70 holdings rather than the 200-odd holdings in Liu’s fund.

Meanwhile, Fidelity announced last week that it has launched an onshore retail version of its Luxembourg-domiciled International Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) fund.

The fund, whose launch in June 2007 was first revealed in Fund Strategy, invests in 50-70 companies and is benchmarked against the MSCI Emerging EMEA index (capped 5%). The British version of the fund exactly mirrors the portfolio and, like the Luxembourg fund, is managed by Nick Price.

While the fund is benchmarked to the MSCI Emerging EMEA index, the portfolio is not constrained to it. This means Price (pictured) can invest in other countries in the region such as Bulgaria, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Oman, Qatar, Romania and the United Arab Emirates.

Fund Strategy reported (July 23) that the offshore fund had immediately taken an overweight stance in South Africa. This was partly because over the next three years planned infrastructure spending in South Africa is set to hit $60 billion (£30 billion).

According to Morningstar, in dollar terms the offshore EMEA fund has returned 22.5% in its first six months. Minimum investment in the new onshore fund is £1,000 and it carries an initial charge of 3.5% and an annual management fee of 1.5%.