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Schroder Asian keeps asset value stable but market "remains uncertain"

13th Sep 2023 10:33

(Alliance News) - Schroder Asian Total Return Investment Co PLC on Wednesday said net asset value only slightly decreased in its latest half year, outperforming its benchmark, although the economic climate remains challenging.

The London-based investor, which backs equities and equity-related securities of companies trading in the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, said its NAV at June 30 was 433.74 pence per share, down 0.2% from 434.60p at December 31.

However, the NAV at June 30 represented a 4.2% increase from 416.45p per share at the same time one year prior.

Schroder Asian shares were trading flat at 405.01p on Wednesday in London.

Schroder Asian said its NAV total return for the first half of 2023 was positive 2.3%, compared to negative 16% in the same period a year prior and outperforming its reference index, the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index, which delivered negative 2.5%.

Chair Sarah MacAulay said this was mainly due to strong performances from Taiwanese technology stocks, which comprise around 20% of its portfolio; its 20% relative underweight position in China; and its stock selection in Australia.

Schroder Asian did not declare an interim dividend for 2023, unchanged from last year. Net debt at June 30 was GBP27.7 million, down 38% from GBP44.7 million at the same time in 2022.

Looking ahead, MacAulay commented: "The outlook for Asian stock markets remains uncertain with the slowdown in Chinese economic growth...affecting growth forecasts and sentiment around the region."

However, she said the tough climate would "provide ample opportunities," and that Schroder Asian's portfolio managers are well-positioned to identify "attractive" potential investments.

"Stock selection will continue to be the critical factor in adding value to the portfolio and securing long-term relative outperformance," MacAulay added.

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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