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SICAV
Frontier Markets Equity Fund
An actively managed, portfolio of around 50-80 high quality, high growth companies from across frontier markets. The fund aims to offer pure exposure to the dynamic and fast-growing regions of frontier markets, which we define as any country not included in developed or emerging market indices.
ISIN LU1079765662
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FACTSHEET
KID
30-Apr-2024 - Johannes Loefstrand, Portfolio Manager,
We are excited about the outlook for the asset class. It remains an eclectic group of businesses which are reasonably priced and operate in countries that are often misunderstood by other investors. Despite the current economic downturn, we believe Vietnam is well placed for a cyclical recovery and the long-term structural narrative there remains intact.

Overview
Strategy
Fund Summary
Our research seeks to identify companies with superior and sustainable earnings growth at valuations that do not fully reflect that growth. We are constantly on the ground meeting with company management teams and industry experts in local frontier countries to uncover the long-term winners. The manager is not constrained by the fund's benchmark, which is used for performance comparison purposes only.

Performance - Net of Fees

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

30-Apr-2024 - Johannes Loefstrand, Portfolio Manager,
Frontier equities fell in US dollar terms in April, outperforming developed but underperforming their emerging market peers. Stocks in Vietnam sold off on indications that the country’s anti-corruption campaign had ramped up in recent weeks, with the resignation of a number of officials, including President Vo Van Thuong and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hu. At the portfolio level, we benefitted from stock selection within Vietnam although this was partially offset by the negative impact of our overweight allocation to this market. On a sector basis, materials provided the biggest fillip to returns, with our holding in a large tin miner leading relative gains. The company‘s shares soared after the market reacted enthusiastically to the company’s recent upgrades to its earnings guidance and a positive commission update for its processing plant. Conversely, Morocco held back relative performance, due to both our underweight allocation and choice of securities. Our stock selection within financials and underweight exposures to Pakistan and Oman also dragged.
30-Sep-2022 - Johannes Loefstrand, Portfolio Manager,

In the third quarter, most frontier markets experienced significant volatility and at times this was indiscriminate, with investors not taking into account underlying fundamentals. As a result, this led to what we believed to be attractive valuations, and we took the opportunity to add to our positions. In our view, frontier markets are home to many companies that offer attractive idiosyncratic "stories" or investment cases that are uncorrelated with market movements and trends; these can be powerful in the current volatile market environment. At the same time, we trimmed positions where we felt valuations had become stretched following a strong run in the share price or where we believed investment conditions had deteriorated.

As of the end of the review period, the portfolio's main country relative overweight positions included Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and, to a lesser extent, Pakistan. In the latter, we are positioned in exporters, which are benefiting from the weaker currency. Meanwhile, the main underweight positions were in Nigeria, Kenya, Iceland, and Oman.

Vietnam

We retain the view that the macroeconomic fundamentals in Vietnam are still intact, and longer term, we believe the anti-corruption campaign will be beneficial to Vietnam's development and maturation as an investment market. The authorities there have estimated that GDP growth was 13.6% in the third quarter of 2022, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently updated its growth forecasts to 7% for 2022 as a whole, the highest rate among major Asian economies. At the same time, inflation remains reasonably benign at around 3%?4%. Similarly, companies are reporting generally good operational momentum and guidance and the government has plans to stimulate the economy in 2023.

Vietnam remains a large country position in the portfolio, on both an absolute and a relative basis, and we further raised our exposure over the quarter. We felt that the recent market weakness had led some stocks to trade at very attractive valuations. We remain mindful, however, of valuations in some specific stocks that have done very well year-to-date and, therefore, trimmed certain positions.

  • We topped up our position in Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery, a manufacturer of agricultural machines and a minority shareholder in several large multinational auto and motorcycle manufacturers. The company has a secured dividend yield, and its share price tends to be uncorrelated with that of other Vietnamese stocks. In our view, the company is inefficiently priced by the market and its current valuation does not reflect the strong earnings growth we expect over the next six to 18 months.
  • We added to our existing holding in Vietnam Dairy Products. We believe this consumer staples company will see earnings growth inflecting positively in the next 12 months, while the valuation remains at highly attractive levels.
  • We initiated a small position in FPT Digital Retail. The electronics retailer has been launching a very successful pharmacy chain, and we think it will be one of the winners in this space. The company currently has around 800 stores (with plans to have 3,000 by 2026), and we believe that by 2024 its pharmacy could make up more than half of sales.
  • We increased the size of our position in Khang Dien House. The real estate developer caters to Vietnam's growing middle and upper classes. We believe this is a high-quality developer with good corporate governance. The sector has recently significantly underperformed the market, and we took the opportunity to narrow the extent of our underweight positioning.
  • We booked some profits in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage (Sabeco). Our investment thesis, namely that the company is taking market share from rival Heineken, is playing out, and this remains a high-conviction name. However, the relative valuation is less attractive following the recent strong share price performance.

Pakistan

The portfolio is overweight Pakistan as we see a number of compelling investment opportunities in this frontier market. However, over the quarter, we reduced our position, largely for bottom-up stock-specific reasons. As mentioned above, we are mindful of managing portfolio position sizes in cases where share prices have been significant.

  • We took profits in TRG Pakistan, trimming our holding on valuation grounds. Having become oversold earlier this year, the stock undertook a reverse rally in the third quarter, and we believe there is limited upside from here in the near term. We still retain an off-benchmark position as we believe that the company provides exposure to areas that are likely to benefit from increasing outsourcing, such as artificial intelligence customer-focused support functions, digital marketing, and customer care businesses.

Kenya

Over the course of the quarter, we moved further underweight in Kenya. We believe the macroeconomic environment in the country is unfavorable for investors.

  • We further trimmed our holding in Safaricom, the leading mobile operator in Kenya. We still have a high conviction in the name; however, we have concerns about the fragile macro environment and capital controls in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Bahrain

Over the course of the third quarter of 2022 we raised our exposure to this market, ending the period with a broadly neutral benchmark weighting.

  • We closed the underweight to regional bank Ahli United Bank, in Bahrain, in the lead-up to its merger with Kuwait Finance House. The date for the finalization of the merger was set for October 2, at which point the position would be eliminated.
  • We increased the size of our position in Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), one of the world's largest aluminum smelters outside of China. In our view, this is a good asset that is materially undervalued. We believe that the commodity has the potential to surprise on the upside and that there is a good risk/reward trade-off here. A potential cross-listing in Saudi Arabia is likely to serve as a catalyst to close the valuation gap to regional peers.

IT

We trimmed our exposure to U.S.-listed technology names Globant and Endava. Both stocks were trading at quite elevated valuations, and we did not see significant further upside in the near term. We took advantage of the strong bounce in growth names in August.

Slovenia

We trimmed our existing holding in Nova Ljubljanska Banka, the dominant banking and financial group in Slovenia, which also operates in some neighboring countries in southeastern Europe. Although we continue to like the name, we believe financials, particularly those in Eastern Europe, will struggle in a recessionary environment.

31-Jan-2024 - Johannes Loefstrand, Portfolio Manager,
As of the end of January, the portfolio’s main overweight sector allocations relative to the benchmark were in information technology, consumer discretionary and financials while the most significant underweight sector allocations were to real estate, utilities, industrials and business services, and health care. Within the consumer discretionary space, we recently initiated a position in a university operator with its operations focused in Mexico and Peru. We believe this is a well-managed company that operates in countries of limited education regulation and limited state support.

Benchmark Data Source: MSCI. MSCI index returns are shown with reinvestment of dividends after the deduction of withholding taxes. MSCI and its affiliates and third party sources and providers (collectively, “MSCI”) makes no express or implied warranties or representations and shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to any MSCI data contained herein. The MSCI data may not be further redistributed or used as a basis for other indices or any securities or financial products. This report is not approved, reviewed, or produced by MSCI. Historical MSCI data and analysis should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of any future performance analysis, forecast or prediction. None of the MSCI data is intended to constitute investment advice or a recommendation to make (or refrain from making) any kind of investment decision and may not be relied on as such.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Source for performance: T. Rowe Price. Fund performance is calculated using the official NAV with dividends reinvested, if any. The value of an investment and any income from it can go down as well as up. Investors may get back less than the amount invested. It will be affected by changes in the exchange rate between the base currency of the fund and the subscription currency, if different. Sales charges (up to a maximum of 5% for the A Class), taxes and other locally applied costs have not been deducted and if applicable, they will reduce the performance figures.

Daily performance data is based on the latest available NAV.  

The Funds are sub-funds of the T. Rowe Price Funds SICAV, a Luxembourg investment company with variable capital which is registered with Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier and which qualifies as an undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities (“UCITS”). Full details of the objectives, investment policies and risks are located in the prospectus which is available with the key investor information documents and/or key information document (KID) in English and in an official language of the jurisdictions in which the Funds are registered for public sale, together with the articles of incorporation and the annual and semi-annual reports (together “Fund Documents”). Any decision to invest should be made on the basis of the Fund Documents which are available free of charge from the local representative, local information/paying agent or from authorised distributors. They can also be found along with a summary of investor rights in English at www.troweprice.com. The Management Company reserves the right to terminate marketing arrangements.

Please note that the Fund typically has a risk of high volatility.

Hedged share classes (denoted by 'h') utilise investment techniques to mitigate currency risk between the underlying investment currency(ies) of the fund and the currency of the hedged share class.  The costs of doing so will be borne by the share class and there is no guarantee that such hedging will be effective.

The specific securities identified and described in this website do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for the sub-fund and no assumptions should be made that the securities identified and discussed were or will be profitable.

Attribution Data: Analysis represents the total performance of the portfolio as calculated by the FactSet attribution model and is inclusive of other assets that that will not receive a classification assignment in the detailed structure shown. Returns will not match official T. Rowe Price performance because FactSet uses different exchange rate sources and does not capture intra-day trading. Performance for each security is obtained in the local currency and, if necessary, is converted to U.S. dollars using an exchange rate determined by an independent third party. Figures are shown with gross dividends reinvested.

Sources: Copyright © 2024 FactSet Research Systems Inc. All rights reserved. MSCI/S&P GICS Sectors; Analysis by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. T. Rowe Price uses the MSCI/S&P Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) for sector and industry reporting. Each year, MSCI and S&P make changes to the GICS structure. The last change occurred on September 28, 2018. T. Rowe Price will adhere to all future updates to GICS for prospective reporting.

The Global Industry Classification Standard ("GICS") was developed by and is the exclusive property and a service mark of Morgan Stanley Capital International Inc, ("MSCI") and Standard & Poor's, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. ("S&P") and is licensed for use by [Licensee]. Neither MSCI, S&P nor any third party involved in making or compiling the GICS or any GICS classifications makes any express or impIied warranties or representations with respect to such standard or classification (or the results to be obtained by the use thereof), and all such parties hereby expressly disclaim all warranties of originality, accuracy, completeness, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose with respect to any or such standard or classification, Without limiting any or the foregoing, in no event shall MSCI, S&P, any of their affiliates or any third party involved in making or compiling the GICS or any GICS classifications have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

A full list of the currently issued Share Classes including Distributing, Hedged, and Accumulating Categories may be obtained, free of charge and upon request, from the registered office of the Company.  

 

©2024 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved. The information  contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete, or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Citywire Data Source: Citywire – where the fund manager is rated by Citywire, the rating is based on the manager’s 3-year risk adjusted performance. For further information on ratings methodology, please visit www.aboutcitywire.com.