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SICAV

Emerging Markets Discovery Equity Fund

Formerly Emerging Markets Value Equity Fund

Utilises a contrarian approach to invest in undervalued emerging markets companies positioned to benefit from a re-rating thesis for change.

ISIN LU1244138340 Valoren 29636631

3YR Return Annualised
(View Total Returns)

Total Assets
(USD)

12.50%
$117.7m

1YR Return
(View Total Returns)

Manager Tenure

17.23%
4yrs

Information Ratio
(3 Years)

Tracking Error
(3 Years)

0.23
4.09%

Inception Date 14-Sep-2015

Performance figures calculated in USD

Other Literature

30-Nov-2019 - Ernest Yeung, Portfolio Manager,
We continue to find pockets of opportunities in emerging markets (EM) despite investors’ continued preference for growth over value stocks in November. We see growth improving in Brazil and political risk seems contained. In Russia, we think its twin-surplus economy (budget and current account) and increasing focus on dividends and share buybacks offer good downside support. We remain invested in Chinese old economy stocks as their H-shares are trading at undemanding valuations.
Ernest C.  Yeung
Ernest C. Yeung, Portfolio Manager

Ernest Yeung is a portfolio manager for the Emerging Markets Discovery Equity Strategy at T. Rowe Price. He was the co-portfolio manager for the International Small-Cap Equity Strategies from 2009 to 2014. Mr. Yeung is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. and T. Rowe Price Hong Kong Limited.

 

Strategy

Investment Objective

To increase the value of its shares, over the long term, through growth in the value of its investments. The fund invests mainly in a widely diversified portfolio of stocks of emerging market companies.

Investment Approach

  • Aim to exploit the valuation anomalies that arise across the diverse and inefficient emerging market opportunity set.
  • Employ a contrarian approach using fundamental research, quantitative screen and industry contacts to identify companies that are out of favour, undervalued and that offer an attractive risk and reward profile.
  • Minimize the risk of value traps by focusing on companies offering yield or a book value anchor to the valuation, and where we have identified re-rating thesis that can lead to an expansion in valuation over time.
  • Risk management is an integral part of the portfolio construction process.

Portfolio Construction

  • Typically 50-80 stock portfolio
  • Expected 4-8% tracking error
  • Individual position typically 0.5% to 5%, position sized by prospective risks
  • Country ranges +/-10% absolute deviation from the benchmark
  • Sector ranges +/-15% absolute deviation from the benchmark
  • Reserves are normally less than 5%, max 10%

Performance (Class I)

Annualised Performance

  1 YR 3 YR
Annualised
5 YR
Annualised
Since Inception
Annualised
Since Manager Inception
Annualised
Fund % 17.23% 12.50% N/A 11.55% 11.55%
Indicative Benchmark % 18.42% 11.57% N/A 10.33% 10.33%
Excess Return % -1.19% 0.93% N/A 1.22% 1.22%

Inception Date 14-Sep-2015

Manager Inception Date 14-Sep-2015

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI Emerging Markets Index Net

Data as of  31-Dec-2019

  1 YR 3 YR
Annualised
5 YR
Annualised
Since Inception
Annualised
Fund % 17.23% 12.50% N/A 11.55%
Indicative Benchmark % 18.42% 11.57% N/A 10.33%
Excess Return % -1.19% 0.93% N/A 1.22%

Inception Date 14-Sep-2015

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI Emerging Markets Index Net

Data as of  31-Dec-2019

Performance figures calculated in USD

Recent Performance

  Month to Date Quarter to Date Year to Date 1 MonthData as of 31-Dec-2019 3 MonthsData as of 31-Dec-2019
Fund % N/A N/A N/A 6.60% 12.21%
Indicative Benchmark % N/A N/A N/A 7.46% 11.84%
Excess Return % N/A N/A N/A -0.86% 0.37%

Inception Date 14-Sep-2015

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI Emerging Markets Index Net

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI Emerging Markets Index Net

Performance figures calculated in USD

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.  Source for fund 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. 

Where the base currency of the fund differs from the share class currency, exchange rate movements may affect returns.

Returns shown with reinvestment of dividends after the deduction of withholding taxes. 

Effective 1 July 2018, the "net" version of the indicative benchmark replaced the "gross" version of the indicative benchmark. The "net" version of the indicative benchmark assumes the reinvestment of dividends after the deduction of withholding taxes applicable to the country where the dividend is paid; as such, the returns of the new benchmark are more representative of the returns experienced by investors in foreign issuers. Historical benchmark performance has been restated accordingly. 

30-Nov-2019 - Ernest Yeung, Portfolio Manager,
EM equities edged lower in November, underperforming their developed market counterparts. Political and social unrest in several Latin American countries unnerved investors while in emerging Asia, China led gains as its central bank stepped up monetary easing. Within the portfolio, stock selection in India, particularly our choices within financials such as State Bank of India and ICICI Bank, drove the portfolio’s outperformance. Sentiment toward financials, such as corporate lenders, turned positive after a supreme court ruling involving a steel producer brought relief to banks. At the sector level, consumer-related companies, most notably Vipshop, boosted relative returns as the Chinese online discount retailer reported better-than-expected results due to its proactive cost cutting. Tsingtao Brewery shares also advanced after two consecutive months of losses, helping performance the most among the consumer staple names that we own. In contrast, not owning Alibaba, curbed returns. The ecommerce firm had a successful trading debut in Hong Kong, but we continued to stay away from overcrowded names given our quest for “forgotten” or out-of-favour stocks.

Holdings

Total
Holdings
61
Largest Holding Samsung Electronics 6.73% Was (30-Sep-2019) 6.45%
Other View Full Holdings Quarterly data as of 31-Dec-2019
Top 10 Holdings 26.41% View Top 10 Holdings Monthly data as of 31-Dec-2019

Largest Top Contributor^

Samsung Electronics
By 4.25%
% of fund 6.73%

Largest Top Detractor^

PKO Bank Polski
By -0.06%
% of fund 1.78%

^Absolute

Quarterly Data as of 31-Dec-2019

Top Purchase

Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (N)
1.67%
Was (30-Sep-2019) 0.00%

Top Sale

Nedbank
0.94%
Was (30-Sep-2019) 2.06%

Quarterly Data as of 31-Dec-2019

30-Sep-2019 - Ernest Yeung, Portfolio Manager,

South Africa remained our largest country relative overweight. We believe that the country will continue to pursue a path toward reform although market sentiment has weakened amid high expectations. However, we are not solely looking at the implementation of broad reforms but are also betting on individual companies that are improving. We believe that South African companies are generally well managed with good corporate governance and a high dividend yield. We continue to focus on companies with downside support, such as those with high dividend yield, and with potential upside.

China remained our largest country position in absolute terms. We think China's commitment to its economic transformation remains intact despite the trade conflict with the U.S. Our bias in China is skewed to companies geared toward the domestic market and so-called "old economy'' stocks. We continued to add positions in stocks overlooked by investors, but ones with cash on their balance sheets, disciplined capital spending, and management incentives aligned with shareholders, or that we believe are poised for recovery. We like state-owned enterprises that are putting in place effective reforms.

We stay invested in H-share names despite the current market sentiment as we believe that their fundamentals are strong. Within China, we do not have any holdings in the A shares and we significantly underown Chinese ADRs.

In Latin America, we reduced our relative underweight Brazil. We think Brazil is broadly on track in implementing its reform agenda and our position in select financial names should benefit from the eventual recovery in GDP growth and corporate investments.

From a sector perspective, the financials sector remained by far our most significant absolute position and was our largest relative bet. In contrast, we are most underweight in communication services and consumer discretionary in relative terms. We remain true to our portfolio's philosophy of seeking "forgotten" stocks and have avoided exposure to big internet companies, which are teeming with investors.

We continue to look for names that have limited impact from the U.S.-China trade strife, such as companies that are into the early stages of their self-help and turnaround stories. We look for companies that the market may have misunderstood but which have a wide margin of safety in terms of valuations or what we view as a highly visible, improving outlook. We prefer stable companies, which may have been overlooked by mainstream investors, and those not followed by sell-side research, but which have the potential for improvement. Once we have identified these triggers for fundamental change or operational improvement, we have a three-year horizon to allow them to materialize.

We are firm about this three-year incubation period as we seek to avoid value traps and aim to actively get ahead of fundamental changes. We believe that waiting for mean reversion may be a flawed process in EM as it may not always transpire given the reduced efficiency of the markets compared with their developed counterparts.

The "forgotten" stock opportunities we select have asymmetric risk/return profiles where, given the market's diminished expectations of them, they are unlikely to retreat further on disappointing news, but with favorable news, their upside potential could be substantial, in our view. We prefer stocks that will likely emerge as beneficiaries of supply consolidation and those that generate high free cash flow.

China Remained Our Biggest Country Position; Focus on Reforms, Consolidation

In China, we invested in new "forgotten" names with better prospects as a result of new management incentives aligned with shareholder interests, or those benefiting from market consolidation. These are companies that may be underowned but are putting in place measures to bolster prospects for growth and which have strong balance sheets that provide support. We kept our positive view on old economy names as their fundamentals remain strong despite share price weakness. In terms of the latest earnings results, the majority of these companies have performed better than expected. Hence, our investment views remain intact.

For instance, we started to invest in Dongfeng Motor, one of China's largest automakers and the joint venture partner of Nissan, Honda and Peugeot in China. We see Dongfeng Motor fitting into our quest for state-owned enterprises undergoing reforms as its management had put in place a share incentive program last year to align the interests of management more closely with those of shareholders. They are closing down idle capacity plants. Moreover, we see Dongfeng benefiting from the big disparity between domestic and foreign brands in China. It has a healthy balance sheet and positive free cash flow. Lastly, the auto industry, which has been in a slump, may see a cyclical upturn in the next 12 to 18 months.

Aside from Dongfeng, we also established a new position in the abovementioned Shimao Property, an attractively valued homebuilder that is poised to grow its share in the market.

We also added to our existing stake in Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC), while we eliminated our position in the Agricultural Bank of China, where we had lowered our conviction due to a lack of drivers for the stock. We view PSBC as a "forgotten" and underowned name, with an underutilized balance sheet and improving distribution. The bank has 8,000 branches and uses the 32,000 branches of China Post to raise deposits. We see it as a conservative bank with a loan to deposit ratio lower than rivals, which gives it room to grow. Under PSBC's new leadership, the bank seeks to slowly rollout bank lending products to Chinese retail and small and medium-sized enterprises through the postal network in addition to its own branches. If PSBC succeeds, it could further accelerate loan and earnings growth relative to China's big four banks and unlike them, it faces less pressure to manage earnings growth or lend to priority sectors. It is also working to improve its risk management systems and customer reach by cooperation with technology firms including Tencent, one of its strategic investors.

South Africa Overweight Maintained as Faith in Long-Term Prospects in Place

Our long-term case for investing in South Africa holds despite fairly depressed market sentiment amid slower progress on reforms and cyclical recovery. Many of the stocks we hold fit in the "forgotten" framework. We feel that their valuations reflect a pessimistic view and may be poised to recover as reforms are implemented and the economy bottoms out. We think that the situation in South Africa is stabilizing and is at the nascent stage of its path to economic recovery. We believe President Cyril Ramaphosa understands the problems facing the country and the need to clean up the system, which has been tainted by scandals in recent years. Aside from our belief in South Africa's quest for reform, its domestic economy boasts of a young demographic, rich resources, and it has some of the best-managed companies that have been through many cycles in the EM space.

We added to our existing positions in Naspers following the listing of its business in Amsterdam, where we elected to own shares of Nasper than the new Prosus stock. The listing is seen as a move by Naspers to reduce a large discount in its shares created by the size of its holdings in Tencent. Elsewhere in South Africa, we raised our stake in Nedbank Group, a key player in the South African corporate banking space, which we like due to its quality franchise, strong management team, and well-controlled operating expenses amid the soft revenue backdrop. We have increased our positions in Telkom, Barloworld and Absa Group as mentioned above.

We Trimmed our Taiwan and South Korea Underweight

We reduced our relative underweight to Taiwan as we initiated a position in Hon Hai, an electronics manufacturer that has been weighed down by the U.S.-China trade conflict and by the iPhone cycle. Taiwan is our biggest relative underweight in country terms. We think the stock will benefit from a cyclical recovery and we are positive about the company's new cost-cutting strategy. Its management has a good execution track record in achieving such internal cost targets. The company also has a net cash balance sheet and an enticing dividend yield.

In South Korea, we increased our holdings in the aforementioned Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix as we see them benefitting from a recovery in semiconductor demand. Within information technology, we eliminated our position in Lenovo as our investment thesis for the company has played out. It delivered on cost-cutting measures and returns have significantly improved. However, the company's focus has switched to increasing market share instead of reducing costs while it has also been hit by the U.S.-China trade dispute.

Brazil Relative Underweight Reduced

Turning to Latin America, we pared our relative underweight in Brazil as we initiated a position in BRF, a food producer from this South American country. We bought into this company's deleveraging story as its balance sheet has stabilised for two quarters following some asset sale and restructuring measures. The company may be turning into a free cash flow generator.

Relative Overweight to Financials, Real Estate Raised

Financials remained our biggest sector position in absolute and relative terms at the end of the quarter. Aside from increasing our holdings in China's PSBC, which has a strong balance sheet and favorable growth prospects, we boosted our position in PKO Bank Polski, one of the largest banks in Poland and in our view, among the best managed. Bank Polski has a strong capital position, which should provide downside support. Poland is one of the most fragmented banking industries in Central Eastern Europe and consolidation can be a powerful multi-year theme that may possibly benefit PKO.

Within real estate, aside from the new position in Shimao, we bolstered our position in China Overseas Land, one of the largest residential property developers in China, which we view as another market share gainer. The company has a huge advantage in acquiring land and has the lowest cost of funding. It introduced a stock option plan to some of its management team last year and intends to increase the participation. The key performance indicators linked to the plan were profitability, return on equity and sales volume.

Below-Benchmark Position in Consumer Discretionary Pared

Consumer discretionary was among the bigger relative underweights during the quarter. However, this underweight allocation was reduced as we initiated a position in Dongfeng Motor and added into Naspers as previously discussed. We also increased our holdings in Vipshop, a Chinese online discount retailer. We bought into Vipshop as we believe that the market has not fully recognised the firm's self-help measures, which are expected to lead to improved margins. The company has started to focus on core discounted apparel and cut low-margin categories while scaling back research and development spending.

Within the sector, however, we exited Tata Motors due to disappointment over its Indian business, changes made by management to the Jaguar Land Rover business, and fresh uncertainties revolving around Brexit. Proceeds from the disposal were used to boost our positions in high-conviction names.

We Turned Less Overweight in Industrials and Business Services

We eliminated Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric, a supplier of core electrical components for trains in China. CRRC was seen to benefit from the recovery of China's railway equipment capital expenditure growth, but the deceleration in China's overall capital spending has cast a pall on railway investments. Its share price slumped in the quarter amid the weakness in H-shares.

We exited LT Group, a Philippine conglomerate involved in tobacco, banking, distilled spirits, beverages, and property development after our investment thesis played out and a possible change in its top management. The company has cleaned up its tobacco division and its banking business is improving. LT President Michael Tan, who has turned around businesses, sold most of his stake in the company, and there is market talk that his father, who is the company founder and chairman, may be making changes to the management.

Sectors

Total
Sectors
11
Largest Sector Financials 30.58% Was (30-Nov-2019) 31.19%
Other View complete Sector Diversification

Monthly Data as of 31-Dec-2019

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI Emerging Markets Index

Top Contributor^

Financials
Net Contribution 0.51%
Sector
-0.15%
Selection 0.65%

Top Detractor^

Communication Services
Net Contribution -0.86%
Sector
0.16%
Selection
-1.03%

^Relative

Quarterly Data as of 31-Dec-2019

Largest Overweight

Financials
By6.34%
Fund 30.58%
Indicative Benchmark 24.24%

Largest Underweight

Communication Services
By-5.09%
Fund 5.94%
Indicative Benchmark 11.03%

Monthly Data as of 31-Dec-2019

30-Nov-2019 - Ernest Yeung, Portfolio Manager,
We increased our allocation to communication services in November, one of our biggest sector relative underweights. We started to invest in a Brazilian mobile telecommunication service provider, which we see benefitting from an improving competitive environment and market consolidation. Moreover, Brazil’s pro-market government managed to get the long overdue telecom reform approved. We also added to our holdings in a Russian telecom provider, one of the few domestic companies that yields high dividends and is not driven by oil and commodity prices. We think that regulation in Russia has been favourable to telecommunication incumbents.

Countries

Total
Countries
19
Largest Country China 33.77% Was (30-Nov-2019) 34.19%
Other View complete Country Diversification

Monthly Data as of 31-Dec-2019

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI Emerging Markets Index

Top Contributor^

India
Net Contribution 0.96%
Country
0.34%
Selection 0.61%

Top Detractor^

South Africa
Net Contribution -1.15%
Country
0.01%
Selection
-1.15%

^Relative

Quarterly Data as of 31-Dec-2019

Largest Overweight

Mexico
By3.85%
Fund 6.13%
Indicative Benchmark 2.28%

Largest Underweight

Taiwan
By-6.61%
Fund 5.09%
Indicative Benchmark 11.70%

Monthly Data as of 31-Dec-2019

30-Nov-2019 - Ernest Yeung, Portfolio Manager,
We reduced our allocation to South Africa, our biggest country position. Here, we trimmed our holdings in financial names and a conglomerate while we closed our position in Tsogo Sun Gaming. We have been concerned by the fiscal balance deterioration and foreign exchange headwinds hitting our holdings recently. Still, we believe in the long-term case for investing in the country. Elsewhere, we turned more overweight to Russia as we initiated a position in a trading platform that may benefit from a recovering economy and capital markets. It may also gain from a lower rate environment as investors chase dividend-yielding stocks.

Team (As of 06-Jan-2020)

Ernest C.  Yeung

Ernest Yeung is a portfolio manager for the Emerging Markets Discovery Equity Strategy at T. Rowe Price. He was the co-portfolio manager for the International Small-Cap Equity Strategies from 2009 to 2014. Mr. Yeung is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. and T. Rowe Price Hong Kong Limited.

Mr. Yeung has 17 years of investment experience, 15 of which have been with T. Rowe Price. Prior to joining the firm in 2003, he was an analyst with HSBC Asset Management in London.

Mr. Yeung earned an M.A., with honours, in economics from Cambridge University. He also has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and the Investment Management Certificate. 

  • Fund manager
    since
    2015
  • Years at
    T. Rowe Price
    16
  • Years investment
    experience
    18
Nick Beecroft

Nicholas Beecroft is a portfolio specialist in the Equity Division at T. Rowe Price, representing the firm's global equity strategies. He is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. and T. Rowe Price International Ltd.

Mr. Beecroft has 18 years of investment experience, 14 of which have been with T. Rowe Price. He joined the firm in London in 2005 and spent many years working with our emerging markets equity team. Mr. Beecroft has been based in Hong Kong since 2011. Prior to joining T. Rowe Price, he was an investment analyst at Mercer Investment Consulting.

Mr. Beecroft earned a B.A, with honours, in contemporary European studies from the University of Southampton. He also has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

  • Years at
    T. Rowe Price
    14
  • Years investment
    experience
    18

Fee Schedule

Share Class Minimum Initial Investment and Holding Amount Minimum Subsequent Investment Minimum Redemption Amount Sales Charge (up to) Investment Management Fee (up to) Ongoing Charges
Class A $15,000 $100 $100 5.00% 190 basis points 2.07%
Class I $2,500,000 $100,000 $0 0.00% 100 basis points 1.10%
Class Q $15,000 $100 $100 0.00% 100 basis points 1.17%

Please note that the Ongoing Charges figure is inclusive of the Investment Management Fee and is charged per annum.

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GIPS® Information

T. Rowe Price ("TRP") claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®). TRP has been independently verified for the twenty one- year period ended June 30, 2017 by KPMG LLP. The verification report is available upon request. Verification assesses whether (1) the firm has complied with all the composite construction requirements of the GIPS standards on a firm-wide basis and (2) the firm's policies and procedures are designed to calculate and present performance in compliance with the GIPS standards. Verification does not ensure the accuracy of any specific composite presentation.

TRP is a U.S. investment management firm with various investment advisers registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, and other regulatory bodies in various countries and holds itself out as such to potential clients for GIPS purposes. TRP further defines itself under GIPS as a discretionary investment manager providing services primarily to institutional clients with regard to various mandates, which include U.S, international, and global strategies but excluding the services of the Private Asset Management group.

A complete list and description of all of the Firm's composites and/or a presentation that adheres to the GIPS® standards are available upon request. Additional information regarding the firm's policies and procedures for calculating and reporting performance results is available upon request

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