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T. Rowe Price ("TRP") claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) and has prepared and presented this report in compliance with the GIPS standards. T. Rowe Price has been independently verified for the twenty four-year period ended June 30, 2020, by KPMG LLP. The verification report is available upon request. A firm that claims compliance with the GIPS standards must establish policies and procedures for complying with all the applicable requirements of the GIPS standards. Verification provides assurance on whether the firm’s policies and procedures related to composite and pooled fund maintenance, as well as the calculation, presentation, and distribution of performance, have been designed in compliance with the GIPS standards and have been implemented on a firm-wide basis. Verification does not provide assurance on the accuracy of any specific performance report.

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SICAV

Asian Opportunities Equity Fund

A concentrated portfolio of high-quality Asian companies.

ISIN LU1044871900 Bloomberg TRAOAEI:LX

3YR Return Annualised
(View Total Returns)

Total Assets
(USD)

18.86%
$364.9m

1YR Return
(View Total Returns)

Manager Tenure

13.88%
7yrs

Information Ratio
(5 Years)

Tracking Error
(5 Years)

0.74
4.49%

Inception Date 21-May-2014

Performance figures calculated in USD

31-Oct-2021 - Eric C. Moffett, Portfolio Manager ,
We believe that domestic demand in Asia ex-Japan is holding up relatively well despite the uneven recovery. Amid regulatory risks in China, we focus on the long-term fundamentals of individual companies and aim to identify names that are well positioned to withstand increased government scrutiny or that may benefit from opportunities created by policy changes.
Eric C. Moffett
Eric C. Moffett, Portfolio Manager

Eric Moffett is a portfolio manager in the International Equity Division. He manages the Asia Opportunities Equity Strategy and is chairman of the strategy's Investment Advisory Committee. Eric also is a co-portfolio manager of the Emerging Markets Equity Strategy. He is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc., and T. Rowe Price Singapore Private Limited.

Click for Manager Outlook
 

Strategy

Manager's Outlook

We remain constructive on the medium- to long-term outlook for Asia ex-Japan equities.� Most Asian economies are on a steady path to more normalized economic activity and north Asia has broadly picked up the pace compared with the rest of the region. In addition, demand for goods from these north Asian economies is driven by the West where economic activity is gaining traction.

We believe that domestic demand in Asia ex-Japan is holding up relatively well despite the uneven recovery of its economies. While the focus near-term has been on the regulatory clampdown in China, we believe we are nearing the end of this regulatory cycle. In our view, the government has no intention of derailing the future growth of various sectors but is seeking to bring more balance to the ecosystem and sustain social stability. The liquidity crisis at Evergrande is unlikely to have a material impact on the financial system and we do not expect any meaningful contagion. We believe that this turmoil may prompt further consolidation in the real estate sector, benefitting better run and financially stronger companies.�

We recognize that China undergoes cycles of policy changes and that the difficulty lies in predicting the timing and the mechanism by which the authorities will enforce policy shifts. However, these regulations fall within the broad policy framework that China has communicated over the years. Chinese President Xi Jinping's avowed social goals focus on three pillars, namely anticorruption, environmental protection, and social equality.

In terms of valuation, while there are pockets of excessive optimism in some sectors, we believe that the valuations of high-quality growth and cyclical growth businesses in Asia ex-Japan remain in line with historic levels. The recent regulatory actions in China have also substantially dragged down certain sectors, we believe this situation may yield opportunities for investors.

Apart from the regulatory policy shifts in China, other key risks for the region include the possibility of a new coronavirus variant, and the recurrence of geopolitical tensions, particularly between the U.S. and China.

We continue to build our portfolio from the bottom up and while we take the macroeconomic environment into account, our philosophy and process remain squarely centered on fundamental stock selection. We are confident that we can continue to identify the best quality businesses in the region, supported by our Asia-based equity analysts and a global fundamental research platform along with our disciplined investment approach.

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 diversified portfolio of stocks of companies in Asia.

Investment Approach

  • Seeking long term capital appreciation to come from owning high quality businesses that will reliably compound earnings/ cash flow generation over time.
  • In Asia, this type of company tends to exhibit three key characteristics:
    • Established companies with leading market positions.
    • Good management teams who care about shareholder returns.
    • Returns-focused capital allocation and prudent balance sheet management.
  • Fundamental research is critical in helping us to identify these characteristics and exploit market inefficiencies:
    • Focus on the long term. Be patient.
    • Gain a better understanding of the durability of a company’s prospects than the market.
    • More accurately assess a company’s intrinsic value than other market participants.
  • Environmental, social and governance ("ESG") factors with particular focus on those considered most likely to have a material impact on the performance of the holdings or potential holdings in the funds’ portfolio are assessed. These ESG factors, which are incorporated into the investment process alongside financials, valuation, macro-economics and other factors, are components of the investment decision. Consequently, ESG factors are not the sole driver of an investment decision but are instead one of several important inputs considered during investment analysis.

Portfolio Construction

  • Typically 40-70 stock portfolio
  • Individual positions typically range from 0.50% to 6.00%.
  • Country and sector weightings a residual of stock selection.
  • Cash position typically less than 5%.

Annualised Performance

  1 YR 3 YR
Annualised
5 YR
Annualised
Since Inception
Annualised
Since Manager Inception
Annualised
Fund % 13.88% 18.86% 14.10% 10.94% 10.94%
Indicative Benchmark % 12.82% 13.96% 10.77% 7.42% 7.42%
Excess Return % 1.06% 4.90% 3.33% 3.52% 3.52%

Inception Date 21-May-2014

Manager Inception Date 21-May-2014

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Net

Data as of 31-Oct-2021

Performance figures calculated in USD

  1 YR 3 YR
Annualised
5 YR
Annualised
Since Inception
Annualised
Fund % 13.57% 13.42% 12.75% 10.55%
Indicative Benchmark % 14.42% 9.19% 10.13% 7.31%
Excess Return % -0.85% 4.23% 2.62% 3.24%

Inception Date 21-May-2014

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Net

Data as of 30-Sep-2021

Performance figures calculated in USD

Recent Performance

  Month to DateData as of 26-Nov-2021 Quarter to DateData as of 26-Nov-2021 Year to DateData as of 26-Nov-2021 1 MonthData as of 31-Oct-2021 3 MonthsData as of 31-Oct-2021
Fund % -2.91% 0.53% -3.66% 3.54% 0.09%
Indicative Benchmark % -2.48% -1.15% -4.64% 1.36% -0.65%
Excess Return % -0.43% 1.68% 0.98% 2.18% 0.74%

Inception Date 21-May-2014

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Net

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan 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.

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

Index 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. 

31-Oct-2021 - Eric C. Moffett, Portfolio Manager ,
Overall, Asia ex-Japan equities advanced in October after weakness in the previous month. Stocks in China rose on hopes that regulatory risks have peaked. Within the portfolio, stock selection in China boosted relative returns. Owning one of the largest automobile dealers for some major brands added value due to strong results, despite concerns about the impact of the government’s “common prosperity’’ drive on the demand for luxury cars. We think that the near-term demand for entry-level luxury brands may be less affected by the policy. The Philippines was a source of strength for the fund largely due to our stock choices. A fast food operator boosted returns on expectations the company may benefit from an easing of coronavirus restrictions. An underweight in South Korea was beneficial given the market’s significant underperformance in October. In contrast, our underweight allocation in Indonesia hurt relative returns due to the market's outperformance. The fund has a small allocation in Indonesia where we have a position in one of its largest banks and in a consumer goods producer that we believe may benefit from the post-pandemic recovery.

Holdings

Total
Holdings
59
Largest Holding Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing 9.87% Was (30-Jun-2021) 9.13%
Other View Full Holdings Quarterly data as of  30-Sep-2021
Top 10 Holdings 42.12% View Top 10 Holdings Monthly data as of  31-Oct-2021

Largest Top Contributor^

China Overseas Land & Investment
% of fund 2.64%

Largest Top Detractor^

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing
% of fund 9.88%

^Absolute, percentages based on the difference between the total net assets of the two largest holdings of the fund.

Quarterly Data as of 30-Sep-2021

Top Purchase

Ping An Insurance
1.61%
Was (30-Jun-2021) 1.13%

Top Sale

ASML Holding
1.82%
Was (30-Jun-2021) 2.96%

Quarterly Data as of 30-Sep-2021

30-Sep-2021 - Eric C. Moffett, Portfolio Manager ,

China remains our biggest country position and we turned more overweight in this market during the quarter. We used weakness in China's market, due partly to concerns about the impact of Evergrande's debt troubles across the real estate sector and financial system, to add to our existing quality positions that had been sold off. We have not owned the stocks or bonds of Evergrande in the portfolio. We believe that Evergrande's debt crisis does not pose a systemic risk to China's financial system and that the government has many levers to pull if needed. Moreover, Evergrande's potential exit in the property sector may likely accelerate consolidation.

Overall, we continued to pursue high-quality, Asia-focused companies that can reliably compound earnings regardless of the economic cycle and policy changes. We favor cash-generative businesses that tend to be consumer focused and run by experienced management teams. The strength of domestic consumption in the region remains a key theme for the portfolio.�

The portfolio maintains its relatively high exposure in consumer-related sectors. We do not have strong country views as we build the portfolio from the bottom up and strive to own the best businesses across the region that meet our investment framework.

Financials

We have a sizeable weighting in the financial sector, and own banks with quality franchises and the potential for market share gains. We own businesses that will likely benefit from the cyclical recovery post COVID-19. During the quarter, we took advantage of share price weakness to buy more shares in the insurance names we already own that had fallen below their fair values amid concerns about the impact of the liquidity crisis at Evergrande. Shares of life insurers also retreated amid uncertainty about what the Chinese government's goal of "common prosperity" entailed for these companies.

  • We bought shares of Ping An Insurance, China's largest insurer by market capitalization, and deemed a market proxy. Ping An came under pressure following the decline in the value of new business as the insurer implemented a life agency reform that entailed a cut in its agency headcount. We think the transformation of its life agency model to professional career agents from largely part-timers is necessary and Ping An is ahead of its competitors on this.
  • AIA Group is a life insurer with a unique footprint in southeast Asia and a growing China business, a strong management team and sound capital position. We bought shares as we think AIA is well positioned in its structurally growing markets given its high-quality financial advisor network, supported by a strong technology and analytics platform.

  • We invested in Kakaobank, a leading digital bank in South Korea, which we view as a structural market share gainer. Its management team is strong with a technology background that has translated into a banking model built on engagement traffic with a cost advantage.

Real Estate

The portfolio increased its overweight allocation to the real estate sector during the review period after valuations become more attractive following the liquidity crisis at Evergrande. Our focus in this space is on Chinese developers with strong balance sheets that will likely continue to expand market share and property management companies which are steady earnings compounders. We also have a preference for Hong Kong names, which we believe will likely benefit with the economy reopening.

  • We hold China Overseas Land & Investment (COLI), which is one of the largest residential property developers in the country. Despite the Chinese government's leverage rules, we believe COLI is one developer which can continue increasing its market share. The debt crisis involving Evergrande may accelerate consolidation in the sector and COLI, a state-owned enterprise, will likely take market share in our view and emerge as a beneficiary. COLI has one of the strongest balance sheets in the sector and has not crossed any of the so-called "red lines" when others are forced to deleverage in this cycle. The Chinese government has introduced three "red lines", a set of thresholds on three financial ratios meant to curb excessive leverage across the property sector
  • Among property management companies in China, we continue to own China Overseas Property Holdings Limited (COPL) and Greentown Service Group. We believe COPL, a sister company of COLI, is a well-capitalized and well-run company as well as a stable compounder that is less subject to policy risk than property developers. We see Greentown as a share gainer that is likely under-earning given it has several initiatives that are at the investment stage.� �
  • We continue to own Hysan Development, a Hong Kong-listed commercial landlord, which we like for its strong financial position and focus on ensuring a stable absolute dividend.

Consumer Discretionary

Within the consumer discretionary sector, our preference is for cash-generative fast-food restaurants, e-commerce companies that include dominant market players and their rivals with new business models, and auto dealers benefiting from China's auto demand recovery and increasing aftermarket growth. We have considerable exposure to the consumer discretionary sector but in the quarter, we trimmed our holdings in the following names: �

  • Following news of China's new educational policy restricting private tuition of children, we sold shares of Chinese after-school tutoring provider New Oriental Education as it began its painful transition to becoming a non-profit organization. We believe that the restructuring of its tutoring business to comply with the new regulations will take time and involve uncertainties.
  • We sold shares of auto dealer China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings, the country's largest BMW and Porsche dealer, and Zhongsheng Group Holdings, one of the largest automobile dealers in the mainland amid concerns about the impact of the government's "common prosperity" goal on luxury car demand. The latter is also a proxy for growing Mercedes-Benz and Lexus sales. We think that the near-term demand for entry-level luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz will be less affected by the new policy but demand for higher-end, ultra-luxury brands may be at risk.

IT

The portfolio has a considerable absolute position in the IT sector, largely concentrated in semiconductor names, which have benefited from the surge in demand for technology devices and gadgets due to increased work-from-home schemes as a result of the pandemic. During the quarter, we sold shares of some of the semiconductor names we own.

  • We locked in some gains in semiconductor equipment maker ASML following its substantial share-price advance since the end of June 2020.��
  • TSMC makes almost all the world's most sophisticated chips and many of the simpler ones. We sold some shares following recent gains. We view TSMC as an earnings compounder and believe that given its business with auto and industrial semiconductor customers, it will weather the expected consumer semiconductor downcycle next year. We continue to like TSMC's strong execution in leading-edge semiconductors, its growing total addressable market, and new product cycles along with the favourable supply/demand dynamics for leading-edge nodes.

Communication Services

We have a sizable position in the communication services sector in absolute terms. Our focus here is on social media platforms and search engine companies that are benefiting from developments such as increased remote working and consumption of goods and services from home. In the quarter, however, we sold holdings that have been adversely affected by new regulations.

  • We sold shares of Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) after China's antitrust regulator ordered the music streaming arm of Tencent Holdings to end its exclusive music licensing deals with global record labels. TME is the largest online music service in China. We believe that product changes need time and existing competition in live streaming will continue to weigh on TME's profitability.

Sectors

Total
Sectors
10
Largest Sector Consumer Discretionary 23.59% Was (30-Sep-2021) 24.78%
Other View complete Sector Diversification

Monthly Data as of 31-Oct-2021

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index

Top Contributor^

Information Technology
Net Contribution 0.76%
Sector
-0.12%
Selection 0.88%

Top Detractor^

Consumer Staples
Net Contribution -0.81%
Sector
0.07%
Selection
-0.88%

^Relative

Quarterly Data as of 30-Sep-2021

Largest Overweight

Consumer Discretionary
By6.69%
Fund 23.59%
Indicative Benchmark 16.89%

Largest Underweight

Information Technology
By-4.70%
Fund 18.65%
Indicative Benchmark 23.35%

Monthly Data as of 31-Oct-2021

31-Oct-2021 - Eric C. Moffett, Portfolio Manager ,
Consumer discretionary remains our biggest sector position in absolute and relative terms. Our preference in this sector is for cash-generative fast-food restaurants, e-commerce companies that include dominant market players as well as their rivals with new business models, and an appliance maker that we think is likely to benefit from resumption of earnings growth after the pandemic. We also own auto dealers we see as well placed to gain market share due to increasing aftermarket growth that, in our view, are less affected by the Chinese government’s “common prosperity” campaign.

Countries

Total
Countries
10
Largest Country China 38.08% Was (30-Sep-2021) 38.42%
Other View complete Country Diversification

Monthly Data as of 31-Oct-2021

Indicative Benchmark: MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index

Top Contributor^

Netherlands
Net Contribution 0.71%
Country
0.71%
Selection 0.00%

Top Detractor^

India
Net Contribution -0.98%
Country
-0.56%
Selection
-0.42%

^Relative

Quarterly Data as of 30-Sep-2021

Largest Overweight

Philippines
By4.55%
Fund 5.30%
Indicative Benchmark 0.75%

Largest Underweight

South Korea
By-5.50%
Fund 8.45%
Indicative Benchmark 13.94%

Monthly Data as of 31-Oct-2021

31-Oct-2021 - Eric C. Moffett, Portfolio Manager ,
We increased our allocation to India, where we have a sizeable absolute position, taking advantage of the market’s weakness to add to financial stocks with quality franchises that we own here. In October, we invested in one of the country’s largest banks which has grown steadily with stable asset quality through past cycles. As a result, we turned less underweight in India. We also have existing positions in select Indian information technology services and consumer-related names that we believe are well positioned for post-pandemic growth.

Fee Schedule

Share Class Minimum Initial Investment and Holding Amount (USD) Minimum Subsequent Investment (USD) Minimum Redemption Amount (USD) Sales Charge (up to) Investment Management Fee (up to) Ongoing Charges
Class A $1,000 $100 $100 5.00% 160 basis points 1.77%
Class I $2,500,000 $100,000 $0 0.00% 75 basis points 0.85%
Class Q $1,000 $100 $100 0.00% 75 basis points 0.92%

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