Alma Eikoh Japan Large Cap Equity Fund

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Overview

  • Alma Eikoh Japan Large Cap Equity Fund invests in a concentrated number of Japanese equities selected through a “bottom up” process.
  • The fund’s management is delegated to Eikoh Research Investment Management.

Share Class

NAV

Cumulative Performance (%)

Fund Inception 12 June 2014

Daily Monthly Ytd 1Yr 3Yr 5Yr Incept. Incept.Date

The performance data shown represents past performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. The investment return and the principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.


Strategy & Manager

Funds Strategy

Investment objective: seek long-term capital growth by investing generally in Japanese large cap stocks (with market  capitalisation in excess of US$ 1bn)

• Investment process: analyse long term company fundamentals through extensive in-house bottom up research with a strong risk management ethos

• Portfolio of around 25-30 companies which are well managed, profitable and with good prospects. Portfolio managers believe that Cash Flow Return on Investment and value creation are key

• Benchmark: Topix


Investment Manager

ERIM LLP: firm founded by the Japanese equity fund management team at Deutsche Asset Management in London, as part of a supported spin-out from Deutsche Bank. Regulated by the FCA and the SEC.

• The portfolio managers, led by James Pulsford, have worked together for over 15 years
• Eikoh focuses on research and investment in Japanese listed companies

Key Persons

James Pulsford – Chief Executive and Chief Investment Officer

James started his career at Morgan Grenfell in 1987, moving to Japan shortly thereafter. During his 12 years in Tokyo, he went on to become the Head of the Small Cap Equity team. James returned to London in 1999 where he managed a number of Japanese large cap products for what became Deutsche Asset Management. As well as various Japanese long only mandates, James has developed the Equilibria Japan long/short strategy at this time. James now has over 30 years’ experience investing in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese. He holds a BA from Oxford University.

 

Sara Gardiner-Hill – Senior Portfolio Manager

Sara is one of the founding members of Eikoh and has been with the firm since inception. Prior to the establishment of Eikoh, Sara had been with Deutsche Asset Management since 2001 where she was a portfolio manager for the Japan long/short strategy since its inception in 2002, as well as a portfolio manager for the Investment Manager’s long only mandates. After leaving university, Sara spent 3 years in Japan working and learning Japanese before moving back to the UK to start her career in investment management. Sara is a CFA Charter holder as well as a Fellow of the Securities Institute and holds a BA from Oxford University.

 

Karl Hammond – Portfolio Manager

Karl formally joined James and Sara in 2009 although he had been working closely with them since he joined Deutsche Bank in 2003. Karl initially managed a number of Japanese and Global funds within the Deutsche Bank $2bn Global Diversified business and DB Global Investment Management’s $3bn institutional and private client equity business. Karl is a CFA Charter holder and holds a first class BA from the University of Nottingham.


Statistics & Commentary

Performance

The performance data shown represents past performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. The investment return and the principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Sector Breakdown as a % of AUM

as of 28/06/2019

Portfolio Characteristics

as of 28/06/2019
Main indicators Fund Index
No. of securities 31 2140
Weighted Average Market Cap (¥ bn) 4072 3302
Median Market Cap (¥ bn) 1628 45
Dividend Yield (%) 2.5 2.5
Historical Price / Earnings 12.1x 13.6x
Historical Price / Cashflow 8.2x 8.4x
Historical Price / Book 1.1x 1.1x
Volatility since inception (%) 20.3 18.6
Sharpe ratio since inception (%) 3.1 2.1
Active share (%) 81.3 -
Beta since inception 1.05 -
Tracking error since inception (%) 5.7 -
Information ratio since inception 4.2 -

Top 10 Position Details

as of 28/06/2019
Security name Sector % AUM
MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GRO Financials 6.11
TOYOTA MOTOR CORP Consumer Discretionary 5.83
SUMITOMO MITSUI FINANCIAL GR Financials 4.80
SHIN-ETSU CHEMICAL CO LTD Materials 4.52
MITSUBISHI CORP Industrials 4.27
DAIICHI SANKYO CO LTD Health Care 4.17
MITSUI FUDOSAN CO LTD Real Estate 3.97
JXTG HOLDINGS INC Energy 3.61
SONY CORP Consumer Discretionary 3.61
J FRONT RETAILING CO LTD Consumer Discretionary 3.61

Investment Manager's Commentary

as of 28/06/2019

Market Review and Outlook

The market rose 2.57% (TOPIX without dividends reinvested) during June, following global markets higher as the Fed indicated an open stance towards rate cuts in the US and the ECB also indicated a continuation of easy monetary policy. The yen showed little response, strengthening only marginally from Y/$108.3 to Y107.9 over the month. Trade tensions between the US and China continued to hang over the market but there was some softening of the rhetoric towards the end of the month and this allowed the economic cyclical areas of the market to outperform with mining, metals, shipping and machinery amongst the top performers and defensive sectors lagged.

Domestic economic statistics announced over the month continued to reflect a rather stagnant economic picture.  Industrial production in May was up 2.3% from April but this was still a 1.8% decline YoY and the Economy Watchers Survey current conditions remain weak at 44.1. Of more concern here was the rapidly deteriorating outlook, with an April reading of 48.4 declining to 45.6 in May, presumably in response to continued global trade tensions. Ahead of the impending consumption tax hike in October consumer confidence continues to be under pressure, falling further from 39.4 to 38.7 over the month, all despite a tight labour market with unemployment remaining at 2.4% and the job-to-applicant ratio still at an elevated 1.62.

 

While there are indications of a temporary trade war truce following a meeting between Trump and Xi at the G20, with further tariffs being delayed and concessions made regarding restrictions on Huawei, there remains great uncertainty hanging over markets and this is reflected in the macroeconomic statistics we follow as well as in anecdotal evidence we hear from Japanese companies across the technology and machinery supply chains in particular. While a simplistic view it continues to be the case that the development of trade relations between the US and China appears to be the principal determinant of future growth prospects for the global economy. Concerns over global growth have weighed on the Japanese market which has underperformed global markets significantly over the last year. While a recovery in global growth is the obvious trigger that might precipitate a recovery in performance, even in its absence we think that Japan looks attractive for longer term investors. Valuations of Japanese stocks look cheap, corporate balance sheets healthy and there are clear moves towards improving shareholder returns. Japan also offers investors a stable pro-growth political administration. These factors are likely to support the market even if current very uncertain conditions continue. The Topix is trading at 1.13x book, on an estimated PER of 12.7x and a dividend yield of 2.50%.

Fund

The Fund rose 4.7% (I JPY C share class) in June, outperforming Topix which rose by 2.8% (dividends reinvested).

The Fund outperformed Topix during the month driven by stock selection while asset allocation also contributed positively. Stock selection in pharmaceuticals, retailing, materials and transportation all made significant positive contributions, as did stock selection within and being overweight technology hardware & equipment. Negative contributions included stock selection in healthcare equipment & services, being overweight banks and real estate and both our underweight positioning and stock selection within capital goods.

At the stock level the largest contributor was Hitachi High-Tech, which rallied sharply at the beginning of the month as its parent company Hitachi announced that it was looking at ways to increase corporate value including a review of its subsidiaries. Shin-Etsu Chemical was also a major contributor as a softening of US – China trade rhetoric towards the end of the month helped support technology related shares, with JSR and TDK also rallying late in the month to post notable positive contributions. Sosei continued its positive momentum from the previous month to also add value in June and Mitsui OSK contributed positively as it rose towards the end of the month reflecting hopes for a possible bottoming in shipping industry fundamentals. The largest negative contributors included M3, Keisei Electric Rail, Mitsui Fudosan, Topcon and Mitsubishi Corp.

During the month we initiated a new position in Taiyo Yuden whose core high end multi-layer ceramic capacitor business should see solid growth over the medium term driven by growing demand for auto electrification, servers, connectivity and the increasing complexity of handsets. We established a small position in Money Forward whose strong presence in the rapidly growing cloud accounting market should allow them to deliver strong profit growth over the medium to longer term and which looks attractively valued after a period of share price weakness. We also took advantage of set-back in the share prices of Topcon and J-Front Retailing to add to these positions. We reduced the position in IHI on concerns about potential further losses on one of their LNG projects and ongoing higher than expected engine related development costs. We sold the position in Rakuten after it had risen strongly buoyed by favourable news-flow on its mobile business and the IPO of Lyft where it held a sizeable stake. We also reduced the position in Yahoo Japan following a period of outperformance. The position in Mitsui OSK was reduced as its earnings in dry bulk, tankers and their terminal businesses are weaker than we had hoped when we last met them.


Facts & Documents

Facts

Fund Domicile: Luxembourg

Management Fee: 0.90% p.a. for I shares

Fund Type: UCITS SICAV

Fund Launch: 12 June 2014

Base Currency: JPY

Depositary, Administrator, Transfert Agent: BNP Paribas Securities Services (LU)

Dealing: Each day with 1-day notice

Cut-off time: 12 pm CET

Management Company: Alma Capital Investment Management (LU)

Investment Manager: ERIM LLP (London, UK)

Fund Managers: James Pulsford, Sara Gardiner-Hill, Karl Hammond

Countries where the fund is registered:
Austria, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Singapore

Identifiers:

Institutional USD Hedged Capitalisation share class
ISIN: LU1013117160   Ticker: AEJIUHA LX    Launch: 12 Jun 2014

Institutional GBP Hedged Capitalisation share class
ISIN: LU1013116949   Ticker: AEJIGHA LX    Launch: 12 Jun 2014

Institutional EUR Hedged Capitalisation share class
ISIN: LU1013116782   Ticker: AEJIEHA LX    Launch: 10 Dec 2014

Institutional JPY Capitalisation share class
ISIN: LU1013116519   Ticker: AEJPIJA LX    Launch: 10 Dec 2014

Institutional GBP Unhedged Capitalisation share class
ISIN: LU1152097108   Ticker: AEKJEGC LX    Launch: 17 Feb 2015

Institutional EUR Unhedged Distribution share class
ISIN: LU1870374920   Ticker: AEJLIED LX    Launch: 8 Mar 2019

Documents

SICAV ALMA CAPITAL INVESTMENT FUNDS
  1. Articles of Association
  2. Prospectus - Other languages available upon request
  3. List of subcustodians
  4. Audited annual report
  5. Semi-annual report
  6. Monthly reports