Aberdeen Asian Income

AAIF’s focus on quality and value could be coming back into favour…

Add to watchlist Request a meeting Download View key data

Disclosure – Independent Investment Research

This is independent research issued by Kepler Partners LLP. Aberdeen Standard Investments is a client of Kepler Partners LLP. The report has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on the dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

Aberdeen Asian Income

Aberdeen Asian Income Fund (AAIF) invests in emerging Asia and Australasia. The objective is to generate a high, and growing income and the strategy is to focus on high quality, cash generative businesses which pay dividends.

AAIF yields 4% on a historic basis. The board has been able to use revenue reserves to support the dividend through the pandemic and actually raised the FY 2020 dividend despite a fall in dividends received from the trust’s portfolio. As we discuss in the Dividend section, the portfolio revenues seem to have seen a good recovery in FY 2021 so far.

Unlike some of its peers, AAIF pays a dividend from natural income rather than from capital (although the board has that power in reserve). This means that all its holdings are expected to contribute to the yield and dividend growth requirements. As a result, AAIF has had little in the e-commerce space and more in traditional value sectors such as financials and materials. This has led the performance to be disappointing relative to peers in recent years, but to have been very good over the past year as the environment has changed (see Performance section).

While the discount narrowed at the start of 2021 during the reflationary rally, as Asian markets have sold off this year, it has widened again and stands at 12.7% at the time of writing.

Kepler View

AAIF offers income-seekers a way to diversify their sources of income. As well as the exposure to the fast-growing Asian economies, the portfolio also offers significant exposure to technological hardware, which doesn’t feature heavily in UK equity income funds. The strategy of focusing on natural income has worked against the trust on a total return basis in recent years, but the current environment has been much more helpful. If the troubles in China continue, this will also help AAIF in relative terms, given its low weight to the country’s markets.

Despite an improvement in relative returns, the discount remains wide and has crept out to 12.7% at the time of writing. This has been a period of risk aversion in Asian markets, with ongoing concerns about the political and economic situation in China and perhaps also the effects of a global delta wave dip. It is worth noting that despite its being underweight to China, AAIF would be unlikely to escape the impact of a serious slowdown in the country, with the materials sector one vector of possible contagion. Nonetheless, given the ongoing issues in the country, AAIF’s low weighting could continue to be helpful. On the other hand, there is a cyclical bias via the high weight to financials and materials, which could cause problems if the economic recovery stalls.

bull bear
A good track record versus the High Dividend Index
Highly active country and sector positions could lead to periods of underperformance
Offers exposure to high-yielding technology stocks
Weight to financials and materials brings exposure to economic cycle
Disciplined team-based approach should aid consistency
Tends to run with gearing which increases sensitivity in down markets as well as up markets
Thomas McMahon
Thomas is a senior investment trust analyst and joined Kepler in April 2018. Previously he was senior analyst at FE Invest, where he was responsible for fund selection for a range of model portfolios. He covered all asset classes over time, but has particular experience with emerging markets and fixed income as well as UK smaller companies funds. He has a degree in Philosophy from Warwick University and is a CFA charterholder.

Fund History

Disclaimer

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested when you decide to sell your investments. It is strongly recommended that as a private investor independent financial advice should be taken before making any investment or financial decision.

Kepler Partners is not authorised to make recommendations to retail clients. This report has been issued by Kepler Partners LLP, is based on factual information only, is solely for information purposes only and any views contained in it must not be construed as investment or tax advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or take any action in relation to any investment.

The information provided on this website is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation or which would subject Kepler Partners LLP to any registration requirement within such jurisdiction or country. In particular, this website is exclusively for non-US Persons. Persons who access this information are required to inform themselves and to comply with any such restrictions.

The information contained in this website is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is given by any person as to the accuracy or completeness of the information and no responsibility or liability is accepted for the accuracy or sufficiency of any of the information, for any errors, omissions or misstatements, negligent or otherwise. Any views and opinions, whilst given in good faith, are subject to change without notice.

This is not an official confirmation of terms and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell or take any action in relation to any investment mentioned herein. Any prices or quotations contained herein are indicative only.  

Kepler Partners LLP (including its partners, employees and representatives) or a connected person may have positions in or options on the securities detailed in this report, and may buy, sell or offer to purchase or sell such securities from time to time, but will at all times be subject to restrictions imposed by the firm’s internal rules. A copy of the firm’s Conflict of Interest policy is available on request.

PLEASE SEE ALSO OUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Kepler Partners LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 480590), registered in England and Wales at 9/10 Savile Row, London W1S 3PF with registered number OC334771.

Welcome to Kepler Trust Intelligence

Kepler Trust Intelligence is authorised in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Please enter a valid email address
{{item.msg}}
Please enter a valid password
{{item.msg}}
Please enter a valid email address
{{item.msg}}
Please check your email. If an account exists you'll be sent instructions on how to reset your password.
Kepler Trust Intelligence is authorised in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority. To ensure that we are able to provide content which is appropriate for you, please tell us a little about yourself.
Please choose an option
{{item.msg}}
Please enter a company name
{{item.msg}}
Please enter a location name
{{item.msg}}
Please choose an option
{{item.msg}}
Please enter a platform
{{item.msg}}
Please choose an option
{{item.msg}}
Please enter a trust
{{item.msg}}
?
The information contained herein is not for distribution and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of any offer to buy any securities in the United States to or for the benefit of any United States person (being residents of the United States or partnerships or corporations organised under the laws thereof). The investment funds referred to herein have not been registered in the United States under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and units or shares of such funds are not registered in the United States under the Securities Act of 1933.
Please confirm
{{item.msg}}
Please select an option
{{item.msg}}
See benefits
A free Kepler Trust Intelligence account allows you to access premium content including the ‘Kepler View’ – our verdict on the trusts we cover – and historical research so you can see how our view has changed over time. An account also unlocks useful facilities like the ‘follow’ button which lets you keep track of the trusts you’re interested in and as a logged in user you can also download PDFs of our research, and choose the layout of the page you’re reading to suit your preference. We will not share your details unless you give us permission to do so, and we won’t bombard you with emails – we only send one a week.
Please select an option
{{item.msg}}
Please enter your first name
{{item.msg}}
Please enter your last name
{{item.msg}}
Please enter a valid email address
An account already exists with this email - have you forgotten your password?
{{item.msg}}
Please enter a valid password
{{item.msg}}
Please enter a valid password
{{item.msg}}
How will this information be used? Your answers help us to tailor our content to relevant investment trusts, and to ensure that the asset allocation and portfolio strategy research we produce is appropriate to our userbase.
Our Website uses Cookies Cookies are small text files held on your computer. They allow us to give you the best browsing experience possible and mean we can understand how you use our site. Some cookies have already been set. You can delete and block cookies, but parts of our site won’t work without them. By using our website you accept our use of cookies. For further information please refer to the Kepler Privacy Notice.
Need help?

One more thing...

Did you know, you can 'follow' individual trusts on Kepler Trust Intelligence? Use the functions below to set up alerts and we'll send you research and updates on your chosen trusts.

Suggested trusts to follow

Browse all funds
Need help?
Current Site Kepler Trust Intelligence is produced by the investment companies team at Kepler Partners and is the UK’s premier source of detailed qualitative research on investment trusts. Absolute Hedge is a market leading UCITS research database providing proprietary research on funds, themes and strategies in the UCITS space. Kepler Liquid Strategies is a Dublin domiciled UCITS fund platform featuring a number of best-of-breed fund managers. Kepler Partners is a corporate advisory and asset raising boutique specialising in the regulated funds market in Europe and investment trusts in the UK.