RL360 Fund Article - Matthews Asia - Asia Insight

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Matthews Asia - Asia Insight

Matthews Asia is an independent investment management firm focused solely on investing in Asia. They specialise in actively managed, bottom-up portfolio management, with a focus on generating long-term investment performance.


Matthews Asia CIO Robert Horrocks says China's leadership on free trade is an important reason to invest in the growth of Asia. KEY OBSERVATIONS: 

  • China is a country where a middle class lifestyle is increasingly the norm; it achieved this by saving, investing and reforming its economic and political systems. It embraced market pricing and saw the state step back from hands-on management of the economy.
  • China is putting itself at the center of global trade. The “One Belt, One Road” initiative is opening up new countries to trade and infrastructure. Freight trains from China, through Central Asia and on to Europe complement the established sea routes through Southeast Asia and East Africa, and the air routes both east and west.
  • Who knows if the U.S.’s current aversion to trade will continue? But we have reached a pivot in history where it is no longer the loudest pro-trade voice or pro-globalization voice. Nor has the EU picked up the mantle. That role has fallen to China.


Matthews Asia Portfolio Manager Sharat Shroff sheds light on the outlooks benefiting entrepreneurs that make Asia a compelling destination for growth-oriented investors. HIGHLIGHTS: 

  • Rise of the private sector - Several governments are creating economic policy frameworks designed to foster efficiency-driven and innovation-led growth. The rise of the private sector’s contribution to capital expenditures is encouraging.
  • Easier access to capital - Policymakers across Asia are undertaking several efforts to build better institutions to manage financial risks and enhance the availability of capital for the most productive parts of the economy.
  • More ways to be competitive - Factors such as superior intellectual property, quality of product/service offering, trust and convenience help Asian companies enhance competitiveness.
  • Stronger foundation for innovation-led growth - Across Asia, we see examples of a rising wave of innovation in a broad range of categories. In 2016, Asia outpaced North America in patent filings and this flurry of activity signals a larger innovation boom across Asia.
  • Greater consumer buying power - With Asian consumption becoming dominant globally, the risks for entrepreneurs are increasingly less about regulation and more about understanding the competitive dynamics and the rising aspirations of the consumer. The increase in wealth is progressively translating into a demand for more sophisticated products, and variety of services.


Learn more about the Matthews Asia - Asia Dividend Fund
Learn more about the Matthews Asia - Pacific Tiger Fund
Learn more about the Matthews Asia - Japan Fund
Learn more about the Matthews Asia - India Fund



Robert Horrocks

CIO and Portfolio Manager,Matthews Asia

Sharat Shroff, CFA

Portfolio Manager, Matthews Asia

October 2018

Please note that these are the views of Robert Horrocks and Sharat Shroff for Matthews Asia and should not be interpreted as the views of RL360.

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Funds from Matthews Asia are available via our guided architecture products Oracle, Paragon, Quantum, Quantum Malaysia, LifePlan, LifePlan Lebanon, Protected Lifestyle and Protected Lifestyle Lebanon, and also through our PIMS portfolio bond.