Asia Pacific ex Japan super funds best at navigating COVID-19

Superannuation funds focused on Asia Pacific ex Japan equities were the clear winners to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic as the sector average return was 9.49%, according to data. 

According to FE Analytics, when it came to super funds focused on a specific equity class, the Asia Pacific ex Japan sector was the only sector to make a return since the start of the year to 30 September, 2020.  

The second-best performing sector was the Australia small/mid cap equity sector at a loss of 0.37%, followed by global equities (-1.82%), global hedged equities (-3.76%), and alternative (-4.83%). 

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At the other end of the scale it was the Australian equity geared sector at a loss of 22.26%, followed by global property (-17.18%), infrastructure equity (-11.26%), Australian equity (-8.99%), and emerging market equity (-7.48%). 

The top-performing Asia Pacific ex Japan super fund was MLC MK Super Fundamentals Platinum Asia at 15.25%.  

This was followed by ANZ ASA BT wholesale Asian Share Manager at 15.07%, ANZ Smart Choice Super Platinum Asia at 14.83%, OnePath OA Frontier Personal Super Platinum Asia at 14.82%, and CFS FC W PersonalSuper Platinum Wholesale Asia at 14.52%.  

Only two funds did not make a return – AMP SignatureSuper Future Direction Asian share (-1.02%) and AMP Flex LifetimeSuper and CustomSuper Future Directions Asian Share (-1.57%). 

Top-performing Asia Pacific ex Japan super funds v sector since the start of 2020 to 30 September 2020 

Source: FE Analytics 

According to the Platinum Asia fund latest factsheet, the fund’s largest geographic weighting was to China at 44.9%, followed by Korea at 10.2%, India at 9.2%, Hong Kong at 8.2%, and Taiwan at 7.3%. 

Consumer discretionary was the fund’s largest industry exposure at 26.3%, followed by information technology at 22.6%, financials at 11.1%, communication services at 10.1%, and real estate 5.5%. 

For the month of September, Platinum said the key drivers of the fund’s performance was due to large holdings in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and Samsung. 

“We expect Chinese-US tensions to persist, and that there will be winners from this ongoing tension and industrial displacement,” it said. 

“In our view Samsung is a potential beneficiary, given the US-led effort to block Huawei’s sales of 5G network equipment. On our analysis, Samsung stands to benefit from momentum in its foundry, or third-party chip-making business, as well as a its network business which can now win share from former Huawei customers.” 

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