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Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Investment management changes announced

Review | Investment trusts | 02 Jun 2017

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust (SST) was launched in 1995, aiming to generate long-term capital growth from a portfolio of small-cap Asian equities (excluding Japan and Australasia). When Wee-Li Hee returns from maternity leave in July 2017, she will assume the role of co-manager; interim lead manager Vinay Agarwal has become lead manager on a permanent basis. SST's board has been strengthened with the March 2017 appointment of Jeremy Whitley as a non-executive director. While the trust's focus on preserving capital led to underperformance versus the benchmark and peers in 2016 (which was a year characterised by strong equity returns), SST's longer-term performance record remains intact. It has outperformed its benchmark and the peer group average over five and 10 years.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Asian small-cap specialist, unloved asset class

Review | Investment trusts | 22 Nov 2018

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust (SST) aims to deliver long-term capital growth from investing in smaller companies listed in Asia ex-Japan. The investment approach is bottom-up to find quality companies with sustainable growth that are reasonably valued. Unconstrained by the benchmark, the well-diversified portfolio of c 60 stocks represents the manager’s highest-conviction ideas, with a preference for domestically oriented businesses in less-developed economies, which can benefit from structural growth drivers. SST has a strong, long-term performance track record and over 10 years has delivered an annualised NAV total return of 18.5%. The trust’s current 14.9% discount to cum-income NAV is deeper than its three-year average, in part reflecting a more risk-averse market sentiment. There is scope for this discount to narrow should sentiment towards Asian equities, and small-caps in particular, improve.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Small-cap specialist, repositioned for growth

Review | Investment trusts | 03 Jul 2018

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust (SST) aims to generate long-term capital growth from investing in smaller Asia ex-Japan listed companies, typically with a market cap below US$1.5bn. The investment approach is bottom-up focused stock picking, unconstrained by benchmark considerations. Over the past 10 years, the trust has achieved an annualised NAV total return of 14.6% pa. Performance has been lower in more recent years, partly reflecting the relative underperformance of smaller companies versus large-cap companies, and quality versus momentum. The portfolio has been repositioned over the past two years and is now more concentrated and focused on higher-growth companies. A 14.8% discount to cum-income NAV has scope to narrow should small-cap Asian equities regain favour and the portfolio repositioning bears fruit.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Long-established Asian small-cap specialist

Review | Investment trusts | 10 Jan 2018

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust (SST) was launched in 1995 with the objective of generating long-term capital growth from investing in smaller companies listed in Asia (excluding Japan and Australasia). Its long-term 10-year performance record continues to be strong, although in more recent years SST has lagged the performance of the comparative MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan Index, which has been driven by large-cap and technology stocks in particular. Since Vinay Agarwal became acting (now formal) lead manager in July 2016, the portfolio has become more concentrated and growth orientated. Agarwal believes the trust is well positioned with reasonably valued, quality companies that can grow structurally through economic cycles.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Long-term investment in Asian small caps

Review | Investment trusts | 10 Nov 2016

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust (SST) aims to generate long-term capital growth by investing in a portfolio of small-cap Asia ex-Japan equities. Vinay Agarwal is the interim lead fund manager while Wee-Li Hee is on maternity leave; he is assisted by Martin Lau, Scott McNab and the broader First State Stewart Asia team. Stocks are selected on a bottom-up basis, with a view to preserving capital on the downside as well as achieving capital growth. SST has significantly outperformed the peers and the MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan and MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan Small Cap indices over both five and 10 years.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Exposure to quality Asian small-cap stocks

Review | Investment trusts | 14 Apr 2016

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust (SST) is a well-established Asian trust investing in small-cap companies in the region, excluding Japan and Australasia. Following the 2015 division of First State Stewart into two companies, SST comes under the umbrella of FSS Asia and continues to be managed by Wee-Li Hee, working alongside Martin Lau and Scott McNab. Stocks are selected on a bottom-up basis with a focus on quality companies with good long-term growth prospects. The portfolio is conservatively run with a view to preserving/increasing capital rather than outperforming a benchmark.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Quality and growth from Asian small-caps

Review | Investment trusts | 25 Jun 2015

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust (SST) is one of the longest-established Asian trusts, and one of only two in its sector with a specialist smaller companies focus. It invests mainly in companies of US$1.5bn or less, drawn from across Asia (excluding Japan and Australasia), with the aim of achieving long-term capital growth. Portfolio construction is mainly driven by stock selection, focusing on quality companies with competitive advantages and stable earnings growth potential. Following the forthcoming division of management group First State Stewart into two companies, SST will come under the FSS Asia umbrella but will continue to be managed by Wee-Li Hee, now assisted by Martin Lau and Scott McNab.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Selecting quality small-cap stocks in Asia

Update | Investment trusts | 18 Nov 2014

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust (SST) aims to achieve long-term capital growth through investing in smaller Asian companies. The approach is primarily bottom up with an emphasis on quality and attention paid to the potential to deliver absolute returns. This, the managers' wary view of both market risks and valuations, and a record of outperforming down markets suggests the fund could appeal to those looking for smaller-cap exposure in Asia without undue volatility.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Husbanding its resources

Review | Investment trusts | 24 Oct 2013

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust (SST) aims to achieve long-term capital growth through investing in smaller Asian companies. The manager is finding less value available in the market currently and is sticking to his key stock selection criteria while allowing net cash to rise. This consistency of approach and the long-term appeal of exposure to select small-cap growth companies in the region are reasons to consider investment in the trust.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Strong performance

Review | Investment trusts | 22 Feb 2013

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies (SST) is an Asian smaller companies investment trust. As can be seen below, SST's NAV continues to outperform its benchmark. SST's share price has been particularly strong and it now trades at a premium to net asset value, allowing SST to start to issue new shares. As flagged in April last year, Susie Rippingall, the current lead manager, will step down in April 2013, handing over to the experienced team of Wee-Li Hee, Angus Tulloch and Scott McNab.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Steady as she goes

Review | Investment trusts | 20 Jul 2012

The First State Stewart team has built up an impressive track record for Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies (SST) that compares favourably with those of the large-cap Asian investment companies. With just under a year to go before Susie Rippingall, current lead manager, hands over the reins to her colleagues, investors can take comfort that there will be no change to the investment strategy and process.

BB Biotech

Investment Trusts Quarterly: Biotechnology & healthcare trusts

Sector Commentary: | Investment trusts | 24 May 2012

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