Fund to watch: First State Global Emerging Markets Leaders

A big open-ended investment company, First State Global Emerging Markets Leaders is a solid performer that has been jointly managed by Jonathan Asante and Glen Finegan since the beginning of 2011, though Asante has been in the chair since March 2007.

The fund has put on 74.58% over five years, 60.96% over three years and 2.77% over 12 months.

With more than half the fund in Asia Pacific equities and another 22.5% in Middle East and African equities, it has a big weight in consumer staples, financials and IT. Big individual holdings include Taiwan Semiconductor Co, the European brewer Anheuser Busch, Samsung Fire & Marine and Tiger Brands.

Quality fund

Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, says: "First State Global Emerging Market Leaders is a quality fund. Historically, it has the lowest volatility among its peers while still producing some of the best returns. The fund also tends to preserve capital well in falling markets.


"Its management has a proven track record in looking for companies with good balance sheets and the team is generally a very strong and experienced one."

Rod Leonard, managing director of Investment Interest Management, says: "The fund managers have an obvious strategy of maintaining a defensive bias as they look for companies with conservative debt levels, predictable earnings and steady cash flow with an impressive performance of 15.5% over one year, securing the funds status as one of the top funds within the IMA Global Emerging Markets sector."

Fund details

Telephone: 0800 587 3388
Fund manager: Jonathan Asante & Glen Finegan
Launch date: 1 December 2003
Total fund size: £2.6 billion
Initial charge: 4% (can be discounted)
Annual management fee: 1.5%
Minimum investment: £1,000 (initially), £50 monthly
Performance fee: None