This page will give the monthly performance data, using official valuations. More recent updates, including NAV estimates by the fund manager, may sometimes be found at What's New?
The first chart shows the absolute investment performance of the Apollo Asia Fund Series A Investor Shares, up to the end of August 2022. The Net Asset Value per Share has been linked to the rebased NAV of the predecessor Apollo 001 portfolio, which had the same investment style, started at the end of 1997, and was folded into the new fund at US$100 on 30 Nov 1999.
The NAV at end-August was US$2,649.19, up 4.6% for the month but down 5.2% year-to-date; it was down 4.0% year-on-year. It's up 26% since December 2019 before most of us heard of SARS-CoV-2, and 65% from March 2020. NAV is up 55 times over the twenty-four-plus years since inception; annual compound growth over this longer period has been 17.6%. Charting NAV on a semilog scale puts the recent performance and the longer history in context.
After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, decades of globalisation efficiencies and peace dividends have been thrown into reverse, with significant portions of the global population impoverished and an alarming number facing food shortages or famine. The Covid-19 pandemic has not ended, new variants are proliferating faster than countermeasures, and weaker populations seem susceptible to new diseases as well as the resurgence of old ones. The long-term impact on productivity and dependency ratios in different societies is hard to forecast. We had already been warning that the extraordinary market rally from the March 2020 lows reflected global monetary excess rather than business health. With inflation resurgent and real interest rates increasingly negative, there is a strong case for continuing to invest in sound businesses which may be able to weather the storms, but we must expect volatility to increase. This will present new opportunities, but it also increases the chance of mistakes and losses.
Our shares at the end of June were on a PE of 12.3 historic and an estimated 11.1 for the current financial year, with price to book 1.5. The current-year dividend yield was estimated at 4.0% after Asian taxes. Earnings, dividends and book value per portfolio-share have continued to grow satisfactorily over the years, even through the first two years of pandemic. The supply shortages and price dislocations caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and reactions to it present major new challenges, but a portfolio of well-run businesses, diversified by sector and geography, still seems a sensible place in which to attempt to preserve wealth, and we'll try.
Net asset value of the Apollo Asia Fund is calculated after fees and the 15% incentive allocation. No management fees were charged against NAV of the 1997-1999 portfolio.
The Fund is managed for absolute returns, and not by reference to an index or peer group. The Fund typically has a concentrated portfolio of shares selected on a bottom-up basis, and the geographical mix has changed considerably over time.
We show an index just to give some idea of broad stockmarket direction in the region, since this usually explains most of the volatility from month to month, even though our portfolio mix may be very different. The index unfortunately excludes dividends, a major factor in long term returns. The index we have used is the MSCI all-country Far East ex-Japan index, a fairly broadly-based index denominated in US$ but comprising mainly large-cap stocks. From Nov 2001 we were forced to change to the 'free' index, which weights stocks according to estimated free float, rather than the index weighted by market capitalisation which we used earlier, and which MSCI discontinued. The two tracked each other fairly closely during 2001, and indeed since inception in the mid-80's, so we chained the two series at the end of October 2001.
The second chart shows the relative performance of the Fund against the regional index. During the Fund's first twenty four years, the index had nine down-years and fifteen up-years; the Fund had six down and eighteen up. Historically, the fund has underperformed in the late stages of bull markets, but declined in absolute terms in the folowing bear. Depressed or chaotic markets have historically provided us with more attractive choices, which contributed to later outperformance. However there is no certainty that comparable opportunities will continue to arise, or that our winners will outpace the losers.
The raw data is on a separate page: monthly NAV figures.
Shareholders taxable in the UK will find reportable income for years starting 2013 linked from this page: UK Reporting Fund Status.
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