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Martin Currie Pacific Trust plans switch to unconstrained

Martin Currie Pacific Trust plans switch to unconstrained

Martin Currie is proposing to drop the benchmark on its Pacific Trust and adopt an unconstrained approach, comparing its performance to Asia ex Japan nominal GDP growth measured over three year rolling periods.

The trust is also looking to exclude Japan and Australasia from its investment universe, and create a concentrated portfolio of 20-30 stocks, from its current remit of 50-70.

The company, run by Willie Watt (pictured) said it has consulted with several of the trust's major shareholders, and that all were 'supportive of the proposed changes'.

The board also intends to propose a tender offer for up to 10% of the issued share capital 'at a price close to net asset value'.

Managed by Andrew Graham, the Martin Currie Asia Pacific Trust has underperformed its benchmark, the MSCI AC Asia Pacific index (with 25% fixed Japan weighting) over one, three and five years. In three years, the fund has risen by 3.1% compared with 5.9% for the benchmark. 

Martin Currie point out that Graham and Paul Danes run the Asia Long-Term Unconstrained (ALTU) strategy for institutional clients,which has delivered a cumulative return of 131% since inception on 31 October 2008 to 30 April 2014, and that these changes would align the Pacific Trust more closely with that strategy.

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