Surge expected as investors turn east

As the UK stock market is buffeted around on the back of Wall Street, attention is turning to Japan where launches look much more attractive

AS THE mainstream UK market looks perilously close to its peak, many of the latest batch of investment trust launches are offering investors the chance to put their money into less expensive markets.

A new Japanese trust planned by Gartmore, an investment firm now owned by NatWest, aims to get in early on an expected surge in the Tokyo market. Other world markets are close to all-time highs, but Japan's stock market is more than 40 below its peak.

Gartmore Investment Trust Management marketing director Charlie Ricketts said a huge government investment plan, aimed at projects such as the rebuilding of Kobe after the recent earthquake, combined with historically low interest rates and a weak yen, should create afavourable business climate in Japan.

Mr Ricketts said: "Japan has suffered a deeper recession in recent years than many other countries. You've got the economy improving as the government has put the various measures into place, the corporate sector responding by actively investing and the consumer more confident because of the low interest environment. All that bodes well for the stock market."

The trust, due for launch after Easter, will follow the same investment strategy as the investment firm's Japanese unit trust fund, managed by Mark Fawcett, which has turned in a top 10 performance among its peer group over three, five and seven years. Mr Fawcett will also be looking after the investment trust. The new trust will aim for long-term growth, with an annual dividend of 1 per cent or less. Minimum investment is pounds 1,000.

Also in the Far East, Scottish investment firms Baillie Gifford and Murray Johnstone are issuing C (conversion) shares in their Pacific Horizon and Scottish Asian investment trusts.

Investment trusts issue C shares as a way of drip-feeding extra money gradually into an existing fund, so avoiding distortions that chunky new inflows can otherwise create. Scottish Asian's C shares, priced at 100p, will be converted into ordinary shares in the trust by 30 June, when C share holders will be given ordinary shares of equal value. Robert Coulter, of Murray Johnstone Investment Management, said: "This fund concentrates principally on the major markets in Asia. Once we have decided how much money we want to put in each country, we then focus on the larger capitalisation stocks in these countries, so it tends to be the blue chip stocks."

Application forms for the C share issue must reach Murray Johnstone by 26 March. Pacific Horizon's offer also closes on 26 March.

Fidelity is planning a new South East Asia investment trust, to be called Fidelity Asian Values. Due for launch in the new tax year it will cover Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea and India.

Meanwhile, Hill Samuel is looking closer to home with its UK Emerging Companies trust, its first investment trust launch. The company is hoping to attract up to pounds 35m, which will be invested in a portfolio of about 40 companies, most less than pounds 50m in size, which is small by investment standards.

Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Life and Style
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

Training/Learning and Development Coordinator -London

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

Project Manager - ETRM/CTRM

£70000 - £90000 per annum + Job Satisfaction: Harrington Starr: Project Manage...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor