Kommentar från Nicholas Weindling, förvaltare av Årets Japanfond JPMorgan Funds - Japan Equity Fund

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I slutet av januari utsåg Maxfonder.se JPMorgan Funds - Japan Equity Fund till Årets Japanfond. Läs förvaltaren Nicholas Weindlings kommentar kring utmärkelsen och året 2020.


We are extremely happy to have won the award, in what has been a very challenging 12 months. We’d like to thank Fondmarknaden and its clients for their continued support.

Whilst 2020 was a tough year, the fund was able to perform well in the Japanese market. The past – and 2020 in particular – are never a reliable guide to the future, but our focus on long term growth opportunities in Japan, such as automation, internet and Japanese global leading companies, during the pandemic has paid off.

For example, at the stock level, the largest positive contribution came from our long-standing high conviction overweight position in M3. M3 is the operator of the top online portal used by doctors, and the share price continued to advance throughout the year on the back of strong demand for their service. Their online medical platform allows pharmaceutical companies to communicate drug information and marketing to doctors via the internet, and helps pharmaceutical companies save substantial costs compared to relying purely on medical representatives. The demand accelerated under COVID with medical representatives unable to visit doctors freely. Our investments remain focused in innovative and fast growing companies in Japan.

The portfolio is managed with an unconstrained investment approach focusing on what we see as the best investment ideas in Japan to deliver a high excess return. We invest in real sustainable growth prospects that are not dependent on the business cycle.

There are several structural trends that we identified as the long-term resilient sources of return for Japanese companies, such as automation, internet, aging population, healthcare and environments. We believe these trends will continue to grow over the longer term regardless of short-term developments in the market, and we believe the portfolio is well positioned to benefit from them. Japan is still undergoing an economic downturn driven by COVID-19. Japanese corporate earnings, however, are starting to show signs of bottoming out. On the ground in Japan, we see that situation around COVID-19 has been accelerating structural changes which were already taking place, especially in the area of automation and information technologies. We may also see industry consolidation and productivity growth through trends such as diversifying producing sources and adopting flexible working practices. The trends provide many interesting investment opportunities for bottom up investors, benefiting from the structural changes taking place in the country. The investment philosophy of the team at J.P. Morgan Asset Management centres on identifying quality companies with sustainable growth.

We believe strongly that ESG considerations (particularly Governance) need to be a foundation of any investment process supporting long-term investing and that corporate policies at odds with environmental and social issues are not sustainable in the long run. We are confident that integration of these factors is critical to successful investing across our markets.

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