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Stewart Investors ends five-year freeze on India fund

Stewart Investors ends five-year freeze on India fund

Stewart Investors has dropped the upfront 4% charge on the Indian Subcontinent fund overseen by veteran duo Sashi Reddy and David Gait.

Flow-stemming measures were introduced in January 2012 due to concerns over the size of assets and the ability to run the UK-domiciled fund effectively.

However, as of 1 December, the fund charge has been removed, with Stewart Investors citing a deepening of the Indian subcontinent equity market as a major factor.

Commenting on the change, Reddy, who is Citywire + rated, said: ‘Over 100 companies have listed on the Indian stock market since the soft-closing of the fund and the overall size of the market has doubled.

‘As a result, our universe of quality companies has grown substantially. Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have also seen further listings, widening the range of investment opportunities in the subcontinent.’

Fund documents indicate that the fund currently has £263.7 million (€298.8 million) in assets. It had around £229 million (€259 million) when the charge was initially introduced.

The reopening comes against a difficult period of performance for the fund. According to Citywire data, it sits 334 out of 343 dedicated India equity funds for its 12 month absolute returns to the end of October 2017.

Over that period, it returned 9.3% against a sector average of 19.8% in Indian rupee terms, which compares with a 19.5% rise by the MSCI India TR.

It fares slightly better on a three-year metric, having returned 29.4% in Indian rupee terms against a sector average of 43.9% over the same period. The index rose 24.2% over the same three-year timeframe.

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