Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management (SuMi TRUST), one of Asia's largest asset management groups with over USD 741 billion AUM*, this month marks the three years anniversary of its Sakigake High Alpha Japan Thematic Growth fund, which launched in June 2018 and has over USD 42million assets under management (AUM)**. Since its inception, the fund has outperformed its TOPIX benchmark index by +10.44% on a cumulative basis, returning 29.72% against the TOPIX’s 19.28%***.

Sakigake is the Japanese term for pioneer or ‘people ahead of the curve.’ The fund is aimed at institutional investors in EMEA and Asia and invests in handpicked mid and large-cap Japanese stocks seeking long-term capital growth. It combines a thematic top-down investment style, focusing on a number of global social and structural changes such as an increased move towards digitalization, the rise of e-commerce and increasing awareness of ESG with a bottom-up fundamental research approach to stock selection. Compared to its benchmark index, the fund has a higher weighting in the information technology and industrial sectors where SuMi TRUST sees opportunities in the semiconductor, electronic and 5G spaces due to the global shift towards automation and digitisation.

Among the fund’s top holdings are Tokyo Electron Limited, a leading semiconductor production equipment manufacturer, Keyence Corporation, which develops and manufactures automation sensors, such as vision systems and barcode readers; and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, a leading manufacturer with cutting edge technology in the field of hydrogen energy**** .

Katsunori Ogawa, a veteran portfolio manager with over 20 years’ experience in Japanese equities, has been responsible for the overall Japan Sakigake strategy since its inception in 2003. During this time the strategy has delivered an excess return of 218.05% above the TOPIX and has over USD 2 billion assets under management (AUM).

Katsunori Ogawa, chief portfolio manager of SuMi TRUST’s Sakigake High Alpha Japan Thematic Growth fund, said:

“Japan is a market where it pays to invest in active management. The country plays host to a great number of strong innovative companies with excellent growth prospects but it also has more listed companies relative to the size of its economy that Europe or the US. With limited analysts’ coverage of the market and wide pool of stocks, relying on passive tracker funds means missing significant opportunities.

“There are a number of promising Japanese mid and large caps that are set to benefit from a number of structural tailwinds in the country, including the government’s digitisation drive and the ongoing shift to ecommerce. The nation also has a number of unique, specialised technology companies, which fulfil vital roles in the global semiconductor and electronic supply chains which are becoming increasingly important especially given recent shortages. Our investment strategy, which has proved highly successful since its inception , is to seek out quality companies ahead of the curve that are best able to take advantage of these trends and generate consistent medium to long-term growth using a unique combination of thematic top-down and bottom-up approaches. As more and more investors flock to Japan to seek alpha opportunities, we will continue in our quest to find the most attractive companies that are able to achieve strong returns over the long-term.”

*As of 31 March 2021.
** As of 28 May 2021
*** As of 28 May 2021, for share class B JPY
**** The information is not encouraging you invest specific securities, etc. The fund doesn’t warrant to invest specific securities. The information is past data and doesn’t imply or warrant future result in asset management.

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