What drove Asia equity returns YTD?
Large-cap tech and finance continues to dominate
Infotech is clearly the winner followed by financials. Those two sectors contributed 2/3 of total returns. Consumer discretionary and real estate were also strong; everything else was pretty much irrelevant.
I don’t know what stock-picking opportunities there might be in the consumer sector, but the indices will continue to be dominated by the large-cap tech and finance companies. The Asia trade depends on the premise that Chinese banks whose H-shares now trade at 6x earnings won’t blow up, and that the transformation of the consumer economy by broadband will continue. Where the latter is concerned I think we’ve only seen the beginning of the process.
Of the 27.5 points of total return, about 3 are attributed to Tencent and 2.5 to Alibaba. Samsung contributed 1.5 points, Taiwan Semiconductor 1 point, and Bidu about 1 point. The largest contributor from India was HDFC.