Frank Finds Growth in China

01/10/2003 12:00 am EST

Focus:

Walter Frank

CIO, MONEYLETTER

Walter Frank, editor of MONEYLETTER, covers more than 2,000 mutual funds, isolating the cream of the crop. The service then focuses on strategic asset allocation in designing ten different portfolios to meet various investor needs. For his 2003 pick, Frank goes for Mathews Pacific Tiger, seeing opportunity in China.

"My recommended fund for 2003 is Matthews Pacific Tiger (MAPTX ).  This is a growth fund concentrating on Asia, ex-Japan. The fund has two major pluses going for it that I believe will make it a winner. First, there is the region. China has become a dynamo. Even as the rest of the world slumped, the Chinese economy continued to grow at a 7%-8% rate. Chinese growth and the expanding size of the Chinese economy are now influencing the growth of the region as a whole. One way of participating in the benefits of that growth, while avoiding the occasional hazard of investing directly in China, is through a fund such as Matthews Pacific Tiger that can invest in Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong exchange as well as elsewhere in the region.

"What makes this fund our pick over others also investing in the region are the fund managers, Paul Matthews and Mark Headley. This is a management team that has proven its mettle. The managers have a wealth of experience in the region and have shown a great ability to spot trends early and in finding companies benefiting from those trends. They are bottom-up investors who look at fundamental forces. Their analysis is acute and usually well ahead of the crowd. The markets in the region can be volatile, and the fund managers have shown a knack for successfully steering through that volatility. This is my top pick for 2003."

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