By Mark Williamson

THE Asia-focused Edinburgh Dragon investment trust managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments achieved a strong performance in the latest period ahead of a name change that is intended to help increase its appeal among individual investors.

The £590 million trust, which is run out of Singapore, achieved a net asset value total return of 9.8 per cent in the 12 months to August 31. That compared with a 0.3% increase for its benchmark, the MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index.

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The investment vehicle changed its name to Asia Dragon Trust yesterday in a move directors said was intended to emphasise the company’s market focus, “particularly to individual investors”.

The recent success cements a return to form for the manager of the trust, which made changes to its investment approach following consultations with the board.

“Following the move to re-evaluate our approach to stock selection, buy-and-sell decisions and risk management ... the Manager has been able to rebalance the portfolio of companies within the Company, without affecting the overall risk profile,” said co-manager Adrian Lim.

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The managers felt the quality of some Chinese, Indonesian and Indian firms had improved enough for them to be held in the portfolio. The firms added included internet giant Tencent.

The new co-manager of the trust, Pruksa Iamthongthong, noted Asia Dragon had prospered amid challenging market conditions after focusing on well-managed firms with attractive valuations.

“The US/China conflict over trade and technology shows no signs of abating, and with other geopolitical hotspots emerging, such as the Hong Kong protests and the Japan-Korea dispute over Japan’s curbs on semi-conductor related exports to Korea, there remains a feeling of uncertainty in the markets,” she said.

“However, our disciplined approach of finding high quality companies with effective management, good cash flow and healthy balance sheets at attractive valuations helps provide a buffer against any regional economic shocks.”