Positive prospects for long-term investors

Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust 13 May 2020 Review
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Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust

Positive prospects for long-term investors

Investment trusts
Thailand equities

13 May 2020

Price

418.0p

Market cap

£68.9m

AUM

£84.3m

NAV*

470.7p

Discount to NAV

11.2%

NAV**

491.8p

Discount to NAV

15.0%

*Excluding income. **Including income. As at 11 May 2020.

Yield

4.6%

Ordinary shares in issue

16.5m

Code

ANW

Primary exchange

LSE

AIC sector

Country Specialists: Asia Pacific

Benchmark

Stock Exchange of Thailand Index

Share price/discount performance

Three-year performance vs index

52-week high/low

655.0p

325.0p

749.0p

400.7p

**Including income.

Gearing

Gross*

15.5%

Net*

14.6%

*As at 31 March 2020.

Analysts

Helena Coles

+44 (0)20 3681 2522

Sarah Godfrey

+44 (0)20 3681 2519

Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust is a research client of Edison Investment Research Limited

Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) is the only London-listed investment trust focused on investing in Thailand, a country that also gives investors indirect exposure to the harder-to-access, but higher-growth economies of its neighbours Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV). ANW was not well positioned for the unforeseen pandemic and subsequent market rout, and performance has disappointed. However, the manager believes the Thai equity market to be inefficient, and says the sell-off is presenting exciting opportunities to invest in quality companies that are mispriced versus their long-term intrinsic value.

Thai equities have a history of long-term outperformance vs global and Asia

Source: Refinitiv, Edison Investment Research

The market opportunity

Over the short term, Thailand’s open economy and the importance of tourism means COVID-19 will take a significant toll. However, long-run prospects remain bright, driven by multi-decade secular drivers, including urbanisation and growing incomes. Furthermore, the country benefits from its faster-growing CLMV neighbours, representing an economic hinterland of c 165 million people. These attributes are likely to have contributed to, and could continue to underpin, the long-term outperformance of the Thai equity market, as shown in the graph above.

Why consider investing in Aberdeen New Thai?

Managed by an experienced and well-resourced team of investment professionals, including three Bangkok-based Thailand specialists with depth of local knowledge.

A relatively concentrated portfolio of c 40 stocks represents the manager’s highest-conviction, long-term investment ideas.

Proactive board, committed to promoting the trust and shareholders’ interests.

Geared for a recovery

As at 13 May 2020, ANW traded on a discount of 15.0% to its cum-income NAV, which is in-line than its three-year average of 14.5%, and a significant recovery from the recent March low of 21.7%. The trust’s mid-teens gearing amplified the portfolio’s underperformance during the recent market rout, but means ANW should be well placed for positive performance if the outlook on the pandemic improves, and investors refocus on Thailand’s longer-term prospects.

Exhibit 1: Trust at a glance

Investment objective and fund background

Recent developments

ANW’s investment objective is to provide a high level of long-term, above-average capital growth through investment in Thailand. The trust holds a concentrated portfolio of equities listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). Constructed through bottom-up stock selection, ANW’s portfolio is diversified across a broad range of industries, with exposures not linked to SET index allocations.

6 May 2020: Annual results to 28 February 2020. NAV total return -16.6%; SET index total return -12.8%. Second interim dividend of 11.00p declared.

4 December: Announced the retirement of Clare Dobie as independent non-executive director, with effect from 3 December 2019.

18 October 2019: Announced the appointment of Anne Gilding as an independent non-executive director with immediate effect.

Forthcoming

Capital structure

Fund details

AGM

June 2020

Ongoing charges

1.24%

Group

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Interim results

October 2020

Net gearing

14.6%

Manager

Asian Equities Team

Year end

28 February

Annual mgmt fee

0.9%

Address

Bow Bells House, 1 Bread Street, London EC4M 9HH

Dividend paid

November and June

Performance fee

None

Launch date

December 1989

Trust life

Indefinite (subject to vote)

Phone

+44 (0)500 000 040

Continuation vote

No – see page 7

Loan facilities

£15m multi-currency facility

Website

www.newthai-trust.co.uk

Dividend policy and history (financial years)

Share buyback policy and history (financial years)

From FY19 the board introduced an interim dividend. Dividends payable June/July and November.

Renewed annually, the trust has authority to repurchase up to 14.99% and allot up to 10% of issued share capital.

Shareholder base (as at 31 March 2020)

Portfolio exposure by sector (as at 31 March 2020)

Top 10 holdings (as at 31 March 2020)

Portfolio weight %

Company

Sector

31 March 2020

30 September 2019

PTT

Energy & utilities

6.5

5.1

Advanced Info Service

Telecoms

6.0

4.6

Siam Cement

Construction materials

4.8

3.4

Home Product Center

Commerce

4.2

4.2

Central Pattana Public

Property development

4.2

3.9

Osotspa

Food & beverage

4.2

3.3

Land and Houses

Property development

4.0

3.6

Bangkok Insurance

Insurance

3.9

3.9

Toa Paint

Materials

3.5

3.5

AEON Thana

Finance & securities

3.5

5.0

Top 10 (% of portfolio)

44.8

40.5

Source: Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust, Edison Investment Research, Bloomberg, Morningstar, Refinitiv.

Market outlook: Driven by COVID-19 developments

The traditional engines of Thailand’s economy are tourism and exports, and it is therefore particularly exposed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism accounts for around 20% of GDP, and Thailand had c 40 million tourist arrivals in 2019. Over the past few years, this has been boosted by visitors from China; however, the industry is currently facing unprecedented disruptions. Exports are also facing challenging conditions. Even before the outbreak of the disease, Thailand’s very open economy was already suffering from the impact of the US-China trade dispute and a slowdown of several important export sectors, including automotive and electronics, and the coronavirus has made things worse. Exports in February 2020 contracted by 4.8% year-on-year, prompting the Bank of Thailand (BoT) to downgrade growth forecasts; however, expectations have since been drastically reduced in response to the devastating impact to Thailand’s economy from the pandemic. The BoT now expects 2020 GDP to contract by 5.3% and recover to 3.0% growth in 2021. Like equity markets around the world, the Thai stock market has witnessed a sharp sell-off, followed by a partial recovery. As shown in Exhibit 2 (RHS), Thailand’s equity valuations do not look obviously cheap on a forward P/E multiple measure which, following a market bounce, is at a small discount to world equities. On a price to book multiple basis, valuations may appear oversold. The direction for Thailand’s economy and stock market over the near term is likely to be driven by COVID-19 related newsflow and developments.

Exhibit 2: Market performance and valuation

Thailand forward P/E and relative to world equities

Valuation metrics

 

Last

High

Low

10-year
average

Last as % of
average

P/E 12 months forward (x)

16.8

16.8

10.1

13.4

125

Price to book (x)

1.6

2.6

1.3

2.1

77

Dividend yield (%)

3.0

4.2

2.4

3.1

97

Return on equity (%)

10.0

19.0

8.7

14.0

72

Source: Refinitiv, Edison Investment Research. Note: Valuation data as at 12 May 2020.

Fund profile: Long-established Thai specialist

ANW is a long-established investment trust, having just passed its 30th anniversary in December 2019, and is the only one specialising in Thai equities. Its investment objective is to provide shareholders with a high level of long-term, above-average capital growth through investing in companies listed in Thailand. The country borders the less developed and faster-growing countries of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar (CLMV), and offers indirect exposures to these economies through Thai companies, many of which have successful and growing businesses around the region. The manager follows a bottom-up and rigorous approach to build a relatively concentrated portfolio of around 40 of its highest-conviction ideas, with a long-term investment horizon. Gearing is permitted up to 25% of NAV (14.6% at end-March 2020), and the trust can invest up to 10% of NAV in unlisted companies, provided they have visible plans to list. Unconstrained by index considerations, the portfolio typically looks very different from the SET Index, and therefore performance can diverge significantly from the benchmark.

The fund manager: ASI Asian team

The manager’s view: Uncertain near-term outlook

The manager expects Thailand’s economy to be significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and is cautious as to whether the government’s forecast for a 5.3% GDP contraction in 2020, followed by a return to growth in 2021, can be met. In the team’s view, the shape of the recovery in global trade will be a key determinant, and may take longer than expected, noting that trade has experienced extreme dislocations, and that the supply chain was already under pressure prior to the coronavirus outbreak. US-China relations, having seemingly improved at the end of 2019, appear frostier again. Tourism could also take time to recover as restrictions to movement seem likely to remain in place for an extended period, and demand may also be curtailed by lower incomes. On a more positive note, the manager believes the government has been swift and decisive in its response to the virus, with measures including the declaration of a state of emergency, and imposition of a curfew. Stimulus and stabilisation packages amounting to c 15% of GDP have been put in place to give cash directly to farmers and low-income workers, support SMEs and ensure ample liquidity within the financial system. The team believes that the government has the capacity to implement further meaningful monetary and fiscal stimulus to help cushion the pandemic’s impact on the economy. Aberdeen Standard Investments’ (ASI) analysis suggests the existing measures could raise public debt to GDP from c 42% to c 55% in 2021–22, below the Finance Ministry’s cap of 60%, a level which the team views as relatively conservative. The manager expects the government to substantially increase spending on its previously articulated plans for Thailand’s 20year development, which focus on infrastructure, digital technology and healthcare.

Over the longer term, the team remains optimistic on the outlook for Thailand. Given its well established manufacturing capability and business-friendly government, the country is a likely beneficiary of the accelerating trend for multinationals to add or relocate manufacturing facilities outside of China. Furthermore, the manager believes companies in Thailand are well placed to benefit from the faster growth of its neighbours. The CLMV countries represent a large economic hinterland with a population of c 165 million people, at an earlier stage of economic development, presenting an underpenetrated market for Thai goods and services.

Asset allocation

Investment process: Fundamental, in-depth and patient

The manager believes that the Thai equity market is fundamentally inefficient, and that there is scope to add value through following a bottom-up and disciplined investment process to find quality companies that are mispriced. Meeting companies and getting to know their managements is an important part of the process to enable the team to evaluate their integrity and alignment with minority shareholders’ interests. This forms part of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) assessment of the company, which is integrated alongside fundamental research into the sustainability of its competitive position and financial resilience. The fund is managed by the well-resourced Aberdeen Standard Asian team, which includes three experienced investment professionals based in Bangkok, who are supported by the broader team of Asian and sector specialists.

Current portfolio positioning

Exhibit 3 shows ANW’s exposure by sector as at end-March 2020. The largest overweights relative to the SET Index are in construction materials (+8.5pp), property development (+7pp), insurance (+4.4pp) and automotive (+4.3pp). ANW was most underweight transportation & logistics (-8.5pp), energy & utilities (-5.5pp), and information & communications technology (-4.5pp).

The Thai equity market has been very volatile over the past few months, and the manager has used opportunities to reposition the portfolio slightly, increasing its quality, liquidity and defensiveness. ASI expects that quality companies with strong balance sheets can better weather the impacts of the pandemic, and potentially gain market share, while weaker players may suffer disproportionately. The team also believes the outlook for companies in construction, property and autos has deteriorated materially, and has been reducing these positions in the portfolio. It has also taken profits from holdings that have been relatively resilient during the market rout. These have included telecoms operator Advanced Info Service (which the manager continues to like, and remains one of ANW’s largest positions), and hospitals operator Bangkok Dusit Medical Services.

Exhibit 3: Portfolio sector exposure vs SET Index benchmark (% unless stated)

Portfolio end-
March 2020

Portfolio end-
September 2019

Change
(pp)

Index
weight

Active weight
vs index (pp)

Trust weight/ index weight (x)

Energy & utilities

16.2

16.5

(0.3)

21.7

(5.5)

0.7

Construction materials

13.3

12.8

0.5

4.8

8.5

2.8

Property development

12.9

10.8

2.1

5.9

7.0

2.2

Banking

10.1

12.4

(2.3)

9.8

0.3

1.0

Food & beverages

7.9

7.8

0.1

6.7

1.2

1.2

Commerce

6.9

6.9

0.0

11.3

(4.4)

0.6

Info. & comms. technology

6.0

4.6

1.4

10.5

(4.5)

0.6

Healthcare services

5.9

3.7

2.2

5.0

0.9

1.2

Insurance

5.5

5.7

(0.2)

1.1

4.4

5.0

Finance & securities

5.0

6.5

(1.5)

3.1

1.9

1.6

Automotive

4.7

5.1

(0.4)

0.4

4.3

11.8

Electronic components

2.2

2.3

(0.1)

0.8

1.4

2.8

Property fund

1.8

3.6

(1.8)

2.8

(1.0)

0.6

Transportation & logistics

0.7

0.0

0.7

9.2

(8.5)

0.1

Packaging

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.3

(0.3)

0.0

Media & publishing

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.0

(1.0)

0.0

Other

0.0

0.0

0.0

5.6

(5.6)

0.0

Cash

0.9

1.3

(0.4)

0.0

0.9

N/A

Total incl. cash

100.0

100.0

100.0

Source: Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust, Edison Investment Research

In February 2020, ANW participated in the IPO of Central Retail Corporation Despite concerns regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue was heavily over-subscribed, indicating investors’ positive view of the attractiveness of the company’s assets over the long term. Central Retail was Thailand’s largest listing since 2013, raising c $2.5bn. The firm is one of the nation’s largest retailers, operating over 2,000 stores across multiple formats, including supermarkets, convenience stores and department stores. Central Retail, through its hypermarket subsidiary Big C, is also the largest foreign-owned retailer in Vietnam, which the manager believes positions the company well to capture the country’s rapid economic growth.

The manager has also introduced airports operator Airports of Thailand (AOT) into the portfolio. AOT operates six airports in Thailand, including Bangkok Airport, the country’s busiest. The team assessed that the sharp fall in the company’s share price in response to the pandemic presented an attractive entry point for the long term. It expects airports to reopen later this month, but for traffic to take a few years to recover. The manager notes, however, that AoT’s business has very high operating leverage, so even incremental improvements to revenues, as traffic improves from a low base, should have a larger positive impact on earnings.

The team continues to be committed to investing in high-quality companies that are intrinsically undervalued on a long-term horizon and has a number of stocks on its radar. In ASI’s view, the portfolio is well positioned to generate long-term capital gains, and the current market weakness potentially offers exciting opportunities for ANW.

Performance: Poorly positioned for the pandemic

As shown in Exhibits 5 and 6, ANW has generated strong absolute gains on a NAV total return basis over the past 10 years. Over that period, the trust has also significantly outperformed the MSCI Asia ex-Japan and MSCI World indices. The NAV total return performance relative to the SET Index benchmark, however, has lagged over all periods shown, although the share price has outperformed over one month. For the past several years, the benchmark’s performance has been mainly driven by a narrow number of large-cap stocks, and ANW’s bias towards quality and smaller companies that trade on reasonable valuations has not been in favour. More recently, the trust was poorly positioned for the unforeseen market fall triggered by COVID-19. The manager’s key investment themes are rising incomes, urbanisation and improving infrastructure, which was reflected in the portfolio’s overweight to construction materials, property and insurance stocks. ANW also had significant exposure to the automotive sector and was invested in several high-quality niche players in this sector. These positions have been very weak, while the portfolio was underweight areas that were relatively resilient, including utilities and information technology. Furthermore, prior to the coronavirus outbreak, ANW had high single-digit gearing, which amplified the share price falls. As at end-March 2020, net gearing had increased to 14.6% due to the fall in the fund’s net asset value.

Exhibit 4: Five-year discrete performance data

12 months ending

Share price
(%)

NAV
(%)

SET Index
(%)

MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan (%)

MSCI World
(%)

30/04/16

(8.4)

(8.5)

(5.9)

(14.3)

1.1

30/04/17

30.2

28.5

31.5

37.5

30.6

30/04/18

13.3

13.6

20.5

16.8

6.9

30/04/19

2.7

0.3

1.3

1.6

13.1

30/04/20

(23.1)

(25.2)

(17.6)

(4.1)

(0.2)

Source: Refinitiv. Note: All % on a total return basis in pounds sterling.

Exhibit 5: Investment trust performance to 30 April 2020

Price, NAV and benchmark total return performance, one-year rebased

Price, NAV and benchmark total return performance (%)

Source: Refinitiv, Edison Investment Research. Note: Three-, five- and 10-year performance figures annualised.

Exhibit 6: Share price and NAV total return performance, relative to indices (%)

 

One month

Three months

Six months

One year

Three years

Five years

10 years

Price relative to SET Index

4.3

(4.5)

(6.7)

(6.7)

(11.1)

(14.4)

(6.4)

NAV relative to SET Index

(0.9)

(8.2)

(9.7)

(9.3)

(15.4)

(19.6)

(16.5)

Price relative to MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan

13.4

(13.3)

(23.8)

(19.9)

(21.4)

(20.5)

42.3

NAV relative to MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan

7.8

(16.6)

(26.2)

(22.1)

(25.2)

(25.4)

26.9

Price relative to MSCI World

11.4

(8.5)

(22.0)

(22.9)

(25.9)

(33.1)

1.9

NAV relative to MSCI World

5.9

(12.0)

(24.5)

(25.1)

(29.5)

(37.1)

(9.1)

Source: Refinitiv, Edison Investment Research. Note: Data to end-April 2020. Geometric calculation.

Exhibit 7: NAV total return performance relative to benchmark over three years

Source: Refinitiv, Edison Investment Research

Discount: Recovered from extreme volatility

As shown in Exhibit 8, ANW’s discount to cum-income NAV has been very volatile in the past two months, reflecting extreme movements in equity prices in Thailand (and indeed around the world), and a sharp fall in investor confidence in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The discount has returned to more normal levels recently, and stood at 15.0% as at 13 May 2020, slightly wider than the three-year average of 14.5%.The board actively monitors the discount and has the ability to repurchase shares if this is deemed to be in the best interest of shareholders. ANW does not have a fixed life; however, if in the 12 weeks preceding its year end, the shares have been trading at an average discount in excess of 15% to the cum-income NAV, a special resolution to wind up the company will be proposed at the next AGM. The board also constantly monitors investment performance and has recently announced that, if performance over the next three years to 28 February 2023 has not outperformed the benchmark, it may review ANW’s investment management arrangements. This may include, but is not limited to, an option for shareholders to redeem shares for cash.

Exhibit 8: Share price discount to NAV (including income) over three years (%)

Source: Refinitiv, Edison Investment Research

Capital structure and fees

ANW is a conventional investment trust with one class of share; currently there are 16.5m ordinary shares in issue. The board has the authority (renewable annually) to repurchase up to 14.99% and allot up to 10% of issued share capital. As shown in Exhibit 2, activity has been de minimis in FY20 with 92,338 shares repurchased at a total cost of c £0.5m (FY19: 280,612 shares costing £1.6m). ANW has a £15m three-year, multi-currency facility with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and as at end-March, £10m was drawn, and the trust had net gearing of 14.6%.

The board has recently revised the calculation of the investment management fee. Until 28 February 2020, the investment management fee was charged to the trust monthly and calculated at an annual rate of 0.9% of net assets. With effect from FY21 the 0.9% pa fee will be calculated on the market capitalisation of the trust, which the board believes is better aligned to shareholders’ interests and industry practice. Based on the market capitalisation at the close of business on 4 May 2020 the management fee change would result in a reduction in the management fee of £96,000 or 13%.

Dividend policy and record

ANW has the highest dividend yield among its AIC Country Specialists – Asia Pacific sector peer group (as shown in Exhibit 9). The board approved new measures in May 2018, which resulted in a substantial 62% increase in the dividend paid in FY19. The allocation of management fees and interest costs was changed from being wholly allocated to the income account, to a 75:25 split between the capital and income accounts respectively. This reflects the board’s expected total return for the trust over the long term and increases the proportion of net earnings available for dividend payments. The board also introduced an interim dividend, payable in November, in addition to the final dividend, which is paid in June or July.

The board has recently declared a second interim dividend of 11p per share in lieu of a final dividend, to avoid requiring shareholders’ approval should COVID-19 restrictions cause a delay to the forthcoming AGM in June. Combined with an interim dividend of 8.0p per share, the total dividends per share for FY20 is 19p (FY19: 18p).

Peer group comparison

Exhibit 9 shows the AIC Country Specialists – Asia Pacific sector funds with a performance track record of over three years. The members have a wide geographical variation and different mandates, which include income and unlisted equities, therefore direct comparisons may not be helpful. ANW is one of the smaller trusts within this group. Its 10-year NAV total return performance ranks fifth and is well above the peer group average. Over shorter periods, however, its performance has lagged, ranking eighth over one and five years respectively, and fifth over three years. ANW’s ongoing charge is below average and ranks sixth, and it has the highest dividend yield at 4.6%. The trust’s discount to cum-fair NAV ranks seventh.

Exhibit 9: AIC Country Specialists: Asia Pacific peer group as at 12 May 2020*

% unless stated

Market cap £m

NAV TR
1 year

NAV TR
3 year

NAV TR
5 year

NAV TR
10 year

Discount (cum-fair)

Ongoing charge

Perf.
fee

Net gearing

Dividend yield (%)

Aberdeen New Thai

68.9

(23.8)

(13.3)

6.1

140.2

(15.0)

1.3

No

111

4.6

Aberdeen New India

221.9

(16.3)

(14.1)

21.6

76.8

(14.6)

1.2

No

109

0.0

Fidelity China Special Situations

1,270.5

13.8

25.4

51.1

212.4

(12.3)

0.9

Yes

124

1.6

India Capital Growth

46.5

(37.0)

(46.6)

(13.0)

(16.2)

(32.2)

1.9

No

100

0.0

JPMorgan China Growth & Income

274.8

39.7

68.5

93.5

226.5

(14.0)

1.3

No

111

1.1

JPMorgan Indian

395.3

(26.0)

(28.6)

1.3

27.9

(13.2)

1.1

No

101

0.0

Vietnam Enterprise Investments**

888.9

(6.5)

16.1

94.0

157.8

(12.3)

2.2

No

99

0.0

VietNam Holding**

73.4

(10.6)

(20.9)

30.5

73.3

(22.3)

2.9

Yes

100

0.0

VinaCapital Vietnam Opp Fund

515.5

(1.7)

12.4

98.7

142.9

(23.4)

1.7

No

100

2.9

Weiss Korea Opportunity

109.4

(7.9)

(13.4)

10.3

(4.6)

1.8

No

100

3.1

Simple average

386.5

(7.6)

(1.5)

39.4

115.7

(16.4)

1.6

106

1.3

Rank (out of 10)

9

8

5

8

5

7

6

3

1

Source: Morningstar, Edison Investment Research. Note: *Performance data to 11 May 2020. **NAV TR to 30 April 2020. TR = total return. Net gearing is total assets less cash and equivalents as a percentage of net assets.

The board

The board consists of four independent non-executive directors, chaired by Nicolas Smith (appointed March 2013 and assumed his current role in June 2013). The senior independent director is Andy Pomfret (appointed in September 2014 and assumed his current role in December 2019). The other members of the board and their dates of appointment are Sarah MacAulay (December 2016) and Anne Gilding (18 October 2019).

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New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

Frankfurt +49 (0)69 78 8076 960

Schumannstrasse 34b

60325 Frankfurt

Germany

London +44 (0)20 3077 5700

280 High Holborn

London, WC1V 7EE

United Kingdom

New York +1 646 653 7026

1,185 Avenue of the Americas

3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036

United States of America

Sydney +61 (0)2 8249 8342

Level 4, Office 1205

95 Pitt Street, Sydney

NSW 2000, Australia

Frankfurt +49 (0)69 78 8076 960

Schumannstrasse 34b

60325 Frankfurt

Germany

London +44 (0)20 3077 5700

280 High Holborn

London, WC1V 7EE

United Kingdom

New York +1 646 653 7026

1,185 Avenue of the Americas

3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036

United States of America

Sydney +61 (0)2 8249 8342

Level 4, Office 1205

95 Pitt Street, Sydney

NSW 2000, Australia

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £49,500 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2020 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

Frankfurt +49 (0)69 78 8076 960

Schumannstrasse 34b

60325 Frankfurt

Germany

London +44 (0)20 3077 5700

280 High Holborn

London, WC1V 7EE

United Kingdom

New York +1 646 653 7026

1,185 Avenue of the Americas

3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036

United States of America

Sydney +61 (0)2 8249 8342

Level 4, Office 1205

95 Pitt Street, Sydney

NSW 2000, Australia

Frankfurt +49 (0)69 78 8076 960

Schumannstrasse 34b

60325 Frankfurt

Germany

London +44 (0)20 3077 5700

280 High Holborn

London, WC1V 7EE

United Kingdom

New York +1 646 653 7026

1,185 Avenue of the Americas

3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036

United States of America

Sydney +61 (0)2 8249 8342

Level 4, Office 1205

95 Pitt Street, Sydney

NSW 2000, Australia

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