abrdn Asian Income Fund — Quality through and through

abrdn Asian Income Fund (LSE: AAIF)

Last close As at 28/02/2024

GBP2.01

−2.00 (−0.99%)

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abrdn Asian Income Fund — Quality through and through

abrdn Asian Income Fund (AAIF) is managed by abrdn, which has 30 years’ heritage of managing Asian equity strategies, one of the largest regional teams and $52bn in AUM across Asia and global emerging markets (at 30 June 2022). It is pleasing to see that after weaker relative performances in 2017, 2019 and 2020, AAIF has returned to form with strong relative showings in 2021 and 2022 converting into outperformance of the index and peers over one, three and five years. After dipping into reserves in 2020 and 2021, the board has guided for a fully covered dividend per share of 9.75p for FY22 and 10.5p for FY23. While China does not account for a significant part of the portfolio, which has been both a headwind and tailwind for the strategy, it continues to have a significant impact on the region’s prospects, making the recent reopening of China the most notable regional macro event of recent months.

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Investment Companies

abrdn Asian Income Fund

Quality through and through

Investment trusts
Asia Pacific Equity Income

9 March 2023

Price

223.5p

Market cap

£378.8m

Total assets

£464.6m

NAV*

249.8p

Share discount to NAV

10.5%

*Including income. At 8 March 2023.

Yield

4.7%

Shares in issue

169.5m

Ticker/ISIN

AAIF/GB00B0P6J834

Primary exchange

LSE

AIC sector

Asia Pacific Equity Income

Financial year end

31 December

52-week high/low*

236.0p

187.8p

264.6p

215.2p

*Including income.

Gearing

Net gearing at 8 March 2023

9%

Fund objective

The investment objective of abrdn Asian Income Fund is to provide investors with a total return primarily through investing in Asia-Pacific securities, including those with an above-average yield. Within its overall investment objective, the company aims to grow its dividends over time.

Bull points

Consistent focus on quality companies.

More exposed to positive ESG factors than peers.

Low portfolio turnover.

Bear points

May lag if Chinese equities perform well.

Discount remains wider than peers.

Stylistic bias can be out of favour.

Analysts

David Holder

+44 (0)77 962 68072

abrdn Asian Income Fund is a research client of Edison Investment Research Limited

abrdn Asian Income Fund (AAIF) is managed by abrdn, which has 30 years’ heritage of managing Asian equity strategies, one of the largest regional teams and $52bn in AUM across Asia and global emerging markets (at 30 June 2022). It is pleasing to see that after weaker relative performances in 2017, 2019 and 2020, AAIF has returned to form with strong relative showings in 2021 and 2022 converting into outperformance of the index and peers over one, three and five years. After dipping into reserves in 2020 and 2021, the board has guided for a fully covered dividend per share of 9.75p for FY22 and 10.5p for FY23. While China does not account for a significant part of the portfolio, which has been both a headwind and tailwind for the strategy, it continues to have a significant impact on the region’s prospects, making the recent reopening of China the most notable regional macro event of recent months.

Providing sector diversification vs UK and global equity income categories

Source: Refinitiv, Edison Investment Research, Morningstar. Note: At 31 December 2022. Represents sector weightings as calculated by Morningstar and uses its category peer groups to illustrate UK equity income and global equity income positioning.

Why consider Asia as part of your income portfolio?

There are a number of compelling reasons to consider using AAIF in a diversified income portfolio. The chart above outlines the significant variances in AAIF’s sector positioning vs both the Morningstar UK and global equity income category average sector weightings. The addition of AAIF provides significant sector and regional revenue diversification vs those opportunity sets and over 10 years AAIF has an annualised correlation of 0.79 vs UK equity income funds and 0.86 vs global equity income strategies.

Providing diversification vs UK and global equity income at revenue level

Source: Refinitiv, Edison Investment Research, Morningstar. Note: At 31 December 2022.

China reopening is a catalyst for regional growth

The sudden post COVID-19 reopening in China following lockdowns has been a catalyst for Chinese equity markets to surge ahead after languishing for much of 2022. The AAIF investment process looks for ‘quality’ companies within an income context and has historically been materially underweight China. This positioning could hold the fund’s performance back if Chinese listed equities continue to lead, as they have done over recent months. However, instead of directly investing in China, the fund managers have been looking for other ways to access the potential benefits of China reopening while still adhering to their investment philosophy.

One way the fund managers favour is via banks that are exposed to an increase in demand for banking services in Thailand (Tisco) and Singapore (DBS, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and United Overseas Bank), which should benefit from a return of Chinese tourists. These banks offer premium yields to the market and trade on undemanding valuations. Positions in the Singapore banks were built up from Q122 as the regulatory and government pressure not to pay dividends during the initial phases of the COVID-19 crisis were relaxed. China reopening is also played via real estate investment trusts (REITs) and regional shopping centres, which should benefit with higher consumer footfall and overall economic activity post lockdown. Names here include CapitaLand, Hang Lung and Region Group. Lastly the fund’s basic materials positions, such as BHP Group and Rio Tinto, likewise should continue to benefit from higher levels of economic activity around the building of regional infrastructure. The fund also has a position in The Keppel Infrastructure Trust, which is actively growing its exposure to renewable energy infrastructure across the region.

The team is cognisant of its underweight China position and continues to look for Chinese stocks that meet its investment criteria. In January 2023, the fund managers initiated a position in Autohome (the last previous China initiation was in July 2021) for AAIF, although it had been previously held in other abrdn Asia pacific funds. Autohome is similar to the UK’s Autotrader; it caters for the whole range of cars and has a tie up with Ping An Group, which provides finance. The company has previously been held by the managers, has net cash on its balance sheet and, while it is cash generative, has a current low but growing dividend. That AAIF’s weighting to China has ticked up is more a factor of price movement rather than adding names. The managers note that there is a regulatory easing in some sectors, which has been beneficial to the fund’s holding in China Resources Land. As one would expect from abrdn’s investment process, China Resources Land is not involved in speculative development and is not highly indebted.

AAIF is a portfolio built on stock-specific merits; however, the managers believe that there is likely to be better corporate earnings growth in 2023 in China, Hong Kong and India, but perhaps a near-term softening in South Korea and Taiwan (both of which have significant reliance on technology in their economies) until technology sees better pricing power, which they expect to see in H223 as the semiconductor cycle ticks up because inventories have been run down. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung are big weightings in the portfolio, but the team has corresponding high conviction in them. TSMC has seen its dividend yield decline, with it currently yielding just over 2% versus its five-year average of 2.7% despite dividends per share increasing. The company remains a market leader with strong cash flow but quite volatile margins depending on the demand for microchips and components. The managers are confident that the next upswing in the cycle should begin in the second half of this year, but with a three-year Beta of sensitivity to market movements of 1.25 versus global equities, the ride with TSMC can be a bumpy one at times.

In other areas of technology, the managers also have a longstanding position in Singapore-listed Venture, which has been held since 2011 and exhibits different drivers to its returns (from TSMC or Samsung for example) as it is involved with component manufacturing that is used in genome sequencing at Illumina, for example. The managers believe that the Indian technology outsourcing companies held in the portfolio, such as Infosys and Tata, may be affected if US growth weakens (they are major areas for US tech outsourcing), while recent (September 2022) addition AEM is a modest position currently, but is strong in the very niche and hard to disrupt semiconductor testing space.

The impact of China on AAIF

Shareholders in AAIF have seen a recovery in performance after relatively weak years in 2017, 2019 and 2020, which coincided with Chinese equities outperforming. 2018, 2021 and 2022 were weaker for Chinese equities, which in turn helped AAIF’s relative performance. AAIF is now ahead of the MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan Index and Morningstar category peers over one, three and five years, marginally behind over 10 years and ahead over 15 years.

The fund’s relative NAV outperformance of the MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan Index of 2.5% to the end of January 2023 has built upon the pleasing 12 months to the end of January 2022 (15.1% outperformance of the index). Performance in the 12 months to the end of January 2023 was helped by the fund’s underweight China positioning, which was weak over much of the period. Within the China allocation, however, stock selection in aggregate was still accretive on a relative basis, with China Resources Land performing well for the fund. Sector positioning was broadly neutral over the period. The top three stocks that helped performance were the long-held BHP Group, Rio Tinto and DBS. These are all active overweight positions versus the index, with tailwinds from commodity price inflation post reopening a significant fillip for these companies. Singapore-headquartered DBS is supported by China reopening but also the developing penetration of financial services across the region to a bourgeoning middle class. Detractors at the stock level included not owning Woodside Energy and Yum China, but also holding a marginal overweight position in TSMC, which suffered as the demand for chips declined with expectations for slowing global economic growth.

Exhibit 1: AAIF performance to 6 March 2023

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

Price, NAV and index total return performance (%)

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

Looking over the medium term (five years), the fund’s relative performance has been buoyed by the underweight China positioning and a focus on better-quality stocks. The fund was overweight to COVID-19 ‘winners’ such as technology names TSMC and Samsung, which helped in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more latterly the fund’s overweight positioning in financials, via holdings such as DBS Group Holding and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, has been supportive of performance as economies globally opened up. The increase in financials and slight reduction in technology has also had the effect of slightly tilting the portfolio, which was already value in orientation, slightly further in that direction, which has also been helpful in the recent sell off in long-duration growth assets.

Exhibit 2: Five-year discrete performance data

12 months ending

Total share price return (%)

Total NAV return (%)

MSCI AC Asia Pac ex-Japan (%)

MSCI AC Asia Pac ex-Japan HDY (%)

CBOE UK All Companies (%)

28/02/19

0.8

(1.8)

(3.5)

(1.5)

1.6

29/02/20

(1.4)

0.7

4.5

0.5

(2.1)

28/02/21

21.3

21.1

27.6

6.2

2.8

28/02/22

2.8

5.6

(8.2)

7.2

16.7

28/02/23

1.5

0.9

(2.1)

0.3

8.2

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

AAIF: A consistent focus on quality

With its value investment style tilt, AAIF has a 10-year historical correlation of 0.94 to the MSCI Asia Pac ex Japan Value Index. Value investing in Asia lagged growth style materially in 2017, 2019 and 2020, but performed relatively better in 2021, 2022 and 2023. With 54% of the AAIF portfolio (at December 2022) defined as value by Morningstar (only 2% is classified as growth) and with the portfolio trading on a slight discount in terms of forward price to earnings compared with the index, it is not surprising that when value investing performs well AAIF has a more supportive environment in which to perform. Despite this, over the past five years growth investing has outperformed value investing by an annualised 1.3%, which has not been a detractor to the fund’s 6.1% annualised return over this period, which compares to the Morningstar category average return of 2.0% and the MSCI Asia Pac ex Japan return of 3.4% (all annualised in pounds sterling). Perhaps more salient is the 10-year correlation of AAIF’s NAV returns of 0.67% with the MSCI China Index, which has been a tailwind for AAIF’s performance as the broad Asian market has outperformed the MSCI China Index by an annualised 10.49% over this period. The Chinese equity market as illustrated by the MSCI China Index has been 60% more volatile over the past five years (to the end of December 2022), which has contributed to AAIF’s more modest standard deviation over this period, resulting in risk-adjusted returns (as measured by the Sharpe ratio) that are significantly ahead over this period.

Exhibit 3: AAIF – quality through and through

Source: Morningstar. Note: This illustrates in aggregate AAIF, the MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan Index and the Morningstar Asia-Pacific ex Japan Equity Income category peer group ROIC as calculated by Morningstar.

It is pleasing to see the team resolutely stick to its investment philosophy in the good times and bad, and the strategy has high levels of style consistency as evidenced by a number of quantitative measures. The key investment criteria is always quality. Quality can incorporate factors such as the skills and record of company management, the consistency and predictability of company returns, the levels of barriers to entry limiting competition, levels of margin erosion, pricing power, the judicious use of gearing and strong incorporation of ESG factors into the running of the company. No one metric can capture all of these traits, but in terms of return on invested capital (ROIC) AAIF scores consistently well versus peers and the broader Asian market.

A key factor that investors in AAIF should be aware of is the risk to relative returns of the low direct exposure to Chinese equities, which is consistently broadly half of the Morningstar category and less than a half of the benchmark weighting. As the Chinese equity market develops, it will be interesting to see if this divergent positioning continues, but currently the fund’s emphasis on quality dividends means the focus is generally away from the Chinese equity market. abrdn does not have a philosophical avoidance of Chinese stocks, with its unconstrained strategies having broadly the benchmark weighting of 30% at the time of writing, but nevertheless the positioning here is a differentiator and comfortably the lowest weighting within the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) peer group.

Another factor in terms of performance has been the use of gearing. Over the last five years, AAIF has had average net gearing of 8.6%, which compares with AIC peers (excluding AAIF) averaging 2.8% over the same period. The standard deviation around the gearing in AAIF is relatively high versus AIC peers (1.4 vs 1.1) and deployed on a more meaningful basis than peers (AAIF range 6.4% to 12.5%; AIC peers on average have varied between 0.8% and 6%). This has contributed to the slightly higher levels of volatility of AAIF’s returns versus the index even accounting for less exposure to the more volatile Chinese equity market. Gearing can be considered as adding risk to a portfolio, but we feel its use here, although generally higher than peers when deployed into good-quality, lower Beta companies, mitigates this to an extent. AAIF’s superior risk-adjusted returns to the index and peers over the last five years bear out this observation.

Exhibit 4: AAIF – consistently higher gearing than peers

Source: Morningstar. Note: HFEL = Henderson Far East Income. SOI = Schroder Oriental Income. IAT = Invesco Asia. JAGI = JPMorgan Asia Growth & Income.

ESG: A core element of the investment process

abrdn has long embedded (via both Standard Life and Aberdeen heritage) ESG criteria within the investment process. The fruits of this approach are evidenced via the AAIF portfolio’s superior historical ESG scores, as calculated by Sustainalytics, which in Exhibit 5 are compared with the five-fund AIC Asia Pacific Equity Income category.

Exhibit 5: AAIF – consistently better ESG metrics compared with AIC peers

Source: Morningstar. Note: The y-axis is a portfolio ESG metric (as determined by Sustainalitics). The lower the percentage, the better a portfolio scores on these considerations.

The managers have highlighted their regular engagement with Centuria Industrial REIT, an Australia-listed company first invested into in July 2021. abrdn’s area of focus has been the company’s efforts to mitigate its carbon footprint. Centuria Industrial REIT believes that the majority of its emissions are due to demolition and construction, so it is focused on retrofitting existing buildings to extend asset life to improve its emissions profile. It executes this strategy through planning and collaboration with individual customers. In addition, a portion of lease renewal incentives must now be directed towards ESG initiatives.

Asian companies with a December year end are currently heading into their AGM season. abrdn as part of its fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders will actively vote all proxy shares and it believes that this is an important part of its engagement efforts and helps to further strengthen its long-term relationships with portfolio holdings. It has also noticed an increase in the number of portfolio holdings that initiate engagement ahead of AGM season to explain their agenda items and rationale, which is a positive reflection of the growing focus on governance in the region.

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by abrdn Asian Income Fund and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by abrdn Asian Income Fund. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 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 2023 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.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by abrdn Asian Income Fund and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by abrdn Asian Income Fund. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 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 2023 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.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

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