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Matthews Japan Fund

Snapshot
  • High-conviction growth strategy seeks alpha in Japan
  • Unconstrained all-cap approach seeking Japanese companies positioned to benefit from Asia's growth
  • Invests in companies leveraged to the fast growing consumer demand across Asia, global industry leaders and entrepreneurial companies providing innovative domestic solutions

30/04/2015

Inception Date

9.58%

YTD Return (USD)

(as of 24/06/2024)

$17.38

NAV (USD)

(as of 24/06/2024)

+0.01

1 Day NAV Change

(as of 24/06/2024)

Objective

Long-term capital appreciation.

Sustainability

The Fund promotes environmental and social characteristics according to Article 8 of SFDR. Furthermore, the Fund uses both activity- and norm-based exclusions. Information relating to the environmental and social characteristics of this Fund is available in the prospectus.

Strategy

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, directly or indirectly, at least 65% of its total net assets, in publicly traded common stocks, preferred stocks and convertible securities of companies located in Japan, and may invest the remainder of its net assets in other permitted assets on a worldwide basis.

Risks

The value of an investment in the Fund can go down as well as up and possible loss of principal is a risk of investing. Investments in international market securities may involve risks such as social and political instability, market illiquidity, exchange-rate fluctuations, a high level of volatility and limited regulation. The Fund invests in holdings denominated in foreign currency, and is exposed to the risk that the value of the foreign currency will increase or decrease. The Fund invests primarily in equity securities, which may result in increased volatility. Investments in a single-country fund may be subject to a higher degree of market risk than diversified funds because of concentration in a specific country.

These and other risks associated with investing in the Fund can be found in the prospectus.

Fund Facts
Inception Date 30/04/2015
Fund Assets $118.21 million (31/05/2024)
Base Currency USD
ISIN: LU1220257130 (USD) LU1220257486 (GBP) LU1525503915 (USD Hedged) LU1525504053 (EUR Hedged)
Bloomberg Symbol MAFJFIU:LX (USD) MAFJFIG:LX (GBP) MAFJIHU:LX (USD Hedged) MAFJIHE:LX (EUR Hedged)
Benchmark MSCI Japan Index
Geographic Focus Japan
SFDR Classification Article 8
Fees & Expenses
Management Fee 0.75%
Total Expense Ratio 0.80% ( USD ) 0.80% ( GBP ) 0.80% ( USD Hedged ) 0.80% ( EUR Hedged )

Performance

  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Calendar Year
  • Rolling 12 Month
    Returns
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As of 31/05/2024
Annualized Returns
Name 1MO 3MO YTD 1YR 3YR 5YR 10YR Since Inception Inception Date
Matthews Japan Fund (USD)
2.19% 2.67% 11.60% 22.58% 0.46% 8.10% n.a. 6.49% 30/04/2015
MSCI Japan Index (USD)
1.35% -0.52% 7.20% 19.03% 2.82% 7.95% n.a. 5.59%
Matthews Japan Fund (GBP)
0.75% 2.05% 11.58% 19.10% 4.17% 7.83% n.a. 8.73% 30/04/2015
MSCI Japan Index (GBP)
-0.32% -1.17% 7.33% 15.87% 6.66% 7.74% n.a. 7.80%
Matthews Japan Fund (USD Hedged)
2.75% 8.83% 26.46% 45.45% 16.84% 18.77% n.a. 14.13% 03/04/2017
MSCI Japan Index 100% Hedged to USD (USD Hedged)
1.69% 5.94% 21.82% 41.31% 19.96% 19.14% n.a. 14.41%
Matthews Japan Fund (EUR Hedged)
2.60% 8.59% 25.85% 42.98% 15.02% 16.93% n.a. 11.99% 03/04/2017
MSCI Japan Index 100% Hedged to EUR (EUR Hedged)
1.51% 5.50% 21.20% 38.72% 17.69% 16.93% n.a. 12.01%
As of 31/03/2024
Annualized Returns
Name 1MO 3MO YTD 1YR 3YR 5YR 10YR Since Inception Inception Date
Matthews Japan Fund (USD)
5.80% 15.01% 15.01% 28.54% 1.55% 8.13% n.a. 6.97% 30/04/2015
MSCI Japan Index (USD)
3.16% 11.16% 11.16% 26.20% 4.08% 8.16% n.a. 6.13%
Matthews Japan Fund (GBP)
5.77% 15.65% 15.65% 25.75% 4.46% 8.86% n.a. 9.34% 30/04/2015
MSCI Japan Index (GBP)
3.29% 12.18% 12.18% 23.52% 7.18% 8.84% n.a. 8.49%
Matthews Japan Fund (USD Hedged)
6.93% 24.25% 24.25% 53.67% 15.89% 17.32% n.a. 14.20% 03/04/2017
MSCI Japan Index 100% Hedged to USD (USD Hedged)
4.78% 20.48% 20.48% 50.98% 19.13% 17.87% n.a. 14.60%
Matthews Japan Fund (EUR Hedged)
6.90% 23.89% 23.89% 50.92% 14.09% 15.44% n.a. 12.04% 03/04/2017
MSCI Japan Index 100% Hedged to EUR (EUR Hedged)
4.66% 20.24% 20.24% 48.44% 16.98% 15.63% n.a. 12.18%
For the years ended December 31st
Name 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Matthews Japan Fund (USD)
20.15% -26.87% -1.96% 32.83% 25.54% -20.58% 33.40% 0.19%
MSCI Japan Index (USD)
20.77% -16.31% 2.04% 14.91% 20.07% -12.58% 24.39% 2.73%
Matthews Japan Fund (GBP)
13.70% -18.12% -0.63% 28.30% 21.61% -16.16% 21.57% 20.43%
MSCI Japan Index (GBP)
13.96% -5.76% 2.98% 11.36% 15.44% -7.14% 13.62% 22.53%
Matthews Japan Fund (USD Hedged)
35.89% -14.54% 9.63% 25.29% 26.94% -20.85% n.a. n.a.
MSCI Japan Index 100% Hedged to USD (USD Hedged)
36.24% -1.62% 13.96% 10.14% 21.81% -13.31% n.a. n.a.
Matthews Japan Fund (EUR Hedged)
32.96% -15.79% 8.65% 24.18% 23.10% -23.30% n.a. n.a.
MSCI Japan Index 100% Hedged to EUR (EUR Hedged)
33.32% -4.06% 13.13% 8.27% 18.17% -15.92% n.a. n.a.
For the period ended 31/03/2024
Name 2024 2023 2022 2021 2020 Inception Date
Matthews Japan Fund (USD)
28.54% -8.39% -11.08% 51.61% -6.89% 30/04/2015
MSCI Japan Index (USD)
26.20% -4.83% -6.14% 40.18% -6.31%
Matthews Japan Fund (GBP)
25.75% -2.87% -6.68% 35.92% -1.31% 30/04/2015
MSCI Japan Index (GBP)
23.52% 1.34% -1.64% 25.98% -1.54%
Matthews Japan Fund (USD Hedged)
53.67% 3.72% -2.34% 55.00% -7.90% 03/04/2017
MSCI Japan Index 100% Hedged to USD (USD Hedged)
50.98% 8.62% 3.11% 44.05% -6.58%
Matthews Japan Fund (EUR Hedged)
50.92% 2.09% -3.62% 52.77% -9.63% 03/04/2017
MSCI Japan Index 100% Hedged to EUR (EUR Hedged)
48.44% 5.49% 2.24% 42.42% -9.35%

Source: Brown Brothers Harriman (Luxembourg) S.C.A.

All returns over 1 year are annualized

Since inception performance for share classes with less than one year of history represents actual performance, not annualised. In addition, for share classes less than a year old, Year to Date Return is calculated since inception. Where no past performance is shown there was insufficient data available in that year to provide performance.

Performance details provided are based on a NAV-to-NAV basis with any dividends reinvested, and are net of management fees and other expenses. Performance data has been calculated in the respective currencies stated above, including ongoing charges and excluding subscription fee and redemption fee you might have to pay.

All performance quoted represents past performance and is not indicative of future performance. Investors may not get back the full amount invested. Investors investing in funds denominated in non-local currency should be aware of the risk of currency exchange fluctuations that may cause a loss of principal.

Additional performance, attribution, liquidity, value at risk (VaR), security classification and holdings information is available on request for certain time periods.

Portfolio Characteristics

(as of 31/05/2024)
Fund Benchmark
Number of Positions 45 217
Weighted Average Market Cap $50.0 billion $64.6 billion
Active Share 66.5 n.a.
P/E using FY1 estimates 17.0x 15.5x
P/E using FY2 estimates 15.3x 14.0x
Price/Cash Flow 11.2 9.9
Price/Book 1.8 1.5
Return On Equity 12.8 11.7
EPS Growth (3 Yr) 13.3% 10.8%

Sources: Factset Research Systems, Inc.

Risk Metrics (3 Yr Return)

(as of 31/05/2024)
-2.00%
Alpha
1.09
Beta
105.50%
Upside Capture
112.15%
Downside Capture
-0.14
Sharpe Ratio
-0.41
Information Ratio
5.82%
Tracking Error
90.37

Fund Risk Metrics are reflective of Class I USD ACC shares.

Sources: Zephyr StyleADVISOR

Top 10 Holdings

(as of 31/05/2024)
Name Sector % Net Assets
Keyence Corp. Information Technology 4.8
Hitachi, Ltd. Industrials 4.5
Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc. Financials 4.1
ORIX Corp. Financials 4.0
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Financials 3.9
ITOCHU Corp. Industrials 3.9
Tokyo Electron, Ltd. Information Technology 3.8
Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. Materials 3.8
Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. Industrials 3.2
Renesas Electronics Corp. Information Technology 3.0
TOTAL 39.0

Top 10 holdings may combine more than one security from the same issuer and related depositary receipts.

Source: Brown Brothers Harriman (Luxembourg) S.C.A

Portfolio Breakdown (%)

(as of 31/05/2024)
  • Sector Allocation
  • Market Cap Exposure
Sector Fund Benchmark Difference
Consumer Discretionary 21.4 18.4 3.0
Information Technology 19.1 15.0 4.1
Industrials 18.8 23.2 -4.4
Financials 14.1 14.4 -0.3
Materials 6.8 4.1 2.7
Health Care 5.5 7.7 -2.2
Consumer Staples 4.2 5.3 -1.1
Real Estate 2.8 2.9 -0.1
Communication Services 2.1 6.7 -4.6
Utilities 0.0 1.2 -1.2
Energy 0.0 1.0 -1.0
Cash and Other Assets, Less Liabilities 5.1 0.0 5.1

Sector data based on MSCI’s revised Global Industry Classification Standards. For more details, visit www.msci.com.

Equity market cap of issuer Fund Benchmark Difference
Mega Cap (over $25B) 60.0 66.1 -6.1
Large Cap ($10B-$25B) 15.0 21.3 -6.3
Mid Cap ($3B-$10B) 11.8 12.6 -0.8
Small Cap (under $3B) 8.1 0.0 8.1
Cash and Other Assets, Less Liabilities 5.1 0.0 5.1

Source: FactSet Research Systems unless otherwise noted.
Percentage values in data are rounded to the nearest tenth of one percent, so the values may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Percentage values may be derived from different data sources and may not be consistent with other Fund literature.

ESG Characteristics

(as of 31/03/2024)
  • Business Involvement
  • Sustainability Attributes
Name Fund Benchmark Difference
Controversial Weapons
Fund Coverage: 99% Benchmark Coverage: 100%
0.0 0.9 -0.9
Tobacco
Fund Coverage: 99% Benchmark Coverage: 100%
0.0 0.8 -0.8
Name Fund Benchmark Difference
UN Global Compact Violators
Fund Coverage: 100% Benchmark Coverage: 100%
0.0 0.0 0.0
Board Diversity
Fund Coverage: 100% Benchmark Coverage: 100%
16.6 17.5 -0.9

Board Diversity: Represents the weighted average ratio of female board members in investee companies.
Tobacco: Represents companies that generate more than 5% of revenue from tobacco manufacturing exposure to or production or that generate more than 50% of revenue from tobacco retail. 
UN Global Compact Violators: Represents companies that have been assessed as failing to comply with the 10 United Nations Global Compact Principles by ISS-ESG Norms-Based Research. Different ESG research providers may come to different conclusions on the severity of the violation.
Controversial weapons include companies with involvement in the following: anti-personnel mines; biological and chemical weapons; cluster weapons; depleted uranium; nuclear weapons and white phosphorus. A company is excluded if it is directly involved in the production, selling and/or distribution of (parts of) controversial weapons and this involvement concerns the core weapon system, or components/services of the core weapon system that are tailor-made and essential for the lethal use of the weapon.

Source: Sustainalytics, Factset, MSCI, Matthews Asia.

GHG Intensity

(as of 31/03/2024)

Fund Coverage: 99%; Benchmark Coverage: 100% as of 31/03/2024

GHG Intensity: Represents the normalized portfolio’s total weighted average (scope 1 + scope 2) carbon emissions intensity, using the most recently available data (emissions data from 2020, 2021). Carbon intensity represents the issuer’s total carbon emissions per EUR million of revenue (tCO2e divided by EUR million in revenue).

Source: Sourced from ISS ESG. Where not covered by external data providers, we have tried to source these data points.

Sustainability-related Disclosures

This Fund Yes No
Complies with Article 8 of SFDR  
Investment process integrates ESG factors and sustainability risks based on proprietary and third-party research  
Applies norms- and activity-based exclusions  
Promotes environmental and social characteristics  
Has a sustainable investment objective  
Conducts engagement  
Exercises Voting Rights  

Investors should not invest in the Fund solely based on the information in this material alone. Please refer to the Prospectus for further details of the Fund’s investment objective and risk factors.

For more information, please refer to our Responsible Investment and Stewardship Policy and our ESG-Related Investment Policy of Matthews Asia Funds.

Ratings

  • OVERALL
  • 3 YEAR
  • 5 YEAR

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. High ratings and rankings does not assure favorable performance.

Overall Morningstar RatingTM is reflective of the noted share class. Fund ratings represent an opinion only and are not a recommendation to buy or sell any fund. Copyright ©2023 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is provided for reference purposes only.

The Overall Morningstar®️ Rating for a fund is derived from a weighted-average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five- and (if applicable) ten-year ratings.

Morningstar RatingTM for funds, or "star rating", is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product's monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The Morningstar Rating does not include any adjustment for sales loads. The top 10% of products in each product category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a managed product is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. The weights are: 100% three-year rating for 36-59 months of total returns, 60% five-year rating/40% three-year rating for 60-119 months of total returns, and 50% 10-year rating/30% five-year rating/20% three-year rating for 120 or more months of total returns. While the 10-year overall star rating formula seems to give the most weight to the 10-year period, the most recent three-year period actually has the greatest impact because it is included in all three rating periods.

Portfolio Managers

Shuntaro  Takeuchi photo
Shuntaro Takeuchi

Lead Manager

Donghoon  Han photo
Donghoon Han

Lead Manager

Commentary

Period ended 31 March 2024

Market Environment

  • Japan was the best performing market in Asia as well as globally in the first quarter. During the period, the Japanese equity market surpassed an historical peak set back in 1989 thanks, in part, to capital efficiency reforms that have triggered higher dividends and more buybacks and encouraged inflows from global investors. 
  • At the same time, Japanese companies are delivering robust earnings and we think Japanese corporates are in a good place as we anticipate U.S. interest rates coming down this year which will be a boost to global economic growth. In addition, Japan’s technology sector is benefiting from the global uptake in generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
  • In March, the Bank of Japan made a major decision to end its negative interest rate policy as a signal to investors that Japan’s growth momentum is real, yet monetary policy is set to remain accommodative.

Contributor and Detractors   

  • For the quarter ended March 31, 2024, the Japan Fund returned 15.01% (I Acc USD) while its benchmark, the MSCI Japan Index, returned 11.16% over the same period.
  • The top three contributors to relative performance, on a sector basis, were consumer discretionary, industrials and health care due to stock selection. The top three detractors to relative performance were materials due to an overweight allocation, financials due to an underweight allocation and energy due to zero allocation.
  • The three largest contributors to absolute performance during the quarter included Tokyo Electron a semiconductor production equipment company, Mitsubishi Corp., a trading company, and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, a department store operator. The top three detractors to performance included Nissin Foods Holdings, a producer of instant noodle and processed food products, OBIC, an IT company mainly engaged in software, and Toppan Holdings, a printing company.

Outlook

  • The Bank of Japan’s recent decision to end its negative interest rate policy is a key signal to investors that for the first time in a long time the central bank sees a growth momentum taking hold and that it is prepared to be relatively dovish. As we look ahead, we may see Japanese equities consolidating but over the longer term we believe Japan is a very good opportunity, as capital efficiency reforms entrench and earnings remain robust. 

 

Rolling 12 Month Returns For the period ended 31/03/2024 - I (Acc)
Name 2024 2023 2022 2021 2020 Inception Date
Matthews Japan Fund (USD)
28.54% -8.39% -11.08% 51.61% -6.89% 30/04/2015
MSCI Japan Index (USD)
26.20% -4.83% -6.14% 40.18% -6.31%
Matthews Japan Fund (GBP)
25.75% -2.87% -6.68% 35.92% -1.31% 30/04/2015
MSCI Japan Index (GBP)
23.52% 1.34% -1.64% 25.98% -1.54%
Matthews Japan Fund (USD Hedged)
53.67% 3.72% -2.34% 55.00% -7.90% 03/04/2017
MSCI Japan Index 100% Hedged to USD (USD Hedged)
50.98% 8.62% 3.11% 44.05% -6.58%
Matthews Japan Fund (EUR Hedged)
50.92% 2.09% -3.62% 52.77% -9.63% 03/04/2017
MSCI Japan Index 100% Hedged to EUR (EUR Hedged)
48.44% 5.49% 2.24% 42.42% -9.35%

Sources: Brown Brothers Harriman (Luxembourg) S.C.A, Matthews Asia, FactSet Research Systems, Bloomberg

Performance figures discussed in the Fund Manager Commentary above reflect that of the Institutional Accumulation Class Shares and has been calculated in USD. Performance details provided for the Fund are based on a NAV-to-NAV basis, with any dividends reinvested, and are net of management fees and other expenses. Past performance information is not indicative of future performance. Investors may not get back the full amount invested.

The information contained herein has been derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of compilation, but no representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of any of this information. Matthews Asia and its affiliates do not accept any liability for losses either direct or consequential caused by the use of this information.

Information contained herein is sourced from Matthews Asia unless otherwise stated. The views and opinions in this commentary were as of the report date, subject to change and may not reflect the writer’s current views. They are not guarantees of performance or investment results and should not be taken as investment advice. Investment decisions reflect a variety of factors, and the managers reserve the right to change their views about individual stocks, sectors, and the markets at any time. As a result, the views expressed should not be relied upon as a forecast of the Fund’s future investment intent. It should not be assumed that any investment will be profitable or will equal the performance of any securities or any sectors mentioned herein. The information does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any securities mentioned.

Investors should not invest in the Fund solely based on the information in this material alone. Please refer to the Prospectus for further details of the risk factors. 

Index Definitions