We ask James if the market is currently holding its breath because of the election period, and what to expect from the whole scenario.
“I can’t predict the market. But if the markets fall, I don’t mind it at all,” James says. “This is something that my colleagues and directors remind me not to say it – it puts people off they say. But frankly, investing in the stock market is a very long game for us. The markets are going to fall and they are going to go up. And when markets are down, that’s always our opportunity,” says James.
Assuming the opposition were to win this election - albeit the odds are truly stacked against them- one could possibly expect people to sell down their investments. But this would give us the opportunity to buy.
“Assuming the opposition were to win this election, albeit the odds are truly stacked against them, one could possibly expect people to sell down their investments. But this would give us the opportunity to buy."
"Thailand is going to have an election next year. Indonesia is going to have an election next year. But things keep on going on, so we are not entirely too concerned with the political risks involved,” he adds.
Pangolin Asia Fund is a high performing, long-term fund that focuses on the Asian equities. James Hay, founder of Pangolin Investment Management Fund reports that the April Net Asset Value of Pangolin Asia Fund went down a further 1.4 percent for the first week of April, off the back of another downward performing month of March 2018 where the fund fell 0.84 percent.
But investors, particularly long-term investors, aren’t too anxious about the recent developments at the fund considering that they have registered quite a considerable amount of growth in the past few decades.
“We’re down last month. About one percent. We’re down again this month. The markets are weak and quite soggy because a lot of people are worried about the elections,” James explains. “The ringgit has also come off its high, since we are earning in USD, but we’ve also seen weakness in other emerging markets,” James continues.
On retail sales being soggy as well, particularly in Malaysia, James begs to differ.
“I think retail sales are okay, and consumer sentiment aren’t too bad either,” says James. “A lot of it is driven by tourism. Padini Holdings for instance have has a lot of stores in downtown Kuala Lumpur where Chinese tourists go to shop. So, when tourism goes down, so does do companies like Padini. In Thailand, airports there have so many Chinese tourists. Angkor Wat also sees a lot of PRC tourists, so they are driving the market,” he says.
“I was in Harrods in London for the new year,” James remarks. “I’m an old guy. During the 70s and 80s, it was the Arabs (buying and shopping there), then it was the Russians. Now, it is the Chinese. The food and all was Chinese, the dim sum and everything - pricey as they are, is catered towards the Chinese,” James adds.