The Wasatch Frontier Emerging Small Countries Fund (WAFMX) completed its first year with strong performance driven by stock picks in Nigeria and the Philippines. According to Morningstar, the Fund’s absolute rank was #1 out of 553 Diversified Emerging Markets funds based on total return for the 12 months ending January 31, 2013.
Portfolio Manager Laura Geritz attributes the strong results to good security selection and a focus on stocks benefiting from local economic growth, not developed-country demand. From inception on January 31, 2012 through January 31, 2013, the Wasatch Frontier Emerging Small Countries Fund was up 36.17% versus 20.94% for the MSCI Frontier Emerging Markets Index and 16.73% for the MSCI Frontier Markets Index (which is highly skewed toward the value markets in the Middle East). For the 11 months ending December 31, 2012, the Wasatch Frontier Emerging Small Countries Fund was up 32.16% versus 15.41% for the MSCI Frontier Emerging Markets Index and 8.69% for the MSCI Frontier Markets Index
Data shows past performance, which is not indicative of future performance. Current performance may be lower or higher than the data quoted. To obtain the most recent month-end performance data available, please click here . The Advisor may absorb certain Fund expenses, without which total return would have been lower. Investment returns and principal value will fluctuate and shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Total Expense Ratio: 3.64%, Net: 2.25%
We asked Ms. Geritz some questions about frontier markets and the Fund’s first year:First, how do you define frontier markets and emerging small countries, and why do you believe there are investment opportunities in such areas? These are the smaller countries that many believe to be a subset of emerging markets. We invest in publicly listed companies across Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe. The long-term fundamentals of places like Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Turkey continue to converge with the developed world, and benefit from demographic advantages and healthier balance sheets. Plus, the asset class offers attractive dividend yields.