Emerging markets took a slight breather in August while global markets saw continued strength.
SKAGEN's global emerging markets fund SKAGEN Kon-Tiki returned 3.1% in August, as measured in EUR, which is 1.7% ahead of the emerging markets index. Year to date, however, fund performance lags the benchmark but we see encouraging signs that our active, value-based investment philosophy may be gaining traction after a long period during which expensive growth stocks have outperformed.
Good results from South Korea
Among SKAGEN Kon-Tiki's contributors, three South Korean holdings shone during the month: LG Chem, which is transitioning from a chemical company to cementing its leadership as a battery manufacturer, delivered better than expected results. LG Electronics recovered after delivering solid earnings with an improved outlook. Hyundai Motor was also fuelled by strong earnings as well as more focus on their strength and potential within future mobility.
The fund's commodity-related names including UPL and Ivanhoe Mines further contributed to the outperformance.
Onshore salmon still interesting
On the detractor side, the sustainable salmon producer Atlantic Sapphire was affected by the COVID-related slowdown in construction activities and the subsequent impact on near-term harvesting ramp-up and capex profile. The investment case is still exciting, however, as they are getting closer to revolutionising salmon farming by bringing it on shore.
There was also some reversal in performance from Samsung Electronics and Micron Technology as the near-term pricing outlook for memory chips deteriorated.
Looking ahead, the current market conditions bear more than a passing resemblance to other periods of performance chasing. Strong share price appreciation without a corresponding improvement in fundamentals hamper future returns. In the same way, a share price that does not keep up with fundamentals will, all else being equal, offer improved future returns. In our view, SKAGEN Kon-Tiki is now significantly weighted towards the latter.
SKAGEN KonTiki's portfolio now consists of 44 holdings trading at an attractive 11.5x 2020 P/E and 0.9x current P/B, which compares to EM at close to 18x and 1.3x, respectively.