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First State Greater China Growth

Elite Rated by FundCalibre

This fund is run by Martin Lau, a senior member of the famed First State Stewart Asia team. Based in Hong Kong, Martin looks for well-managed businesses with good corporate governance across Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. He has consistently delivered positive performance and demand for the fund was so fierce that it was closed to new investments for four years. It reopened to new investments in February 2016.

Company Description

First State Investments is the investment management business of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. It has a strong global presence, including in Europe, the US, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region. First State Stewart Asia is an autonomous investment unit within the larger First State group, based in Hong Kong and led by Martin Lau and Michael Stapleton.


Fund Manager

First State Stewart Asia has a strong team-based process and its interests are firmly aligned with those of its investors. Martin Lau has been the lead manager on this fund since its launch in 2003. He has more than two decades of experience running Asian and Chinese equity funds. Martin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cambridge University and a Masters degree in engineering.


Even more so in today’s environment, where market volatility and uncertainty abound, the most important criterion for successful long-term investing is a focus on quality – quality of management, quality of franchise and quality of financials.

Martin Lau - Fund Manager

The Investment Process

The team have an absolute return mindset and invest in quality companies for the long term. They look for sensible company management and businesses that have both sustainable and predictable growth. The team also have a strong valuation discipline and typically get most of their outperformance in falling markets, although the fund can also perform well in rising markets.


This is a high risk fund that can invest a small amount in Chinese A-shares. It does, however, also have the flexibility to invest in ‘Greater China’, notably Taiwan, which is a more defensive market and an area that is used by the team when they are less positive on the shorter-term prospects for Chinese equities. This means that the fund tends to be less volatile than its peers.

Our Opinion

This is an excellent fund in a very specialist area of Asian equities. It has been a firm favourite of ours for a number of years. Martin and the team have shown that they can consistently produce the goods in any type of market environment and it is great news that it has now reopened to new investors.

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