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Meet the Columbia Pacific/Asia Fund (CASAX)

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The Columbia Pacific/Asia Fund

The Columbia Pacific/Asia Fund (CASAX) aims to invest 80% of its net assets in equity securities of companies “located in Asia and the Pacific Basin, which includes Australia, New Zealand and India, and other countries within this region.” The fund is managed by a team of three managers led by Daisuke Nomoto.

While investing in assets, the fund is not bound to invest a certain percentage into companies domiciled in a specific country, and it’s not focused on investing in any particular industry or sector either. The fund literature states that it “has invested substantially in the financial services sector and may continue to invest substantially in this or other sectors in the future,” and it can invest across market caps.

Fund management retains the flexibility to invest in special situations like IPOs (initial public offerings), mergers, and corporate restructurings, among others. It can also invest in derivatives apart from hedging purposes.

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Portfolio composition

As stated in the fund literature, financials are the single-largest sectoral holding of CASAX, forming 28.6% of the portfolio as of December 2015. Industrials and information technology, in that order, are a distant second and third, and have nearly equal exposure. Compared to the MSCI AC Asia-Pacific Index, the fund is substantially overweight in the industrials, healthcare, and telecom services sectors. On the other hand, it’s underweight the consumer discretionary, consumer staples utilities and energy sectors.

About 48% of the fund’s assets are invested in companies located in Japan. Chinese companies make up 15% of the assets, and Australia, India, and Hong Kong round out the top five invested geographies. Compared to the aforementioned index, the fund is overweight in Japanese, Chinese, and Indian equities while being underweight in Australian, Hong Kong, Korean, and Taiwanese equities.

Alibaba Group Holding (BABA), Astellas Pharma (ALPMY), China Biologic Products (CBPO), Fuji Heavy Industries (FUJHY), and HDFC Bank (HDB) were among the fund’s 92 holdings as of the end of December. As of January 2016, the fund was managing assets worth $225.16 million, down from ~$245 million at the end of December.

Fee and minimums

CASAX was born in March 2008 and has an expense ratio of 1.48%. It requires a minimum of $2,000 to invest in the fund via Class A shares and the fund can charge a maximum sales charge of about 5.8% of offering price. There’s no minimum limit for additional investment.

Now let’s look at some of the key metrics of CASAX’s performance over the past year.

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