Apollo Asia Fund
What's new?

1 Jun 21:
The NAV of the Series A shares rose 4.1% in May, to a new high of US$ 2,624.89; charts.

27 May 21:
The 2020 report of income for UK Reporting Fund purposes for the Series A shares is here. Despite COVID, the fund's income jumped last year due to the special dividend from Convenience Retail Asia, mentioned in our 4Q report. The page listing all of the income reports (starting 2013) is www.apolloinvestment.com/UKreportingfund.html.

14 May 21:
A 10-minute video from CNBC on sand mining, with speakers from the Global Resource Information Database of the UN Environment Programme, GRID-Geneva, and Kiran Pereira of Sand Stories. (We still recommend Kiran's book).

7 May 21:
I first wrote about Medical Action Myanmar after a visit six years ago, and noted the comment of Professor Sir Nick White that it was the most effective health NGO he had ever encountered. The endorsements of other supporters are well worth reading; Mercury Phoenix Trust has several short video reports on its YouTube channel. Regular health programmes are mostly funded by grants for specific purposes; private donations can be used more flexibly, wherever the health needs are greatest. As our readers will be able to imagine, those needs have multiplied by an order of magnitude, and steep increases in COVID cases in neighbouring countries suggest more challenges ahead. I have followed MAM's activities with admiration since 2015, have been more frequently in touch in recent months, and am ever more impressed. Please consider donating; feel free to contact me with donor-questions.

3 May 21:
The NAV of the Series A shares rose 3.3% in April, to a new high of US$ 2,520.60; charts.

Freedom of expression is vital for good governance, and investors deprived of reliable information will be severely handicapped. There has been much to worry about in Asia Press Freedom Day is an opportunity for reflection. Visit the ASEAN Human Rights Cartoon Exhibition online - starting with the Myanmar Solidarity Gallery as a reminder of how much is at stake.

22 Apr 21:
The 1Q report discusses 'Rips in the fabric'.

4 Apr 21:
The NAV of the Series A shares fell 1.5% in March, to US$ 2,439.32; charts here.

18 Mar 21:
As reporting from the ground in Myanmar dwindles, with repression of the media and longer internet cutoffs, readers may wish to follow the occasional statements of Dr Sasa, Special Envoy to the United Nations of the CRPH, the committee representing the elected & ousted NLD government-in-exile. After escaping the country, this is his eloquent defiance and denunciation of the junta.

In an excellent overview, Thant Myint-U explains the historic background & asks 'What next for Burma?'

15 Mar 21:
There are many political and social developments in Asia on which we no longer comment. Official sensitivities, and in places draconian gagging restrictions, encourage reticence; in any case it is usually easy to find commentators who are closer and more expert. However, the situation in Myanmar, very bad since the military coup on 1 Feb, has deteriorated drastically in the last couple of days, and I notice that the coverage in the newspapers on which some of you rely seems inadequate. The fund has no investments in Myanmar, but it is a country of immense strategic importance, summed up years ago in the succinct title of Thant Myint-U's book 'Where China Meets India'. Myanmar is a member of ASEAN, where today's rapidly changing editorial headlines show the diplomatic anxieties of governments themselves accustomed to suppressing dissent, and nervous about offending China or opposing commercial interests. Observers on the ground report casualties much higher than some newspapers are reporting, and there are allegations that false-flag provocations preceded the current brutal crackdown on protests which have for six weeks been determinedly peaceful. If only on human rights grounds, but also because these events may ultimately prove to have practical importance for us all, please pay some attention to https://twitter.com/hashtag/WhatsHappeningInMyanmar - and if you pray, include my friends at Medical Action Myanmar, still operating and grateful for donations, and their patients and the clinics I visited in the township of HlaingTharYar, today unfortunately seeing action.

2 Mar 21:
The NAV of the Series A shares rose 5.3% in February, to a new high of US$ 2,475.81; charts here.

22 Feb 21:
Apollo Asia Fund has a new administrator, ASCENT Fund Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd, with effect from 1 February; an e-mail was sent to investors on that day. The Fund's custodian is unchanged, Northern Trust.

2 Feb 21:
The NAV of the Series A shares fell 1.0% in January, to US$ 2,350.97; charts here.

17 Jan 21:
A report for 4Q has been posted: 'Sustainability Stories'.

12 Jan 21:
Malaysia has declared a state of emergency, attributed to COVID-19. Given global newsflow, investors pressed for time may wish to glance at the work of leading cartoonists for quick reflections of local sentiment. Apollo Asia Fund has less than 10% of NAV invested in Malaysia, in two companies. We do not expect these companies, or the investment manager (AIMS Asset Management Sdn Bhd), to be directly affected. Malaysians are understandably concerned about constitutional, political, social and economic consequences of the declaration, and long-term investors in assets such as infrastructure have already been unnerved by the cancellation of the high-speed railway link to Singapore, as well as by financial scandals and legal developments over the years. However, given the nature of AAF's two investments, we do not believe that AAF investors should worry unduly about this particular twist in the Malaysian political saga. If any investor in the Fund has particular concerns, please contact the fund manager, Claire Barnes.

5 Jan 21:
The NAV of the Series A shares rose another 4.7% in December, to a new high of US$ 2,375.43, so far undaunted by new Covid variants; charts here.

Claire Barnes

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