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Sunday share tips: Admiral, Fidelity Asian Values

Sun 19 March 2017 12:27 | A A A

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(ShareCast News) - Changes to how compensation claims are calculated took some of the air out of Admiral's tires but the car insurer continues to be in good shape, The Times's Tempus argued.

Nonetheless, recent changes at the top of the company's management may mean a change of control is in the offing.

The new government ruling on compensation claims will cost the firm co-founded in 1991 by Henry Engelhardt roughly £150m.

Yet that's a one-off impact, while the company is continuing to grow strongly, expanding its presence overseas and is now the lead player in telematics, the tipster pointed out.

It is also investing in its home inusrance unit and moving into auto finance.

Englehardt recently stepped down, handing over to co-founder David Stevens, and Alastair Lyons, the chairman, is set to leave in April.

Given recent consolidation in the sector, such as Mitsui's takeover of Amlin, might these departures be the catalyst for a change in ownership?

"Stranger things have happened," Tempus said.

The Mail on Sunday's Midas column touted the strengths of the Fidelity Asian Values trust and its fund manager, Nitin Bajaj.

The investment trust combs among the almost 18,000 listed companies in Asia-Pacific - which are often little known by most big international inverstors - to find the most promising - targeting annual returns of over 10%.

The fund, run by Nitin Bajaj, a Singapore-based financial expert with a solid track record of success, invests in about 160 companies, ranging in size from £25m £20bn, though most lie on the smaller end.

Bajaj focuses on firms capable of delivering returns in excess of 50% over three years, whether via dividends, capital appreciation or both.

He also focuses on fast-growing companies which must be run by people he trusts - and be undervalued.

"The formula sounds simple and logical - and it works," Midas said.

Since April 2015, when Bajaj began running the fund, the trust's share price has doubled.

As a rule, the fund manager only focuses on businesses which are in sectors offering long-term growth.

One such case is Lion Brewery Ceylon, which brews and markets beer - including Carlsberg - in Sri Lanka. Carlsberg has a 80% market share in the country although consumption of the beer is still low as the nation recovers from its long civil war.

Bajaj is also known for having a contrarian streak. He was interested in India at the turn of the century, when few others were. More recently, he has been investing in South Korea, a country that is being rocked by political and corporate scandals.

"Fidelity Asian Values' manager, Nitin Bajaj, believes that he should treat every investment decision as if it involved his own money, a position made that much easier as he owns a significant number of shares in the fund," Midas said, telling readers the trust's shares were a long-term buy.

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