Star fund managers in Asia missed benchmarks last year, partly because their bets on China soured. Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton and Anthony Bolton of Fidelity did not have their normal stellar years. Neither did Cheah Cheng-hye of Value Partners.
It’s no mystery why giants stumbled. The closely watched Shanghai Composite underperformed in 2012, up only 3.2% for the year. If it were not for a “remarkable comeback”—the index jumped 15.8% from December 3 to the last trading day of that month—the Shanghai Composite would have recorded its third-straight year in the red, and the “Warren Buffetts of the East” would have produced even worse results.
The issue now is whether China’s markets will build upon December’s impressive gains. The betting, not surprisingly, is that they will. Analysts think the Shanghai Composite could trade within the 2,400-2,500 range in the first two quarters, which would represent a modest rally from Friday’s 2,276.99 close.