Fiducian Portfolio Services is off to a flier with its India fund and is expecting strong long-term growth based on the country’s prospects.

At an upbeat presentation for financial planners in Sydney last Friday, Fiducian paraded the two underlying managers for the fund, which has returned 22 per cent in its first three months (to December). The fund is unusual compared with other country funds, in that the managers are not given mandates. Instead, Fiducian gets their buy/sell orders which are implemented by the custodians – ANZ in Australia and Northern Trust globally with its sub-custodian Citi. The managers, State Bank of India Funds Management, which is minority owned by Societe Generale, and Sundaram BNP Paribas Asset Management, each oversees portfolios of about 50 stocks. Indy Singh, Fiducian’s managing director, said that it was not too late to take advantage of the India story. “;Australia got the China story right but has largely missed India,”; he said. “;But the fundamentals point to strong growth for a very long time.”; India is expected to pass China as the most populous country within the next 25 years and also leapfrog all-but the US and China into third place in terms of total GDP. Aashish Wakankar, State Bank of India’s equities manager, said India’s growing middle class was driving consumerism to new levels. He said that banking and finance was “;under-penetrated”; and was expected to experience growth rates of “;two or three times”; average GDP in the future, along with telecommunications. The key to understanding India, he said, was that the infrastructure currently being built was to satisfy yesterday’s demand rather than tomorrow’s. The new capacity had consumers waiting in a queue. Singh said Fiducian was expecting a rating soon from Lonsec, followed by Morningstar. It should initially be available on the BT Wrap and Skandia platforms.

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