HAN / HANA : Hansa Trust says portfolio changes almost complete
Hansa Trust has published figures for the half year to end September 2014 that show its net asset value total return was 1.0% – marginally behind the 1.6% return on its benchmark. Breaking down that total return figure, the capital value of the fund fell by 4.4p but this was offset by 16.4p of revenue. The interim dividend was 8p and they plan to pay an 8p final dividend (last year’s full year dividend was 16p).
In April they announced a change to the way the fund is managed and say they on track to implementing this fully.
No performance attribution information is included within the interim statement. The Chairman focuses on the company’s performance over the preceding five years and says that this will be the pattern for these statements going forward which maybe misses the point of publishing an interim statement.
Concerns that shareholders raised about the impact of a double layer of fees as they invest more of the portfolio in funds are addressed “all equities suffer management costs, so that the decision to invest depends on the Portfolio Manager’s assessment and judgement of an equity’s future after-management-costs returns”, “the level of fees is reviewed once a year at the time that the portfolio management contract is reviewed” and fees “will be reviewed again next year at which time this issue will be raised”.
Those investors concerned about the discount, an issue raised at the AGM, are referred to previous statements by the Board. In this year’s annual accounts they said “we do not attempt to manipulate the share price in an attempt to manage the discount. That does not mean that it is wrong for other investment trusts to do so, rather that we believe that it is wrong for us….. an active buy back policy would mean that we would have to have a different, much more liquid portfolio. The integrity of the portfolio is not to be compromised by the need for liquidity – or put another way – the portfolio comes first. That closed-ended characteristic of investment trust companies is one of their great advantages over open-ended funds in the management of less liquid, special situation portfolios.”