Over the year to the end of January 2017, Witan Pacific reports that its NAV total return was approximately 30.7%, and its share price total return was 26.1% – these compare to a 35.3% return for the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index. A significant part of that return was determined by the weakness of sterling. The Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Indonesian rupiah, Korean won and Taiwanese dollar all rose by around 20% against sterling.
Witan Pacific grew its dividend for the 12th consecutive year with a total dividend payout of 4.75 pence per share, a rise of 2.2% on the Company’s 2016 financial year, and ahead of inflation over the period.
Of the three managers, Aberdeen returned 39.2%, Matthews returned 28.4% and Gavekal returned 22.3%. They say that there were a number of factors at play here, including being underweight Japan and Australia (two of the strongest markets following the Brexit vote), underweight cyclical stocks, which performed particularly well following the US election, and a small number of stock specific headwinds (such as Japan Tobacco, LG Chemical and BGF Retail) which the managers see as temporary setbacks. Indeed, BGF Retail has already recovered much of the ground lost, whilst the others remain at depressed levels. The appointed managers remained unchanged over the year, although the percentage managed by each of the three has altered due to variations in relative performance. Matthews and Aberdeen manage 46.4% and 43.4% respectively, while Gavekal is responsible for 10.2% of the portfolio.
WPC : Witan Pacific held back by Matthews and Gavekal portfolios