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QuotedData’s morning briefing 25 May 2021

In QuotedData’s morning briefing 25 May 2021 –

  • Lowland (LWI), the UK equity income fund, reported its interim results to 31 March 2021, with a total NAV return of 33.0% coming in well ahead of its benchmark (the FTSE all-share index). LWI’s focus on the industrial and financial sectors, as well as its value bias, drove performance. Managers, James Henderson and Laura Foll, believe that better than expected earnings have been driving share prices upwards. They add that the portfolio remains reasonably geared as they do not believe that the market is fully pricing in the likely economic recovery and the much-improved outlook for profits.
  • Apax Global Alpha (APAX) noted that the Apax Digital Fund (ADF), in which it is a limited partner investor, announced an investment in Faculty, described as a leading British artificial intelligence company. The investment is part of a £30m growth funding round led by ADF, with APAX expected to invest around EUR2m in the company on a look-through basis.
  • Marble Point Loan Financing (MPLF) invested $18.7m in Marble Point CLO XX, a new issue collateralized loan obligation (CLO). MPLF’s investment is worth 53% of the CLO’s equity. We note that MPLF is invested in a diversified portfolio of US dollar-denominated, broadly syndicated floating rate senior secured corporate loans via CLOs, loan accumulation facilities and other vehicles managed by Marble Point Credit Management.
  • JLEN Environmental Assets (JLEN) noted that it will announce its results for the year ended 31 March 2021 on Thursday 10 June 2021.
  • A further $13.8m of JPMorgan Global Core Real Assets’s (JARA’s) committed capital has been called. This capital is being called JARA’s Asia-Pacific real estate strategy, with the fund noting that it materially increases the exposure to industrial/ logistics assets within the property allocation whilst also increasing the dividend cover.
  • Marwyn Value Investors (MVI) brought attention to the announcement by Zegona Communications (Zegona), an indirect investment of the fund, in relation to Zegonas intention to return £335m to its shareholders in cash via a capital return following receipt of the proceeds from the acquisition of Euskaltel, Zegona’s Spanish telecommunications investment, by MasMovil Ibercom. 
  • Tufton Oceanic Assets (SHIP) has agreed to acquire a chemical tanker for $9.8m and a handysize bulk carrier for $13.35m. The chemical tanker is being acquired at below 70% of depreciated replacement cost and is expected to yield over 15% in a leading chemical tanker pool. The handysize bulk carrier is being acquired at below 90% of depreciated replacement cost and is significantly more fuel-efficient than the two vessels recently sold for 100% of depreciated replacement cost. It has a two-year charter producing an annual yield of approximately 20%.
  • Warehouse REIT (WHR) reflected on a strong set of annual results to 31 March 2021, with its specialist warehouse offering benefitting from the e-commerce wave. Highlights include:
    • A total accounting return for the period of 27.7% (31 March 2020: 5.4%)
    • Strong rent collection performance, with 98.6% of the rent due in relation to the year collected as at 24 May 2021
    • WHR’s total portfolio was valued at £792.8m at 31 March 2021, representing a 18.8% like-for-like increase on last year
    • Over the year, WHR raised gross proceeds of £153m through an equity issue in July 2020 and a further £45.9m through a placing in February 2021
  • Shaftesbury’s (SHB’s) interim results to 31 March 2021 EPRA earnings decline by 91.7% year-on-year to £2.1m. With lockdowns easing, signs over recent weeks have been much more encouraging. Chief executive, Brian Bickell, noted that “after more than a year of unprecedented disruption, a revival in the West End’s broad-based economy is now underway. Since the start of re-opening on 12 April, we are seeing an encouraging increase in demand for space and lettings and a return of footfall and spending across our locations. Forecasts point to a sharp rebound in the UK economy but there remains the risk that the recovery could encounter delays and setbacks in the period ahead. We expect occupier demand to improve further as businesses seek to locate in our lively, holistically-curated villages. Importantly, the inherent flexibility in our portfolio, and our culture of innovation, will ensure we can continue to adapt our buildings to meet the fast-changing expectations of our occupiers. Growing footfall, prosperity and occupier demand will improve our cash income and earnings and stabilise investment yields.”
  • Custodian REIT (CREI) announced the disposal of a retail unit in Nottingham at auction for £0.7m, in line with the most recent valuation.
  • British Land Company (BLND) announce the appointment of Mark Aedy as a non-executive director with effect from 1 September.
  • Yesterday afternoon, the debt – structured finance-sector fund, Volta Finance (VTA), released a statement noting the discovery of a website purporting to represent Volta Investment Group (VIG), an entity entirely unrelated to VTA. The website incorrectly notes that a number of the directors of the company are involved with VIG as members of their board.

We also have annual results from BMO UK High Income, the announcement of Schroder UK Public Private‘s first new investment since taking over management of what was previously Woodford Patient Capital in December 2019, and a further update from Gresham House Strategic, following yesterday’s announcement that it will undertake a strategic review.

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