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QuotedData’s morning briefing 21 March 2023

  • Crystal Amber Fund (CRS) announced results for the six months ended 31 December 2022. The total return was 4.4%, comfortably ahead of the benchmark Numis Small Cap Index return of 1.3%. Despite the solid performance, NAV fell 10% and the discount now sits at around 25% as the company continues to wind down after failing its continuation vote in 2022. Management did highlight further progress in delivering profitable exits, with disposals of Equals Group plc and Board Intelligence Limited realising profits in the period of £7.8 million. They also announced a recommended offer for Hurricane Energy plc post period end in March 2023 following a formal sale process. Commenting on the wind down, chairman Christopher Waldron noted;

“The board remains optimistic that the fund will return significant disposal proceeds to shareholders in the second half of 2023, although clearly this will be significantly influenced by the outcome of the current bid for Hurricane. Nevertheless, the priority of the board is to maximise the level of return, rather than to work to an arbitrary deadline and it is likely that certain assets will remain within the portfolio into 2024.”

  • Taylor Maritime Investments (TMI/TMIP) announced that Edward Buttery, CEO and executive director of TMI, will be appointed CEO of its recently acquired subsidiary, Grindrod Shipping Holdings Limited with effect from 1 April 2023, making him CEO of both companies.
  • River and Mercantile UK Micro Cap (RMMC) released its monthly sheet. Shares were up 3.9%, underperforming the benchmark by 1.1%. Management highlighted two large drops in portfolio companies Virgin Wines and Revolution Bars, both of which fell over 20%, as contributing factors in the underperformance. Portfolio manager George Ensor remained relatively cautious of the short-term outlook:

“Despite the bounce from the market lows, sentiment remains depressed and positioning remains cautious. It will take time for risk sentiment to return and capital markets to re-open.”

  • Supermarket Income REIT (SUPR) has refinanced £86.9m of debt held with Bayerische Landesbank with a new three-year term loan for the same amount. The new secured, interest-only, loan replaces three existing tranches and matures in March 2026. It is priced at a margin of 1.65% above SONIA and has been fully hedged for the term of the facility using an interest rate swap to a fixed rate of 4.29% (including margin). The cost of the hedging instrument for the new facility was £2.8m, more than fully covered from the £3.3m of proceeds received from the termination of the previous hedging instrument. 100% of the company’s drawn debt is now fixed, with a weighted average cost of debt of 2.9%.
  • PRS REIT (PRSR) has reported a slight increase in NAV for the six months to 31 December 2022 to 117.1p (June 2022: 116.4p) reflecting strong ERV growth within its portfolio of private rented housing. This offset the impact of softening investment yields. Like-for-like rental growth during 2022 was 5.7%, with renewals up 5% and re-lets to new tenants up 10%. Occupancy across its 4,913 home portfolio was 97% (98% when reserved homes are included), with rent collection also at 98%. Net rental income was up 20% to £19.6m. So far this year the company has delivered 68 new homes with a further 545 homes currently under construction. The company expects to eventually have a portfolio totalling 5,600, with an ERV of £58m. The company says “rental demand for high-quality family homes remains very strong nationally and is expected to grow against a background of structural under supply, interest rate rises and cost-of-living pressures”.
  • CT Property Trust (CTPT – formerly BMO Real Estate Investments) has posted a sharp fall in NAV in interim results. In the six months to 31 December 2022 the group saw its NAV fall 28.2% to 95.4p due to the impact of rising interest rates on the value of its property portfolio (especially the industrial and logistics sector).

We also have an update from Scottish Mortgage, and results from EPE Special Opportunities and Princess Private Equity 

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