QuotedData’s morning briefing 19 April 2023

  • VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund has announced that Thuy Dam has retired from her position as director of the company with effect from 18 April 2023. Thuy has been a director of VOF for nine years since 2014 and her retirement is in compliance with best corporate governance practices. Thuy played an important role in the identification of a replacement Vietnamese director, and this work culminated in the appointment of Hai Thanh Trinh as a director of VOF on 30 June 2022. Thuy has acted as a mentor to Hai since his appointment and the board is pleased that he is now well settled into his role. The board statement noted that: “She has been an important contributor to VOF, providing the board with insight and representation in all matters Vietnamese. We have valued her contribution greatly and she will be missed at both a business and a personal level. The board would like to wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
  • Ruffer Investment Company (RICA) announced its monthly investment report for March with shares down 0.1% for the month, and 2% YTD, trailing the FTSE All-Share Index which is up almost 4%. The fund’s duration assets, through inflation-linked government bonds and gold exposure, delivered positive contributions as yields fell. On the negative side of the ledger, the fund’s exposure to commodity assets detracted from performance as uncertainty over the health of the global economy rose. Management noted that they resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes to the portfolio given current market volatility however, they did increase yen exposure to around 15% to enhance its role as a key protective asset.
  • Fidelity Asian Value released its half-yearly results for the six months ended 31 January 2023. The company’s NAV increased by +10.3% comfortably outperforming the comparative MSCI All Countries Asia ex Japan Small Cap Index which rose by +3.6% over the same timeframe. The ordinary share price return was +17.3%. [The performance over the last 6 months is impressive given the volatility of returns across Asian markets, and the company’s confidence is reflected in gearing of approximately 8% which is the highest level under the portfolio manager’s tenure]. The investment manager commenting on the performance noted: “The reporting period was one of two extremes; the first three months saw Asian markets fall due to inflationary concerns and persistent interest rate hikes. China and Taiwan underperformed the most due to geopolitical concerns, a slowing technology cycle and as a result of COVID-related restrictions, while the South Asian markets of India and Indonesia fared much better. However, China rallied sharply in the last three months of the reporting period as the government lifted COVID-related restrictions and decided to reopen its economy which led to a strong recovery. “From a style perspective, the small cap value segment has had a history of significant outperformance in Asia. This has been driven by the superior earnings growth of value stocks compared to growth stocks as well as better cash returns, in terms of dividends. Small cap value stocks are currently trading at close to all-time high discounts relative to both their large and small cap growth counterparts. We believe this should result in outperformance of these stocks versus broad indices in the coming years.”

We also have updates from AVI Japan Opportunity Trust, and RIT Capital, annual results from Invesco Perpetual UK Smaller Companies Investment Trust and Balanced Commercial Property Trust


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