In QuotedData’s morning briefing 17 August 2023:
- In its final set of annual results (before it is absorbed by Asia Dragon), abrdn New Dawn (ABD) returned -6.8% in NAV terms for the 12 months ended 30 April 2023, and -7.3% in share price terms, both lagging the -5.2% return generated by the benchmark MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan Index. The dividend was maintained at 4.3p, but was covered by earnings of 4.8p. The report says that the portfolio’s direct exposure to China was the main detractor, which was partly offset by its position in Hong Kong. The portfolio’s exposure to India, through the Aberdeen Standard SICAV I – Indian Equity Fund, did not do well – it doesn’t have exposure to the Adani group of companies, whose share prices recovered from an attack by a US short seller.
- abrdn Asian Income Fund (AAIF) says it generated an NAV return of -3.7% and share price return of -4.0% over the first six months of 2023, which compares to -2.4% for the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan Index. The MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan High Dividend Yield Index, which might be considered a better benchmark, returned +1.4%. The trust is targeting a full-year dividend of 10.6p, a yield of 5.4% based on yesterday’s closing price.
- Empiric Student Property (ESP) reported a 1.6% uplift in EPRA net tangible assets (NTA) to 117.3p per share in half-year results to 30 June 2023. In all-round positive results, the company saw the value of its portfolio notch up 1.0% on a like-for-like basis to £1,064m. EPRA earnings were up 18.5% to 2.3p per share, with revenue up 16.0% to £41.3m. First half dividend was 1.625p, 30.0% ahead of 2022 and in line with its target of 3.25p for the year. Like-for-like growth in average weekly rents is now expected to be around 9% for the academic year 2023/24, with revenue occupancy at 98%. The group has a conservative loan to value of 30.3%, with a weighted average cost of debt 4.3%, 88% with interest rate protection. The group said that terms had been agreed for the refinancing of 2024 and 2025 variable debt maturities.
- Citywire had a story yesterday that $41bn US real estate investment trust Realty Income was poised to win the battle to buy Ediston Property (EPIC), outcompeting interest from abrdn, NewRiver REIT (NRR) and Custodian Property Income (CREI). [Given the press speculation, it is surprising that Ediston Property has not made a statement].