Investment trust insider on Martin Currie Portfolio – James Carthew: new manager Osmani lifts Global Portfolio
This week I wanted to have a look at one of the more successful global investment trusts over the past year, but first I thought I would address the dire state of the new issue market.
Investors may be transfixed by Brexit and nervous of a world slowdown but that has not stopped them committing vast sums to existing investment companies. In the past few weeks, we have seen £228 million raised for The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRG), £223 million for 3i Infrastructure (3IN), £100 million each for Supermarket Income (SUPR) and SDCL Energy Efficiency (SEIT), £231 million for Hipgnosis Songs (SONG) and the list goes on.
In terms of new issues, however, all we have is JPMorgan Global Core Real Assets (JARA), which raised just shy of £150 million and RTW Ventures (RTW) which drew in only $15 (£11.7) million of its $350 million target – the smallest fundraise for a new issue that I can remember.
Helpfully, the early-stage biotech investor – which bears some resemblance to Syncona (SYNC) – was listing a pre-existing fund and so starts life with assets of $168 million.
Several mooted new issues seem to have fallen by the wayside, including the hotel-focused real estate investment trust I wrote about in August. To me, this points to investors’ need for certainty – they want to invest in companies where past experience provides a reasonable idea of how they will trade in the aftermarket.
Looking at the performance leader board in the global sector, over a year, Lindsell Train (LTI) tops the tables still with a return on net assets of 31.4%. The growth of its asset management business has been a big driver of this but because returns from the manager’s portfolios have been very good too.
Second though, by dint of the performance of the stocks it has invested in, is Martin Currie Global Portfolio (MNP), which has returned 19.6%.
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