Investment Companies Monthly Roundup
December’s median total share price return from investment companies was 4.4% (the average was 5.1%), which compares with 9.2% last month. Over 2020, median returns increased by 2.7%, to complete a remarkable turnaround, having shed (23.5%) over the first quarter of 2020.
Best performing sectors over December
Please refer to the ‘appendix’ section for a comprehensive list of sector-specific performance. Readers interested in the most recent briefings from the industry can click here to access our economic and political roundup.
Worst performing sectors over December
On the positive side:
Geiger Counter benefitted from a strong bounce in uranium prices over December while CQS Natural Resources Growth and Income and BlackRock World Mining’s presence reflected the wider bounce in energy markets, where positive vaccine developments and a period of relative weakness in the dollar were catalysts. It was a good month for several UK smaller companies-focused trusts, particularly those focused on the smallest companies, led by Miton UK Microcap, JPMorgan Smaller Companies, BlackRock Smaller Companies, River and Mercantile UK Micro Cap.
Similarly, the growth capital sector proved popular, benefitting Chrysalis Investments (formerly Merian Chrysalis) and Schroder UK Public Private. Elsewhere, Herald, with its stable of small-cap largely tech-focused holdings based in the UK and US, also had a good month
On the negative side:
The decline in Augmentum Fintech’s shares represented a minor blip in an otherwise exceptional year for the financial sector disrupter-investing fund. Its shares increased by 30.8% over the calendar year.
It was a tough year for KKV Secured Loan, with its shares falling since late September after the board announced its intention to put forward proposals for a managed wind-down. JPEL Private Equity was the second-worst performer in price terms, though we note that it has started the year well. This has been led by its holding in the US financial guarantee insurance businesses company, MBIA.
Discounts and premiums
More expensive relative to NAV:
Chrysalis Investments was the best performer in the growth capital sector, with total NAV and market returns for the calendar of 41.9% and 52.8% more than twice that of Schiehallion. Electra Private Equity has had a proposed wind-down approved and is hoping to complete the sales of its TGI Fridays and Hotter Shoes assets by the year-end. The life sciences fund RTW Venture’s rating change was price-led, with the speed at which COVID vaccines have been developed shining new light on how quickly medicine can be developed, as well as the myriad of opportunities in areas such as gene-based medicine.
Cheaper relative to NAV:
KKV Secured Loan’s discount widening was discussed above. Elsewhere, Impax Environmental’s premium reduced after the price action did not keep up with the NAV increase over December. The fund is growing though and is amongst the best-placed to access the green energy theme.
Money in and out
Money coming in:
Money going out:
Gulf Investment tendered 44% of its issued share capital while JPEL Private Equity completed a mandatory redemption. Other notable returners of capital were Scottish Mortgage, Oakley Capital, and Witan.
Major news stories and QuotedData views over December
- US Solar announced it was set to acquire a 50% interest in 200MWDC operating solar plant
- Scottish Investment Trust notched up its 37th year of dividend increase
- River & Mercantile UK Microcap benefitted from UK small-cap outperformance
- Polar Cap Global Healthcare was caught out by COVID
- Hg invested in Benevity
- JPMorgan China had an exceptional year
- Marwyn launched three new investment vehicles
- Renewables Infrastructure secured ESG linked debt funding
- Gravis Capital tied up with Orix Corporation
- Shareholders in Gabelli Value rejected continuation resolutions (again)
- Aberdeen Standard Investments acquired a 60% stake in Tritax Management
- Golden Prospect’s subscription shares were exercised
- Round Hill Music announced a placing to help close on the balance of its pipeline investments
Managers and fees:
- Schroder AsiaPacific secured a fee cut
- Jupiter US Smaller Companies appointed Brown Advisory as its investment manager
- Boussard & Gauvadan’s manager opposed a potential tender
- The impact of COVID on the West End was laid bare in
- CEIBA is looking forward with confidence
- Irish Residential Properties REIT acquired 146 units at
The Phoenix Park
- CLS Holdings acquired offices in Berlin and Watford for £55.9m
- Aberdeen Standard European Logistics was recognised for environmental improvements
- Land Securities buys bought development opportunity for £87m
- The IPSX listing was postponed
- Tritax EuroBox refines its acquisition strategy
- Is a European logistics powerhouse on the cards? – 11 December
- UK clear-out heralds better times – 11 December
- Good governance might start with you – 4 December
- What next for Debenhams, Arcadia landlords? – 4 December
Here is a selection of what is coming up. Please refer to the Events section of our website for updates between now and when they are scheduled:
- Majedie Investments manager presentation – 13 January 2021
- JPMorgan Japanese Investment Trust – Investor Webinar –
14 January 2021
- Aberdeen Standard Brexit Discussion Panel – Webinar –
13 January 2021
- BMO UK High Income Trust Webinar – 19 January 2021
- Majedie Investment Trust AGM 2021, 20 January 2021
- Edinburgh Worldwide AGM 2021, 20 January 2021
- Baring Emerging EMEA Opportunities AGM 2021, 21 January 2021
- Polar Capital Global Healthcare AGM 2021, 26 January 2021
- Lowland AGM 2021, 27 January 2021
- JPMorgan China AGM 2021, 1 February 2021
- JPMorgan Indian AGM 2021 – 2 February 2021
- QuotedData’s Round the World Webinar series –
3 February 2021
- Aberdeen Standard Equity Income AGM 2021,
5 February 2021
- BMO Capital and Income AGM 2021, 16 February 2021
- Aberdeen Diversified Income & Growth AGM 2021, 23 February 2021
- Ecofin Global Utilities and Infrastructure AGM 2021,
9 March 2021
- The London Investor Show, 23 April 2021
- Sustainable & Social Investing Conference, 21 May 2021
QuotedData’s Round the World Webinar series – 3 February 2021
Have you been listening to our weekly news round-up shows? Every Friday at 11 am we run through the more interesting bits of the week’s news and we usually have a special guest or two answering questions about a particular investment company.
And here is what is coming up:
Our Independent Guide to quoted investment companies is an invaluable tool for anyone who wants to brush up on their knowledge of the investment companies’ sector.
Appendix – December median performance by sector
The legal bit
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