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QuotedData’s Investment Companies Roundup – September 2020

Investment Companies Roundup

Kindly sponsored by Baillie Gifford and Aberdeen Standard Investments

 Table of contents 

 New research

Here is a list of research we published over August:

Aberdeen New Dawn – COVID positive

“In common with other Asian-focused trusts, Aberdeen New Dawn (ABD) has recovered the ground it lost in the early stages of the COVID-19-related market fall and moved into positive territory for 2020. Some of the strongest returns of the past few months have come from stocks within an open-ended fund managed by Aberdeen Standard invested in China A-shares (shares listed on China’s domestic stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen).”

Geiger Counter – Hot stuff

“The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted global uranium production, taking around 20% of global capacity offline. The net effect has been a rising uranium price (up 32% so far in 2020) and the managers of Geiger Counter (GCL) believe there is still much to go, as we explore in our annual overview note.”

Premier Global Infrastructure Trust – Renewed focus

“Following on from an exceptional year of performance for the ordinary shareholders of Premier Global Infrastructure Trust (PGIT) in 2019, the trust had a good start in 2020. Whilst it suffered heavily in the pandemic-related market crash, it has bounced back strongly (in both cases the moves were amplified by the gearing effect of PGIT’s split capital structure).”

PGIT renewable energy light bulb

Seneca Global Income & Growth – On the rebound

“Seneca Global Income & Growth Trust’s (SIGT’s) UK-biased value style and mid-cap exposure suffered heavily during the first quarter of 2020 as markets collapsed. However, the manager used the rout to take advantage of deep value opportunities and SIGT has benefitted as markets have rebounded. The manager believes there is much more to come.”

20200805 SIGT Rebound

 Performance data

August’s median total share price return from investment companies was +2.4% (the average was +3.0%), which compares with 0% last month. Over the year-to-date, median returns are down by (9.7%). It was another excellent month for technology companies, led by the US ‘FANGs’, and ably supported by companies in Asia-Pacific, where tech-IPO activity has been hotting-up. Debt funds, with their exposure to sectors where performance has been far less robust, were once again amongst the worst performers.

Best performing sectors over August:

wdt_ID Sector Median share price total return (%) Median NAV total return (%) Change in median discount (%) Median discount 31/08/20 Median discount 31/07/20 (%) Number of companies in the sector Median sector market cap 31/08/20
1 Technology & Media 7.70 5.50 3.20 0.60 -2.70 3 1,022.00
2 European Smaller Companies 7.20 6.60 1.80 -12.30 -14.10 4 426.00
3 UK Smaller Companies 6.70 6.00 -2.10 -16.30 -14.20 24 86.00
4 North American Smaller Companies 6.40 3.40 2.60 -10.20 -12.80 2 151.00
5 Asia Pacific 5.90 5.90 3.20 0.60 -2.70 8 136.00

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 August:

wdt_ID Sector Median share price total return (%) Median NAV total return (%) Change in median discount (%) Median discount 31/08/20 Median discount 31/07/20 (%) Number of companies in the sector Median sector market cap 31/08/20
1 Insurance & Reinsurance Strategies -9.20 -2.00 1.90 -17.20 -19.10 3 42
2 Latin America -3.80 -6.80 2.60 -11.70 -14.30 2 75
3 Leasing -2.10 0.00 0.00 -51.30 -51.30 7 72
4 Debt - Loans & Bonds -1.40 0.90 -2.20 -6.90 -4.70 16 129
5 Japanese Smaller Companies -0.90 4.60 -2.60 -4.70 -2.10 5 121

August’s biggest movers in NAV and price terms are shown in the charts below:

On the positive side:

  • Scottish Mortgage’s NAV received a major boost on the news that the Chinese payments company, Ant Group, was planning to IPO at a targeted valuation of up to $300bn.
  • FastForward Innovations’s shares are up over 20% this year, with its investments in medical cannabis a particular bright spot.
  • Shares in BMO Real Estate, Alternative Income REIT, BMO Commercial Property, and Regional REIT were up, as the market saw value in UK property after discounts climbed above (40%) in some cases.
  • Value was also the driver behind Riverstone Energy’s monthly market performance.  Baillie Gifford US is having a stellar calendar year propelled by e-commerce and tech holdings such as Shopify and Zoom.
  • India Capital Growth was the best performing India fund, as the country drew in monthly foreign fund inflows above $6bn. This was largely value-driven – India has been severely impacted by the pandemic, with the economic fallout likely to last several years.

On the negative side:


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 Discounts and premiums

The tables below show the top five movers in either direction (more or less expensive relative to NAV):

More expensive relative to NAV:

wdt_ID Fund 31 Aug (%) 31 Jul (%)
1 FastForward Innovations 33.20 0.30
2 Riverstone Energy -29.20 -46.20
3 Dunedin Enterprise -20.80 -35.70
4 BMO Real Estate -29.60 -43.30
5 Alternative Income REIT -31.20 -43.80
  • Other than the funds not discussed in the ‘winners and losers section’, the greatest discount narrowing came from Dunedin Enterprise. The private equity sector fund reported flat NAV growth over the three months to June 30. Like many of its sector peers, the company’s discount had widened considerably.

Cheaper relative to NAV:

wdt_ID Fund 31 Aug (%) 31 Jul (%)
1 KKV Secured Loan ordinary -68.70 -57.90
2 Life Settlement Assets A -16.60 -7.10
3 CVC Credit Partners Euro Opps. -11.30 -2.00
4 VietNam Holding -20.20 -11.00
5 AVI Japan Opportunity 0.90 8.80
  • Investors may be concerned about credit quality within KKV Secured Loan’s portfolio.
  • The presence of VietNam Holding and AVI Japan Opportunity reflects an increase in COVID-19 cases in two countries that had hitherto largely insulated themselves.


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 Money in and out

Fundraising highlights from the month:

Money coming in:

Money going out:

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 Major news stories

Portfolio developments:

Corporate news:

Managers and fees:

Property news:

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 Events

Here is a selection of upcoming events:

Master Investor – the UKs largest private investor show – 5 December 2020

 Guide

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 – August performance by sector

wdt_ID Sector Share price total return YTD* (%) NAV total return YTD* (%) Share price total return August (%) NAV total return August (%) Change in discount (%) Discount (%) 31/08/2020 Discount (%) 31/07/20 Market cap (£m) 31/08/20
1 Technology & Media 37.10 39.10 7.70 5.50 3.20 0.60 -2.70 1,022.00
2 Global Smaller Companies 11.60 15.90 1.10 4.20 -1.90 -9.00 -7.10 956.00
3 Growth Capital 11.30 4.40 3.20 0.00 8.00 -17.00 -25.00 367.00
4 Biotechnology & Healthcare 10.00 11.20 -0.20 0.00 -1.10 -0.40 0.60 492.00
5 Hedge Funds 9.20 13.90 0.90 -0.30 4.40 -22.70 -27.00 66.00
6 Infrastructure Securities 7.30 0.80 2.80 -1.50 3.50 -1.40 -4.90 91.00
7 Commodities & Natural Resources 6.10 0.80 0.50 0.00 -2.50 -12.20 -9.70 49.00
8 Asia Pacific 3.90 4.90 5.70 3.40 2.60 -9.40 -12.00 345.00
9 European Smaller Companies 3.10 7.30 7.20 6.60 1.80 -12.30 -14.10 426.00
10 Renewable Energy Infrastructure 1.60 0.70 0.40 0.00 -1.90 15.80 17.70 489.00

 The legal bit

This note was prepared by Marten & Co (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority).

This note is for information purposes only and is not intended to encourage the reader to deal in the security or securities mentioned within it.

Marten & Co is not authorised to give advice to retail clients. The note does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it.

This note has been compiled from publicly available information. This note is not directed at any person in any jurisdiction where (by reason of that person’s nationality, residence or otherwise) the publication or availability of this note is prohibited.

Accuracy of Content: Whilst Marten & Co uses reasonable efforts to obtain information from sources which we believe to be reliable and to ensure that the information in this note is up to date and accurate, we make no representation or warranty that the information contained in this note is accurate, reliable or complete. The information contained in this note is provided by Marten & Co for personal use and information purposes generally. You are solely liable for any use you may make of this information. The information is inherently subject to change without notice and may become outdated. You, therefore, should verify any information obtained from this note before you use it.

No Advice: Nothing contained in this note constitutes or should be construed to constitute investment, legal, tax or other advice.

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No information contained in this note shall form the basis of, or be relied upon in connection with, any offer or commitment whatsoever in any jurisdiction.

Investment Performance Information: Please remember that past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future and that the value of shares and the income from them can go down as well as up. Exchange rates may also cause the value of underlying overseas investments to go down as well as up. Marten & Co may write on companies that use gearing in a number of forms that can increase volatility and, in some cases, to a complete loss of an investment.

September Investment Companies Monthly Roundup

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