QuotedData investment companies roundup – March 2018 – is our latest roundup of news; price, NAV and discount movements; flows in and out of the sector and report on full year dividends announced over the month of February 2018. Kindly sponsored by Baillie Gifford.
March Investment Companies Roundup
Equity markets continued to run up in early February, supported by strong corporate earnings and better economic data. However, in mid-February, they fell on concerns that strong global growth and emerging evidence of rising inflation would lead to further hikes in interest rates as a result. The UK market and to a lesser extent European markets also reacted to concerns about the progress in the Brexit negotiations. US Government bond yields crept up in contrast to German Bunds
Therefore, strong performance in the month often came from company specific factors, such as good news or property transactions. For example, investor demand kept the share price of Lindsell Train investment trust over its NAV in a falling market. Similarly, BP Marsh’s shares rose following a positive trading update and Pacific Alliance China Land compulsorily purchased 11.5% of its shares.
Companies that underperformed did so for more stock specific reasons. Infrastructure has underperformed in recent months as investors have favoured less defensive and latterly, less interest rate sensitive sectors. Woodford Patient Capital’s largest holding Prothena fell sharply on the news that its chief medical officer was leaving. The exception was River & Mercantile UK Micro Cap where the manager of fund left the business in February, which wasn’t received well.