Athelney Trust PLC
Legal Entity Identifier:
The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 229p at 31 August 2019.
Fund Manager's comment for August 2019
In the current highly volatile investment climate investors once again turned to the glitter of gold rather than the lure of crypto currencies, with gold reaching a six year high of $1,540 an ounce and bitcoin declining to $10,000 as nervous investors looked for a safe haven. Gold is up by 6% over the last month and 30% in the last year as the US/China trade dispute, lower growth prospects for world trade and concerns on the state of the US economy with the US Federal Reserve considering a further cut to interest rates.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its growth forecasts for the global economy for both this year and next year as a result of trade and technology tensions. Global growth is forecast at 3.2 percent in 2019, picking up to 3.5 percent in 2020 (0.1 percentage point lower than in the earlier April projections for both years).
The major world markets as represented by the MSCI World Index and the S&P 500 were under pressure in August with the indices declining by 2.2% and 1.8% respectively. Performance in the UK market was overshadowed by politics with the FTSE 100 Index declining by 5.0% while the Small Cap Index declined by only 3.2%. The Fledgling Index was not as badly affected, declining by 2.9% while the AIM All Share Index was the worst performing index, declining by 6.2% during the month. Our portfolio declined by 2.9% during the month which, after allowing for expenses resulted in a 3.1% decline in the NAV.
The positioning of the portfolio has to a large extent been completed with a few, smaller names to be sold as we able to find buyers for these illiquid stocks. Our position in Greene King, Menzies (John), Latham (James) and Heath Samuel were sold while we added Smart Metering Services and Boohoo to the portfolio.
An accompanying fact sheet which includes the information above as well as wider details on the portfolio can be found on the Fund's website www.athelneytrust.co.uk under "Portfolio Details".
Dr. Emmanuel (Manny) Pohl
Manny is Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of E C Pohl & Co ("ECP"), an investment management company and has been a major shareholder in Athelney trust for many years.
E C Pohl & co is licensed by the Australian Financial services (licence no.421704).
Manny Pohl and the ECP group has over AU$1000m under its management including four listed investment companies, three listed in Australia and one in the UK:
· Flagship Investments (ASX code:FSI)
· Barrack St Investments (ASX code: BST)
· Global Masters Fund Limited (ASX code: GFL)
· Athelney Trust plc (LSE code: ATY)
Athelney Trust plc Investment Policy
The investment objective of the Trust is to provide shareholders with prospects of long-term capital growth with the risks inherent in small cap investment minimised through a spread of holdings in quality small cap companies that operate in various industries and sectors. The Fund Manager also considers that it is important to maintain a progressive dividend record.
The assets of the Trust are allocated predominantly to companies with either a full listing on the London Stock Exchange or a trading facility on AIM or ISDX. The assets of the Trust have been allocated in two main ways: first, to the shares of those companies which have grown steadily over the years in terms of profits and dividends but, despite this progress, the market rating is favourable when compared to future earnings and dividends; second, to those companies whose shares are standing at a favourable level compared with the value of land, buildings or cash in the balance sheet.
Athelney Trust was founded in 1994. In 1996 it was one of the ten pioneer members of the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM"). In 2008 the shares became fully listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Athelney Trust has a successful progressive dividend growth record and the dividend has grown every year since 2004. According to the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) Athelney Trust is one of only "22 investment companies that have increased their dividend every year between 10 and 20 years - the next generation of dividend heroes" (as at 20/03/2018). See link
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