Athelney Trust PLC
Legal Entity Identifier:
The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 270.9p at 31 January 2020.
Fund Manager's comment for January 2020
Coronavirus, a new virus which originated in China, has spread across Asia and into most of the major economies around the world, sparking fears of a major outbreak similar to the SARS epidemic that plagued China and Asia in the early 2000s. However, any short-term economic impact is likely to be short lived and limited to the economies of China and East Asia.
Recent economic data shows that in the US, Q4 real GDP grew by 2.1% on an annualised basis, in part due to a boost from net exports. Year-on-year, real GDP is up 2.3% prompting the Fed to leave the target range for the federal funds rate unchanged. A similar stance was adopted by the Bank of England which also opted to keep policy rates unchanged. Chinese GDP growth held steady in the fourth quarter with data on December activity exceeding expectations, providing early indications of a stabilising Chinese economy.
The major world markets as represented by the MSCI World Index and the S&P 500 broke their upward trend in January with both these indices declining by 0.68% and 0.16% respectively. The UK, European and Asian markets were also weaker. In the UK, the FTSE was down by 3.40% in local currency terms as were the other indices that we monitor, namely the Small Cap Index which declined by 0.92%, the AIM All Share Index which was down by 0.95% and the Fledgling Index which was down by only 0.46%.
Our portfolio of investments performed much better than the overall market, increasing by 1.59% during the month which, after allowing for expenses resulted in a 1.51% improvement in the NAV. We sold our holding in Vitec, Camellia and Andrews Sykes, utilising the proceeds and some of our surplus cash to add to our position in Homeserve and 4Imprint. Cash currently comprises 5.1% of 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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