Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc announces half year results to 31st July 2019

The Board of Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc has today announced half year results for the period ended 31 July 2019. A summary of the results:

 

  • Net Asset Value (NAV) total return of +9.4% for the year, compared with the benchmark +10.5%
  • Share price total return of +13.8%
  • The interim dividend increased by 2.0% to 2.55p
  • NAV total return of 250.4% since the inception of the multi-manager strategy in 2005, compared with the benchmark total return of 248.8%

 

Witan Pacific is the only UK investment trust with a strategic focus across the entire Asia Pacific region, including Japan, Australia and India, investing in companies operating within this increasingly interdependent region. Since 2005 the Company has operated a multi-manager strategy to give access to a variety of investment styles and skills, and a broader investment opportunity.

 

Witan Pacific’s Chair, Susan Platts-Martin says:

 

“Witan Pacific’s NAV total return per share rose by 9.4% and the share price total return rose by 13.8% over the six months to 31st July 2019, compared with the benchmark total return of 10.5%. The overall returns experienced by our shareholders were augmented by further Sterling weakness.

 

The Board aims to increase the annual dividend per share in real terms over the long term. I am pleased to report that annual dividends have increased consistently for over 14 years at an annualised rate in excess of 14.5%. The Board proposes to pay an interim dividend of 2.55p per share. This represents an increase of 2% over the interim

dividend paid last year.

 

The share price discount to NAV narrowed from 14.1% at the start of the period to 10.7% at the period end. We continue to buy back shares when the discount at which they

stand is at an anomalous and substantial level.

 

The combined portfolio produced a gross return of 10.0% which represents a marginal underperformance of 0.5% when compared to the benchmark. The key factors influencing this underperformance were an underweight to the strongly performing Australian financials sector and an overweight in Korea. Stock selection was generally positive across the portfolio, but not significant enough to make up for the negative influence from the resulting geographic exposure. Adding around 0.5% of costs to the portfolio’s 0.5% underperformance results in the NAV total return being 1.1% behind the benchmark. Although absolute performance was strongly positive during the period, the continued NAV underperformance against the benchmark, while marginal, is clearly disappointing, especially in light of the specific performance objective announced in the Corporate Update on 11th February 2019. The Board continues to have faith in our managers’ individual and collective ability to add value for our shareholders.

 

The Asia Pacific region includes many of the world’s most dynamic economies. Their increasingly affluent and better-educated populations are likely to fuel demand across various sectors providing good stock picking opportunities for our managers. In the short-term, sentiment in the region will continue to be dominated by US/China tensions and affected by the protests in Hong Kong. Currency volatility (especially versus Sterling) is likely to be a factor which impacts short-term returns, especially as the next Brexit deadline approaches. The prospects for the rest of this year will depend on whether easier monetary policy sits alongside economic stability, allowing good quality companies to benefit from a benign environment and grow earnings as they have done in recent years.”

 

 

- ENDS –

Notes

Witan Pacific - Discrete Investment Performance

 

Discrete performance (%)
 

Q2 2014
Q2 2015

Q2 2015
Q2 2016

Q2 2016
Q2 2017

Q2 2017
Q2 2018

Q2 2018
Q2 2019

Share Price (Total Return)

15.6

3.6

26.5

5.5

3.5

Net Asset Value (Total Return)

11.9

10.4

21.1

5.5

0.2

Benchmark (Total Return)

12.1

6.6

26.6

8.5

2.9

Relative NAV Performance

-0.2

3.8

-5.5

-3.0

-2.8


Source: Morningstar, total return includes the notional reinvestment of dividends. Annualised figures updated each calendar quarter. The benchmark for the Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc is the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Free Index (£). Source: MSCI, for more information please go to www.witanpacific.com/legal-information

Please remember past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of currency or market fluctuations and you may not get back the amount originally invested.

 

 

Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc

Witan Pacific Investment Trust is a multi-manager, Asia-Pacific including Japan Trust with assets of £228m (Source: Witan Pacific Factsheet 31.08.2019). The Trust moved to a multi-manager structure on 27 May 2005 with Witan Investment Services as Executive Manager. The Trust’s benchmark is the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Free Index (£) with gross dividends reinvested.

 

Witan Investment Services Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Witan Investment Trust plc. Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc is registered as an Investment Company in England No 91798.

 

For more details please visit our website www.witanpacific.com. The report can be downloaded here.

 

For further information please contact:

 

James Hart, Investment Director

Witan Investment Services Limited

Tel: 020 7227 9770

[email protected]

 

Alexis Barling, Director of Marketing

Witan Investment Services Limited

Tel: 020 7227 9770

[email protected]