Witan Pacific Investment Trust PLC announces 11th year of dividend increases and outperforms relative to its benchmark¹, in 2016 Annual Results

The Board of Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc has announced audited full year results for the period ended 31 January 2016. A summary of the results:

  • Net Asset Value (NAV) total return of -5.6% (2015: +17.6%), 0.3% ahead of the -5.9% benchmark¹ return. 
  • A final dividend of 2.5 pence per share (2015: 2.45 pence) making the full-year dividend 4.65 pence per share, a rise of 2%, and ahead of inflation during the year. 
  • The share price total return was -3.5%, reflecting a narrowing of the discount during the year. 
  • Over the past 10 years, the Company has delivered an NAV total return of 66.7%, compared with the benchmark’s 51.6%. 

Witan Pacific is the only investment trust to provide its shareholders with exposure to the wider Asia-Pacific region, including Japan. Since May 2005, the trust has employed an active multi-manager approach, in order to add value and diversify risk. The trust has three appointed managers with established track records – Matthews, Aberdeen, and Gavekal – which seek to outperform the regional index¹ and to deliver capital return and income growth. Each manager employs a distinct approach, while they have in common a fundamentally-driven investment policy, choosing holdings independent of index weightings.

 

Sarah Bates, Chairman of the Witan Pacific Investment Trust said: 

“Following a very strong financial year to January 2015, the Trust’s assets declined in the 12 months to 31 January 2016, as many markets worldwide and in the region fell. The share price total return was slightly better than the market return, as the discount narrowed a little. The worst declines in global markets took place in emerging markets: only the Japanese and US markets provided positive returns over the period. According to analysis provided by Witan Investment Services, the only sector in the region that provided positive returns over the period was healthcare, which rose by over 13% in sterling terms. All other sectors showed declines. 

It is also worthwhile for shareholders to note that there was a sharp drop in markets right at the end of the Company’s financial year, apparently on fears of slowing growth in China. The drop followed a degree of turbulence in markets over the summer of 2015. We are pleased that Witan Pacific’s combination of portfolio managers provided a degree of resilience for shareholders in these conditions and there has been something of a recovery since the end of the year, with the estimated NAV per share higher than that at the end of the financial year. 

Over the longer term, I am happy to report that shareholders have enjoyed an NAV total return ahead of the benchmark; over the past 10 years, the Company’s NAV total return of 66.7% is ahead of the benchmark’s 51.6%.

Our multi-manager structure has proved reasonably sound over the period, and Gavekal, in particular, provided a degree of protection in sharp market downturns which was part of the reason for their appointment. Matthews provided a strong result in relative terms from their skills in stock picking. Aberdeen had a more difficult year, but are showing signs of a turnaround in relative performance in the past few months. 

There has already been a recovery in most markets in the region since the year end. We remain enthusiastic about the range of opportunities in the region and the access to those opportunities provided by our portfolio managers. We expect that there will continue to be volatility as patterns of economic activity change but believe that our multi-manager structure is well place to see through such periods and take advantage of the dynamism of the companies and economies in which your assets are invested.”

¹ The Company’s benchmark is the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Free Index (£)

- ENDS - 

 

For further information please contact: 

 

Andrew Bell 

Witan Investment Services Limited 

Tel: 020 7227 9770 

[email protected]

 

James Hart 

Witan Investment Services Limited 

Tel: 020 7227 9770 

[email protected]

 

Hannah Philp 

Witan Investment Services Limited 

Tel: 020 7227 9773 

[email protected]

 

Notes to Editors 

Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc 

Witan Pacific Investment Trust is an Asia-Pacific including Japan Trust with assets of £170m (Source: Witan Pacific Annual Report and Accounts 2016). The Trust moved to a multi-manager structure on 27 May 2005 with Witan Investment Services as Executive Manager. The Trust’s benchmark is MSCI AC Asia Pacific Free Index (£). 

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.

 

Multi-Manager Structure (as at 31.01.2016)

Aberdeen Asset Management 41.7% 

Matthews 47.9% 

GaveKal 11.0% 

 

Publish date

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