Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) is the only London-listed investment trust focused on investing in Thailand, a country that also gives investors indirect exposure to the harder-to-access, but higher-growth economies of its neighbours Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV). ANW was not well positioned for the unforeseen pandemic and subsequent market rout, and performance has disappointed. However, the manager believes the Thai equity market to be inefficient, and says the sell-off is presenting exciting opportunities to invest in quality companies that are mispriced versus their long-term intrinsic value.
Companies: Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) is the only London-listed investment trust specialising in Thai equities. It aims to deliver a high level of long-term capital growth, employing a bottom-up approach to invest in a relatively concentrated portfolio of around 40 stocks, representing the manager’s highest-conviction ideas. The trust has delivered strong absolute returns over the past 10 years, with an annualised NAV total return of 15.4%. Thai companies are well-placed to benefit from the rapid growth of its less-developed neighbours of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), which offer a large and significantly underpenetrated market for goods and services.
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) aims to deliver a high level of long-term capital growth, with the manager following a rigorous bottom-up, stock selection driven investment process. The trust has delivered strong absolute returns over the past 10 years, with an annualised NAV total return of 18.1%. Over the near term, the manager expects the ongoing US-China trade dispute to weigh on Thai equity market sentiment. However, it believes longer-term prospects remain very attractive. The portfolio is shifting in favour of small caps, where the manager can find less well-discovered, high-quality companies that are mispriced relative to their long-term intrinsic value.
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) was launched in 1989 and is the only Thailand-focused investment trust listed in London. It aims to deliver a high level of long-term capital growth through investing in a relatively concentrated portfolio of quality companies, following a disciplined bottom-up approach. The Thai equity market has been relatively resilient this year compared to MSCI AC Asia ex-Japan and MSCI Emerging Markets, reflecting Thailand’s solid economic fundamentals. The manager believes Thai companies are particularly well-placed to benefit from the fast-growing neighbouring economies of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, and ANW offers some indirect exposure to these markets. The trust has delivered strong absolute returns over the past 10 years; an annualised NAV total return of 20.5%. Recent returns, however, have lagged the benchmark and the shares have traded at a persistently wide discount to cum-income NAV. In May 2018, the board announced a package of changes to address these issues which, if successful, should support further narrowing of the discount.
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) is the only London-listed investment trust focused on Thailand. The manager follows a disciplined, bottom-up investment approach to find quality companies that are attractively valued. Through its investments, the trust also provides exposure to Thailand’s fast-growing neighbours of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Launched in 1989, ANW has delivered strong absolute long-term returns; since inception to end-April 2018, the trust has achieved an annualised NAV total return of 14.4%. However, in more recent years, returns have lagged the benchmark and the shares have persistently traded at a meaningful discount to cum-income NAV. On 2 May 2018, the board proposed a number of changes to address these issues.
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) is the only London-listed investment trust focused on Thailand. Launched in 1989, the managers have a long history of investing in the country, as well as the resources to support its bottom-up focus on identifying quality stocks to build a concentrated, yet diversified portfolio to generate long-term capital growth. This approach has delivered solid absolute performance with lower than market beta over three and five years. Thailand’s economic recovery is proving stronger than expected, with scope to become more broad-based, which could support investment opportunities. The fund is currently trading at a wider than average discount to cum-income NAV of 16.6% and the board is committed to narrow this discount.
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) is the only investment trust listed on the London Stock Exchange with an exclusive focus on Thai equities. An experienced Bangkok-based team supports the trust’s fundamental, bottom-up driven investment approach. Longer-term returns have slightly lagged the index, but volatility is also lower with a beta of 0.9 over five years. Following a largely liquidity-driven rally in 2016, the Thai equity market has returned to fundamentals, which is more favourable to ANW’s approach. Trading at a discount to NAV (including income) of 16.3% and with a 2.0% dividend yield, investors looking for exposure to Thailand and its fast-growing neighbours may find ANW of interest.
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) has built a track record of more than 25 years as a specialist investor in Thai equities. The manager focuses on high-quality, cash-generative companies, which underpin ANW’s sector-leading 1.8% dividend yield. ANW’s NAV performance has been strong over one year, but lagged the SET index rally, which was led by more speculative stocks. The Thai stock market was largely unaffected by the passing of King Bhumibol in October but a short-term softening of economic activity is likely as the country mourns. However, an improving economic outlook and opportunities for Thai companies to expand into the dynamic ASEAN region are encouraging prospects for the medium term.
Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust (ANW) is an actively managed closed-ended fund investing in companies listed in Thailand. The trust targets capital growth rather than income, but the manager’s focus on cash-generative companies with strong balance sheets makes yield a differentiating feature and ANW has the highest yield among peers. While recent performance has been affected by political unrest and a resulting economic slowdown, the Thai market has outpaced many Asian markets over the long-term, and the manager points to opportunities for Thai companies to expand into faster growing neighbouring ASEAN countries.
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Ramsdens has reported a strong set of trading results in the last twelve months to March 2020. COVID lockdown has led to store closures, which will lead to weaker trading over the following months. However, Ramsdens has a very solid balance sheet, is diversified and is well positioned to re-open stores and continue its growth. We use an 8x multiple on last 12 months to March 2020 earnings as a reflection of a normalised earnings base which reduces our target price to 162p from 180p. At this target price Ramsdens would trade on a CY20 P/B of 1.5x. This target price offers 15% upside and we re-iterate BUY.
AFH interim results have shown resilience in a tough period. Revenues grew by 5% yoy and Adj. EPS is up 8% yoy. We reduce our FY20 EPS forecast by 8% to reflect the wider market falls and slower new business due to the lockdown. This reduction in earnings is significantly less than peers, highlighting the defensive nature of the business and the prudent temporary cost measures being introduced in FY20. The improved FCF of the business should lead to a re-rating, particularly as AFH now trades on 9.3x CY20 P/E, a significant discount to peers. Our reduced target price of 524p implies 81% upside. Re-iterate BUY.
Companies: AFH Financial Group
Aside from its FY 19 earnings presentation, British Land has adopted a more cautious anticipation about Offices in the City of London. We share this pessimism and have been surprised by the recent share’s bump. The latter is the opportunity to turn negative, again, and update our divestment case.
Companies: British Land Company
ULR’s finals were in line with on EPRA NAV and earnings a little better than expected. Valuations remain stable and full rent collection has been achieved for the current quarter. We see fundamental quality and resilience in the (now expanded) portfolio – ULR has already invested nearly £100m in the first two months of the new year following the £136m equity raise. We make no material changes to forecasts. Current valuation points to an 7%+ annualised return, with upside remaining from deployment of funding headroom, active management and potential for valuations to improve.
Companies: Urban Logistics REIT
A number of REITs have the ability to thrive in current market conditions and thereafter. Not only do they hold assets that will remain in strong demand, but they have focus and transparency. The leases and underlying rents are structured in a manner to provide long visibility, growth and security. Hardman & Co defined an investment universe of REITs that we considered provided security and “safer harbours”. We introduced this universe with our report published in March 2019: “Secure income” REITs – Safe Harbour Available. Here, we take forward the investment case and story. We point to six REITs, in particular, where we believe the risk/reward is the most attractive.
Companies: AGR CSH ESP DIGS IHR LXI PHP RESI SIR SUPR THRL SOHO BBOX SHED WHR
Today’s FY update reports that the decisive action taken at the outset of the COVID crisis has protected returns. Revenues held up through to the May year end. Aided by cost savings, adj. EBITDA is expected to be 20% ahead. We expect a more modest final dividend to protect the capital surplus. Additional savings have been outlined, which we overlay on a conservative “flat market/fewer new clients” scenario for FY21e – where we hope outperformance is possible. Updating EPS forecasts: FY20e +25%, FY21e -10% and FY22e -7%; also incorporating the Hurley Partners acquisition (+8%). We consider MW a high quality core holding with long term potential.
Companies: Mattioli Woods
Much has been written about the effects of the virus on the world and on the stock market. Here is one analyst’s take on some of the likely impacts on the way we should look at companies. This article was originally produced as a blog, “10 Changes Post Virus”, which was published a few weeks ago.
Companies: AGY ARBB ARIX DNL GDR NSF PCA PIN PHNX PHP RE/ RECI STX SCE SIXH TRX SHED VTA
Tetragon Financial Group (TFG, Tetragon) achieved a 13.6% NAV/share total return and a 13.4% ROE in FY19, in line with its long-term target of 10–15%. The main driver of Tetragon’s performance was its asset management business (TFG Asset Management), which comprises managers with a total AUM attributable to Tetragon of US$27.4bn and generated an EBITDA of US$59.5m in FY19 (up 51% y-o-y). The late-2019 investment activity left Tetragon with a relatively low net cash position (4.1% of NAV at end-April). The shares trade at a three-year average discount to NAV of 44% (currently at 62.7%), which is relatively wide compared to peers given the company’s track record of delivering a 16% NAV TR pa over the last 10 years. The recent market sell-off has so far resulted in a 5.1% decrease in NAV (ytd to end-April 2020).
Companies: Tetragon Financial Group
The covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the share price of property companies, with 31% wiped off the value of their total market capitalisation during the first quarter of 2020.
Companies: AEWU CREI CSH BOOT INL HLCL THRL SUPR RESI RGL DIGS GR1T SOHO PHP BOXE ASLI UTG AGR UAI BLND UANC CAL SHED CWD WHR EPIC WKP GRI YEW HMSO PCA INTU NRR
The Merchants Trust (MRCH) is managed by Simon Gergel at Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI). Aiming to continue to provide a high and growing level of income, he is adjusting the trust's portfolio in the wake of dividend cuts sparked by the negative economic effects of COVID-19. If there is an income shortfall in this financial year, MRCH is well positioned to maintain its dividend, with revenue reserves of more than 1x the last annual payment. It has not been an easy period for value managers over the last decade as growth stocks have led the charge; however, Gergel has outperformed the UK market over this period in both NAV and share price terms. The board reduced MRCH's gearing in late January 2020, which was opportune timing ahead of the recent significant stock market weakness.
Companies: Merchants Trust
MJ Hudson has confirmed that it expects to achieve profits in line with expectations for FY20E. This is a good result linked to new client wins during the COVID-19 disruption and timely cost management. Whilst much of the group's activities are proving resilient, uncertainty remains and in line with most of the peer group, MJ Hudson is withdrawing guidance for FY21E. We similarly withdraw our FY21E forecasts until visibility improves, moving our rating to Under Review. Meanwhile, the shares are now down 30% since their pre-COVID-19 highs, which is beyond that seen at outsourcing peers (Sanne, JTC). Whilst COVID-19 is presenting challenges for many businesses, we believe that: 1) the structural growth drivers in alternatives that underpin MJ Hudson's growth will continue to remain highly relevant, and 2) its strong balance sheet gives it a relative advantage.
Companies: MJ Hudson Group
The positive market movements (£19.5bn) offset the net outflows of £1.3bn. The adjusted operating profit before tax reached £1,149m, down 21.9% yoy. The insurer benefited less from longevity assumption changes (£126m vs. £441m in 2018) in the Heritage business and the lower Asset Management fees margin (38bp vs. 40 bp in 2018) in the Savings and Asset Management one. The current context has led to a decrease in the Solvency II ratio by 10%, but the capital position remains resilient at 166%.
Mattioli Woods has issued a trading update around the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are reassured to hear that trading for the first 9m of FY20e (to Feb-20) was in line with expectations. There is likely to be a revenue impact, from falling asset prices and limits to normal business activity, however, it is not possible to quantify this just yet. A number of proactive measures are being taken to adjust the cost base to mitigate the short term impact, including reduced senior management team/variable compensation. We would highlight that c.55% of MW’s revenue is not linked to the value of client assets, providing a degree of insulation to asset prices. We make no forecast changes at this stage, but will monitor events and make any adjustments when there is greater certainty
In the past month the group has made significant progress in pivoting its business away from its traditional face-to-face model. Although lending levels remain appropriately subdued, it has achieved an impressive collections performance, with its largest business running at about 90% of pre-lockdown levels. This, combined with the group’s high risk-adjusted margins has enabled it to generate £3m of FCF in the first three weeks of April, taking its net cash position to £38.7m as of 21 April. This strong financial position, combined with the group’s innovative approach to product development puts it in an extremely strong position to serve its clients and win share when the current government restrictions are eventually lifted. Reflecting this positive outlook we reiterate our BUY rating.
Companies: Non-Standard Finance
In this note, we analyze the indebtedness of 35 international E&Ps publicly listed in the UK, Canada, Norway, Sweden and the USA. For each company, we look at (1) cash position, (2) level and nature of debt (including covenants), (3) debt service and principal repayment framework and (4) Brent price required from April to YE20 to meet all the obligations and keep cash positions intact. We also estimate YE20 cash if Brent were to average US$20/bbl from April to YE20. While the oil demand and oil price collapse are of unprecedented historical proportions and the opportunities to cut costs much more limited than in 2014, most companies (with a few exceptions) entered the crisis in much better position than six years ago, with stronger balance sheets and often already extended debt maturities. In addition, this time around, many E&Ps have already been deleveraging for 1-2 years and are not caught in the middle of large developments that cannot be halted. The previous crisis also showed that debt providers could relax debt covenants for a certain period as long as interest and principal repayment obligations were met. This implies that as long as operations are not interrupted and counterparties keep paying their bills (Kurdistan), the storm can be weathered by most for a few quarters.
With (1) Brent price of about US$50/bbl in 1Q20, (2) reduced capex programmes, (3) material hedging programmes covering a large proportion of FY20 production at higher prices and (4) limited principal repayments in 2020, we find that most companies can meet all their costs and obligations in 2020 at Brent prices below US$40/bbl and often below US$35/bbl) from April until YE20 and keep their cash intact, allowing them to remain solvent at much lower prices for some time. In particular, Maha Energy and SDX Energy are cash neutral at about US$20/bbl. When factoring the divestment of Uganda, Tullow needs only US$9/bbl to maintain its YE20 cash equal to YE19. Canacol Energy, Diversified Gas and Oil, Independent Oil & Gas, Orca Exploration, Serica Energy and Wentworth Resources are gas stories not really exposed to oil prices and Africa Oil has hedged 95% of its FY20 production at over US$65/bbl.
Companies: AKERBP AOI CNE CNE DGOC EGY ENOG ENQ GENL GKP GPRK GTE HUR IOG JSE KOS LUPE MAHAA OKEA ORC.B PEN PHAR PMO PTAL PXT RRE SDX SEPL TETY TGL TLW TXP WRL