Investment Trusts  

Edinburgh IT's Nav up 48% since Majedie takeover

Edinburgh IT's Nav up 48% since Majedie takeover

The Edinburgh Investment Trust, which was taken over by Majedie last year, has seen its net asset value rise 48 per cent since its change in owner. 

Since Majedie became the day-to-day manager of the company in March 2020, Nav was up 48 per cent compared with 36.8 per cent for the FTSE All-Share.

Majedie formally took control of the £1.1bn trust last year, which had previously been run by Mark Barnett at Invesco, and before him by Neil Wodford.

The trust was taken over by James de Uphaugh of Majedie as manager, while Invesco also lost the right to act as the trust's administrator, with Praxis FM winning that contract.

The intention to replace Barnett with Uphaugh was first announced in December, after the trust’s results showed its underperformance had extended beyond three years.

In today’s interim results (November 22) for the period ending September 30, 2021, net asset value in total return terms was up by 9.8 per cent, compared with a 8 per cent rise for the FTSE All-Share.

However, the share price discount widened from 4.5 per cent to 9.3 per cent. 

The trust's chairman Glen Suarez said it has been a period of “improving fortunes” for the company's portfolio.

He said: “It is encouraging to see the foundations of a strong long-term track record beginning to take shape. While growth in NAV has been encouraging, over the last six months the discount has widened.

"Finally, we are very pleased to have secured much more efficiently priced debt, and we are optimistic that the portfolio's long-term returns should be enhanced."

Uphaugh added: "There are several compelling reasons to think that the UK equity market can generate further attractive returns on a medium-term view. The gains we are reporting on for the last six months were despite a combination of tempering growth rates here and abroad, ongoing supply bottlenecks, and rising energy prices. 

“There is no question pricing pressures are more prevalent now than in other inflationary spikes over the last decade, but we take reassurance from the fact that the portfolio is dominated by companies that have pricing power and strategic strength that we believe will afford greater protection against cost inflation.”

The board explained that as a result of the share price discount widening the share price total return over the period was a more modest 4.4 per cent. 

It said while discounts for many investment trusts in the equity income sector also widened over this period, the board was nonetheless alert to the level of the discount.

Uphaugh said: “Overall, the UK is widely regarded as a great place to do business with strong companies. The return of overseas/marginal investors, boosted by the growing appetite for takeovers from foreign companies or private equity funds, is a positive endorsement of the UK market. 

“Furthermore, the valuation discounts relative to other equity markets highlight the opportunity in UK equities. We believe the market is taking a short-term view of the prospects for many businesses in the UK, which provides opportunities for investors willing to look through the current macroeconomic headwinds."