QuotedData’s Investment Companies Roundup – February 2020

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January’s major news stories

Portfolio developments:

  • US Solar’s manager was the victim of a fraud in relation to contracted construction payments totalling £6.9m. It also announced it was acquiring approximately 177MW portfolio of twenty-two operating utility-scale solar power projects
  • Syncona provided an update on its Autolus holding
  • JLEN’s NAV was impacted by a fall in the power price. JLEN also made a €25m commitment to Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners
  • CC Japan Income & Growth reported annual results as Shinzo Abe became the country’s the longest serving Prime Minister
  • Merian Chrysalis reported inaugural annual results
  • Hipgnosis acquired music catalogues from Brian Higgins, Ammar Malik and Blink-182. Hipgnosis also announced it had invested £214m of the proceeds of its C share fundraising from October 2019, representing around 95% of the net proceeds
  • SQN Asset Finance discussed the problems it is having with anaerobic digestion plants
  • Asia-focused Symphony International existed IHH investment with returns of 1.8x original cost
  • Jupiter Emerging and Frontier celebrated a good year
  • FastForward Innovations sold bond holdings in Cryptologic following the company’s pivot towards cannabis
  • Augmentum Fintech invested in a bookkeeping platform
  • Gresham House Energy completed a 49MW Red Scar battery storage investment

 

Corporate news:

 

 

 

It was a quiet month of fundraising with no major placings. Impax Environmental Markets, Smithson Investment, JPMorgan Global Core Real Assets, Bankers and City of London were the main issuers of new shares.

Pershing Square regularly leads the sector’s buyback activity. Honeycomb, NB Global Floating Rate Income GBP, Alcentra European Floating Rate Income, Biotech Growth, SME Credit Realisation and Perpetual Income & Growth were the other companies to return more than £10m.

 

 

 

After beginning the year in the ascendancy, helped by easing tensions between the US and Iran, the outbreak of coronavirus in China pulled the breaks on risk assets, particularly hitting Asian and resource funds. Amongst the outperformers, Adamas Finance Asia’s price move stands out. It announced that one of its key positions, Future Metal Holdings, had commenced dolomite production in China.

New life-sciences fund, RTW Venture had the third best NAV return behind Manchester & London and Oakley Capital. Manchester & London’s NAV return owed to good months for tech-based holdings, including Amazon and Alphabet. This helped Allianz Technology too. Elsewhere, Standard Life Private Equity’s annual results were well received. It believes valuation in its core mid-market European focus are less stretched than in the US.

Significant selling has taken place in early February (not included in this roundup), following the end of the Chinese new year celebration. Out of the bottom 10 performers by NAV, seven were either Asian or resource-focused. Aberdeen New Thai’s NAV also declined in December, before the coronavirus outbreak. Still, a ban by China on outbound tour groups into Thailand hit all Thai assets.

BlackRock Energy and Resources Income, BlackRock World Mining and CQS Natural Resources Growth & Income were hit with demand for resources likely to slip markedly over the coming weeks and months.

Elsewhere, SQN Asset Finance Income was hit by a write-down to one of its main loan assets, leading to an exodus in the shares. The pullback in Infrastructure India’s shares came after they nearly doubled over December.

 

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