Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Bluefield Solar Income Fund LSE:BSIF London Ordinary Share GG00BB0RDB98 ORD NPV
  Price Change % Change Share Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +4.00p +3.29% 125.50p 696,560 11:32:04
Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price
120.00p 120.50p 121.50p 120.00p 121.00p
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Equity Investment Instruments 0.71 34.80 9.41 13.3 464.1

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13/11/201811:17Bluefield Solar Income Fund Limited148

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Bluefield Solar Daily Update: Bluefield Solar Income Fund is listed in the Equity Investment Instruments sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker BSIF. The last closing price for Bluefield Solar was 121.50p.
Bluefield Solar Income Fund has a 4 week average price of 120p and a 12 week average price of 117.50p.
The 1 year high share price is 126p while the 1 year low share price is currently 110.50p.
There are currently 369,811,281 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 643,118 shares. The market capitalisation of Bluefield Solar Income Fund is £464,113,157.66.
masurenguy: Solid results, consistent dividend, yield of 6.4% at the current shareprice - strong income hold for me! Bluefield Solar Income Fund Limited 27 February 2018 Unaudited Condensed Interim Financial Statements for the Six Months Ended 31 December 2017 Bluefield Solar (LON:BSIF), a sterling income fund that invests in UK-based solar assets, is pleased to announce its Interim Results for the Six Months Ended 31 December 2017. Operational Highlights § The Company delivered underlying earnings1 of £13.0m in the period (31 December 2016: £11.7m). § NAV has increased to 112.40pps (30 June 2017: 110.49pps). § There has been a 0.25% reduction to the Company's WACC, reflecting continued pricing pressure within the UK solar market, from 6.15% as at 30 June 2017 to 5.90% as at 31 December 2017 § The equity cash flows upon which the NAV is calculated imply a return on equity over the 25 year life of the cash flows of 7.02% (30 June 2017: 7.43%), with zero terminal value. § The Company completed one acquisition amounting to 5.0MWp, taking the Company's total capacity to 446.5MWp. § Portfolio outperformed operational expectations by 2.7%, delivering an aggregate PR of 82.4% versus budget of 80.3%. § As at 31 December 2017 the Company has now paid dividends of 25.75pps since listing in July 2013; 4.00pps in the period to June 14 and then above target dividends of 7.25pps for the full year periods ended June 2015, 2016 and 2017. A further 1.80pps has been paid in January 2018; this declaration and payment of the first interim dividend in respect of the year ending 30 June 2018 reflects the Company's commitment to smoothing distributions. § The Company, through its holding company BSIFIL, has made debt repayments of principal of £7.3m in the period (31 December 2016: £2.7m). 1. Underlying earnings is an alternative performance measure employed by the Company to provide insight to the Shareholders by definitively linking the underlying financial performance of the operational projects to the dividends declared and paid by the Company. Further detail is provided below. Financial Highlights Six months ended :31 December 2017 Total operating income: £18,747,444 Total comprehensive income before tax: £18,137,352 Underlying earnings: £12,989,966 Earnings per share: 4.90p Underlying EPS available for distribution2: 1.54p Underlying EPS brought forward3: 0.73p Total underlying EPS available for distribution: 2.27p Total dividend for the six months ended 31 December 2017: 1.80p NAV per share: 112.40p 2. Underlying EPS available for distribution is calculated using underlying earnings available for distribution (eg post debt repayments) divided by the number of shares in issue at the end of the period. 3. Underlying earnings brought forward is a combination of 0.30p brought forward from 30 June 2017 and additional ROC recycle relating to the year ended 30 June 2017 of 0.43p. 4. Dividends declared in January 2018 relating to the period 31 December 2017. 5. Total Return is based on NAV per share movement and dividends paid in the period. 6. Total Return to shareholders is based on share price movement and dividends paid in the period. Chairman John Rennocks said: "It has been another robust six months for the Company in which, although a period in which irradiation levels were significantly below our expectations, the portfolio has continued to perform well and remains on track to meet its full year target dividend of 7.43 pence per share. Our priority still lies in maximising revenues and income efficiency from our existing portfolio. This has been possible through strong operational management from Bluefield Services, the Company's technical asset manager, who spent approximately 2,700 hours analysing plant performance during the period. Against a backdrop of soft power prices, we continue to seek to further enhance revenues from the portfolio to deliver reliable sterling income for our shareholders."
a0002577: Hi Hazl, You say 'The fact that they are trading at a premium shows the market thinks they are still sound investments. Be aware that they work their NAV using slightly different values to other Green infrastructure funds. See their annual report which says "Activity in the acquisition market place between willing buyers and willing sellers has seen higher transaction valuations than in the previous years, and this reflects lower discount rates on the cost of capital, whether equity, or weighted between equity and debt. This reduction has been further emphasised by historically low long term Sterling interest rates, and we were pleased to take advantage of that opportunity with our facility with Aviva Investors. To reflect these market changes we have decided to adopt discount rates at lower levels than for the previous year with equity now discounted at 7.43% and a weighted average cost of capital of 6.15%." I also tend to trade these as buy/sell costs are low and there is often some seasonality in their price.
douglas fir: How the £583m Bluefield Solar Income fund is benefitting from a 'transformative market' 330% increase in AUM since launch The outlook for the renewables fund sector is looking more positive than ever as demand continues to grow from investors searching for yield and renewable energy becomes part of the "mainstream" according to James Armstrong, managing partner at Bluefield Partners. Earnings and dividends (pps) In its annual results released last week for the 12 months to 30 June, the £583m Bluefield Solar Income fund revealed a NAV total return of 18.5%, a share price total return of 23% and a third consecutive year of dividend outperformance against its targets (see table, right). It is also the top performing fund in its AIC Infrastructure - Renewable Energy sector over one and three years. Popularity Armstrong, who founded and manages Bluefield alongside Mike Rand and Giovanni Terranova, attributes its success to being in a sector that is becoming increasingly popular, while using a focused and simple strategy. 'Traditional asset classes cannot be relied upon to provide enough diversification in multi-asset portfolios' He said: "Solar assets are the most predictable and simplest area within renewables. There are no moving parts, gear boxes or wind turbines and its energy source comes in the morning and goes at night. "Solar power is also becoming more mainstream. Some of the UK's biggest companies are committing to becoming 100% renewable, which is something that will not turn back now. "We entered the space in 2006 when renewables were esoteric but now new government policies and concepts such as electric vehicles show we are in the middle of a transformative market. There is now a level playing field, which is more attractive to us." Stability As a result, the team believes renewable energy is a stable asset class and the low interest rate environment means the space is particularly attractive to investors hunting for yield. The trust is currently yielding 6.4%, which is 0.8 percentage points above the sector weighted average, according to Canaccord Genuity. Since its launch in 2013, the trust has followed a full pay-out model, whereby all income is paid to shareholders and not held back. For a third year running, it has exceeded its dividend per share target and declared a fully-covered DPS of 7.25p. The alternatives sector has become more popular in recent years, particularly within the investment trust space as the closed-ended structure means investors do not need to worry so much about liquidity issues. Armstrong added: "Trusts are also cost-effective and more transparent. It is a structure which enables assets to grow in a sensible way." Growth A study released earlier this year by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) revealed the top 20 fastest growing trusts by AUM were all within the alternatives sector, with renewable energy and social housing funds being the most popular. Bluefield Solar Income came in eighth place, having seen a 332.5% increase in AUM as at July 2017, since it launched with just £130m in July 2013. But despite this success, Armstrong said the team never sets itself a false target. He added: "We do not need to reinvest earnings to make returns. We just buy at the right price and pay out all the earnings. We are pleased to say we could make no investment today, yet we could still deliver returns to our shareholders." Over three years to 18 September, the trust has returned 32.5% in share price terms, outperforming its sector average return of 27.9%, according to FE Trustnet. It is currently trading on a 4.4% premium, in line with its 12-month average.
masurenguy: Bid boom boosts 6% yielding Bluefield Solar Income Full-year results from Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF) show the UK’s highest yielding listed renewable energy fund clearly benefited from the abolition in April of the ‘ROC’ (renewable obligations certificates) incentives to power generators. The government’s move slashed the construction of new capacity and caused a spike in bidding activity as investors sought to grab the UK’s remaining solar parks, which still come with attractive, long-term, inflation-linked power supply contracts. Data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that solar market mergers and acquisitions slumped to 0.86 gigawatts (GW, thousand watts) of power in 2016 from 1.45 GW in the previous year after the government announced it was removing the ROC regime. It then bounced back with deal volumes in the first half of this year close to the level for the whole of 2015. Bluefield Partners, BISF’s investment adviser, believes that at this rate solar M&A could hit a record 2.82 GW in 2017. The surge in deal-making was one of the main factors in BISF’s net asset value (NAV) leaping 18.5% in the 12 months to 31 June. NAV per share rose from 99.4p to 110.5p during the year, with returns from the portfolio topped up by quarterly dividends totalling 7.25p. These were fully covered by underlying earnings per share of 7.32p, up from 7.1p in 2015/16. The total return including dividends to shareholders was even higher, at 22.5%, as income investors chased up the share price now yielding 6.4%. James Armstrong of BSIF’s investment adviser, Bluefield Partners, said the four-year-old fund had reaped the reward of investing in the sector early. ‘This is a maturing market. There’s a lot of secondary market activity. We looked at third party transactions to see what our valuation should be,’ he said. Analysts sounded a note of caution pointing out the the NAV rise was the result of a big cut in the discount rates Bluefield uses to value the portfolio. Matthew Hose of Jefferies said while valid, the reduction in the WACC (weighted average cost of capital) rate from 6.6% to 6.15% and the equity discount rate from 8.3% to 7.4% in six months ‘still results in a more aggressive portfolio valuation versus peers, in our view', rating the stock ‘underperform’. Maarten Freeriks of Stifel was ‘neutral’ on BSIF rating saying: ‘The company say they were likely too conservative at the 31/12/16 valuation. We were surprised to see such a drastic discount rate move given many of the peer group have adjusted discount rates by lower amounts.’ BSIF’s portfolio contains 81 large and small solar parks which at the end of June had over 441.5 MWp (mega watt peak) in energy capacity, enough to power 133,774 homes and save 189,845 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). The downside of the M&A boom was that BSIF struggled to find new investments at a price it wanted to pay. Having raised £60.6 million from investors last October the fund spent £44.4 million on 10 new plants, a low point since its 2013 launch. ‘Competitive acquisition market conditions and reduced government incentives for investment diminishes our appetite, despite continuing intensive activity by our investment adviser in reviewing possible opportunities,’ chairman John Rennocks told investors. Armstrong said his team was reviewing 400MW worth of possible investments, but with prices trending ever higher he was determined not to over pay or sacrifice investment returns. With growth from acquisition on the wane, Armstrong said the fund was focused on becoming more efficient. He said its Bristol-based monitoring team was experienced in holding plant operators’ feet to the fire on their service contracts. As a result, despite slightly lower than expected levels of irradiation, or sunlight, during the year and with power prices 30% below their forecast at the fund’s slaunch, the company increased underlying revenues from £20.9 million to £25.1 million in 2016/17. As BSIF has a policy of fully distributing income to investors, this meant its dividend of 7.25p exceeded last year’s target of 7.18p. This year’s target has been raised to 7.4p in line with the rise in the retail prices index (RPI). Rennocks described the desire to grow dividends by RPI as a ‘challenge’ given 39% of BSIF’s revenues come from the sale of electricity in the unregulated wholesale market, which are not linked to inflation. Armstrong said the company was looking at other low-risk ways of generating revenue, such as the feasibility of locating storage batteries on its solar parks. BSIF shares firmed a penny to close at 113.75p on Monday after the results, a premium of 10.8% over their current estimated NAV per share of 101.76p, according to Morningstar. This is slightly above the 10.3% average premium of the seven wind/solar energy funds in the Association of Investment Companies’ Renewables sector. Over three years to yesterday’s close BSIF has generated a total shareholder return of 32.5%, above the sector averge of 29.8%, according to Numis Securities data. It is the only listed renewable energy fund to charge a performance fee, taking 30% of any excess return over a 7p dividend, on top of an annual management charge ranging between 1% and 0.6% of net assets. The combined effect in the financial year was an ongoing charge of 1.1%.
masurenguy: My perspective remains that BSIF is a better value player with a superior yield. Foresight Solar requests flexibility and offers shares on 5.9% yield Foresight Solar Fund (FSFL) has set a share price of 107.75p for its £50 million share placing and asked shareholders for more flexibility to enable it to buy solar power parks in the secondary market. The placing price represents a 2% premium to the £367 million fund’s net asset value (NAV) per share on 23 February and is slightly above the current share price of 107.25p. The yield is around 5.9%. The share placing will close on 29 March and the results announced two days later. Foresight raised £150 million at its flotation in October 2013. A subsequent fund raise in September 2015 resulted in a further £134.9 million, while a placing of treasury shares in September followed by a tap issue a month later collectively raised a further £60.8 million. This share pricing officially gives investors their first proper look-in for a year and a half. The new shares will be entitled to receive the interim dividend of 1.55p per share to be paid on 5 May. The share placing forms part of a broader plan to place up to 250 million new shares over the next 12 months. The board also has plans for a secondary listing and private placement in South Africa. It said the capital raised will enable the investment team to take advantage of investment opportunities in the market and diversify the shareholder register, which should make it easier to trade Foresight Solar’s shares. For example, BlackRock represents a substantial shareholder, with a stake worth close to 10%. The proceeds will also be used to partially repay the current drawn balance on its two revolving credit facilities which total £95 million. The share placing will enlarge the capital base, which should lead to a reduction in the ongoing charges ratio. The proposed share price of 107.75p, which is more expensive than the current market price, does not represent an attractive entry point for investors, according to Nigel Moore, senior wealth manager at Pilling & Co. 'The yield of 5.8% is attractive, but the dividend cover is only just covered and the company carries relatively high leverage,' he added.Moore also points out that Foresight Solar recently reported electricity generation was below budget. This was partly due to an outage from the external grid. 'One issue to consider is that 37% of revenues are exposed to spot electricity prices which can be of significant impact, outside of management control,' Moore explained. Pilling & Co does not currently hold Foresight Solar. Monica Tepes, investment companies analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, added: 'The issue price represents a 2% premium to NAV which broadly equates to the cost of the issue so I would say it is a “fair” price. New shareholders don’t overpay while existing shareholders are not diluted. Relative to the current market price, it is very close, so not necessarily a “steal”.' Income focus The board also proposes changing the trust’s investment objective, so there is more of a focus on income through inflation-linked quarterly dividends. They have requested greater flexibility when it comes to acquiring assets and access to a wider pipeline of opportunities. Since Foresight Solar launched in 2013, it has only invested in ground-based solar power plants in the primary market and the investment policy does not permit gearing at the asset level. ‘However, given the growth of UK installed solar capacity over the past five years, the investment opportunities within the secondary market are increasing and are expected to increase further,’ the company said in a statement. As these ground-based solar power plants have already been owned, typically by construction companies, it has become commonplace for vendors in the secondary market to have incurred debt at the asset level. The board is therefore proposing that gearing at an asset level should be allowed in the future. The trust grew its dividend by 1.15% in 2016 when its dividend yield was 5.9%, slightly down in comparison to the previous year's 6.1%. Performance The trust has experienced some volatility over the past year, moving from close to par last March to a discount to NAV of 6.3% in July. Since then, Foresight Solar has traded at a steady, healthy premium. Over the past three years, its shares have risen by 27.9%, slightly above 26.8% achieved by the average trust in the infrastructure – renewables sector. Its NAV has returned 25.5% over three years, outpacing a sector average of 19.9%. The announcement of Foresight Solar’s shareplacing plans follows that of £2.4 billion HICL Infrastructure (HICL), which is hoping to raise at least £205 million. This is its first formal fund raising in four years and equates to a 4.9% yield.
masurenguy: Yes - the future prospects look good here and the yield remains extremely attractive. Excerpts from the Chairman's statement Chairman's Statement Introduction I am pleased to announce another strong set of results with positive news across a broad set of measures. The long-term financing agreement with Aviva Investors, signed in September, gives the Company the strongest platform from which to deliver, over the long term, sector-leading underlying earnings and dividends. The Company now has the lowest reported cost of debt financing in the sector, the lowest investment adviser fee and the highest dividend. Last, but not least, the portfolio has delivered significant energy outperformance against expectations. We paid a 3.25 pps first interim dividend as we have done for the same period in the two previous financial years. The NAV has risen to 105.07 pps reflecting adoption of new power forecasts, inflation expectations and our move to a blended power price forecast. There is potential for further growth in our NAV as the power price market and long term forecasts continue to improve. My statement will focus on the five key areas that are creating or delivering a premium return for our shareholders: (i) the introduction of attractive long term financing; (ii) the continued strong underlying earnings and corresponding dividend; (iii) an increasing net asset value and attractive equity returns; (iv) an oversubscribed equity raise and accretive acquisitions; and (v) our value accretive asset management. The period has also seen the sector further mature such that it is becoming easier for investors and analysts to make more informed decisions about the absolute, and relative value, of the Company. We hope, as always, that the transparency of this document helps in this regard. Long Term Financing In September 2016, we announced our LTF agreement with Aviva Investors. The all-in cost of the £121.5m fixed price loan at 2.875% interest and the £65.5m index linked element at 70bps plus RPI is highly attractive both in absolute terms and relative to other comparable financings in the sector. The financing will deliver significant bottom line savings for the benefit of shareholders. Away from these financial benefits are some equally important but less heralded elements. The loans are for a tenor of 18 years and 3 months, fully amortising over 18 years. This means that, beyond the element driven by RPI, the Group does not have any interest rate risks or bullet repayments on the LTF for the full term. We think this is in the best interests of our shareholders as we are not deferring payment day which could create refinancing risk in the future. The agreement of the LTF means that on the Group's base case projections, the long term debt service burden is nearly 3 times covered by earnings. This conservative position has been achieved because of relatively low levels of overall leverage (c.34% to GAV*), combined with low interest rates. The Company's acquisition strategy has ensured that the right portfolio of operating assets is in place and has enabled the Group to achieve sensible conditions as part of the financing partnership with Aviva Investors that are supportive of our core strategies, particularly surrounding PPA strategy. Underlying Earnings and Dividends The Company has, for the third year in succession, delivered earnings in the period of 3.0 pps. Just before the share placement in November 2016, the Company paid to the holders of existing shares the earnings of 3.0 pps for the period to date, together with 0.25 pps retained from the financial year 2015/16, resulting in a first interim dividend of 3.25 pps. Underlying earnings should see further support as the impact of higher priced power contracts feed into the portfolio. The Company has matched or exceeded its cash generation or dividend objectives in each year since listing in 2013 and is, we believe, on track to do so again for the current financial year. This has enabled us to pay shareholders dividends for our first three financial years totalling 4.0 pps, 7.25 pps and 7.25 pps, respectively, and our first interim dividend for the current year was 3.25 pps. Our cash generation has also enabled us to fully cover all of our debt service requirements, both interest and the required capital amortisation. Our income stream is inevitably seasonal and for that reason our largest interim dividend will come at the end of the summer season. However we intend henceforth to seek to smooth the profile of dividends, while retaining our key objective of increasing the total payments for the year in question in line with RPI. In the last two years it has also been appropriate to distribute a larger first interim dividend representing all our achieved cash generation, just ahead of the placing of new shares, so that a level playing field is created between existing shareholders and those subscribing for new shares. Notwithstanding our wish to offer shareholders a smoother dividend profile, in the event of future placings and a consequent need to distribute accumulated earnings ahead of the issue of new shares we would expect to revert to the historic pattern of dividends. Net Asset Value & Equity IRR The NAV has risen from 99.39 pps at 30 June 2016 to 105.07 pps at period end. This principally reflects the adoption of an assumed 2.75% RPI assumption and an increase in power forecast including the adoption of an equal blend of power curves from the two leading forecasters in the market. We have taken this step to reduce the timing risk associated with using a single curve in the more volatile market environment. We have also fallen into line with the sector on rising inflation expectations and have moved to a long term inflation assumption of 2.75% (formerly 2.5%). Apart from this, all other assumptions are substantially unchanged. The Company's WACC discount rate remains at 6.6%. The uncertainties in the financial and economic climate from the Brexit decision, and an increasingly uncertain picture globally, have contributed to our decision to remain conservative in our approach to discount rates and other valuation parameters. This reflects our market expectations of WACC, rather than our own position, which following our refinancing is at a significantly lower level. Based upon the actual cost of debt achieved by the Group, the implied equity return (or 'equity discount rate') of the NAV is 8.3% at portfolio asset level netting to 7.1% after all group level costs. Fundraise and Acquisitions In October 2016, we completed a short, and oversubscribed, equity placement of £60.6m. This was raised in order to fund the acquisitions of a series of primary assets identified by the Company's Investment Adviser. In addition to the operating portfolio of just over 400MWp, the Company added a further five plants (currently under construction) committing £22.8mn for an energy capacity of 22.6 MWp during the period. The Company's first rooftop plant, a 0.5MWp industrial array constructed in 2011 and accredited under the 2011/12 FiT scheme, was also acquired in the period for a commitment of £2.2m. This investment approach continues the strategy adopted by the Company since IPO of seeking to find and fund assets through construction. Our business model has delivered a high yielding portfolio of assets which, we are confident, will stand the test of time and deliver strong and growing dividends for our shareholders. As the market moves to an exclusively secondary market we can already see that the price of assets reflects a lower expected yield than has been the case in past years. Therefore, we intend to retain our discipline in only investing further into assets that are accretive to our shareholders' returns. We do not have to search for dilutive acquisitions and, as our model is essentially a 'full pay out' model, we do not have retained funds that will need to be reinvested. However, if we do identify further attractive assets, we are confident that they can be financed, without return dilution, through further equity and debt issues, offering attractive returns and with low cost of debt. Asset Management There has been very strong operational outperformance over the period driven by a high-quality portfolio (illustrated by low levels of contractual claims in the period) and high levels of energy generation (4.6% ahead of expectations at 185.1GWh versus a target of 176.9GWh). As the Company matures, asset management will become of increasing importance to us. It is an exciting area for shareholders and one where the value-enhancing activities being undertaken by BSL, the Bristol based technical asset manager, are just beginning. They are working on a number of strategies that carry no risk to the Company's generating potential but could, if the economic case is compelling enough, be valuable to the Company and accretive to future revenues. Accounting An amendment to IFRS 10 - Investment Entities: Applying the Consolidation Exemption (Amendments to IFRS 10, IFRS 12 and IAS 28) as issued in December 2014 has been adopted by the Company for these financial statements following adoption of the amendment by the EU in September 2016. This requires the Company to prepare IFRS financial statements which do not consolidate any subsidiaries that are themselves investment entities. In order to provide clarity to shareholders, we have prepared pro forma financial information on the same basis as the Company's 30 June 2016 financial statements, which has been designated the Investment Basis, to facilitate a comparison of financial performance with prior years. Further explanation is provided in the Financial Analysis section. Outlook With current dividends of 7.25 pps the Company offers shareholders very good value. As more investors become familiar with the sector, and competition for a predominantly fixed base of solar PV assets increases, this should have a positive effect on the Company's NAV and share price. We have an improving backdrop in terms of the power markets and the capital structure in place that works well in a lower inflationary environment and is highly attractive in times of a higher inflation market. It is almost impossible today to find a financial product in the UK offering the potential for index linked returns in excess of 7% that are largely independent of capital market behaviour. We are also only beginning the enhancement of the asset management journey, where we expect, over time, to see continued incremental improvements to generation. BSL will continue to explore all avenues for potential revenue enhancement for the benefit of our shareholders. One simple, but important, discipline for the Company is that, as the market moves to being a secondary market, assets will be selected for acquisition only if they are accretive to our earnings and dividend returns. We are conscious of the views of our shareholders and our aim is to deliver the best possible returns over the long term and this is more important to us than growth for growth's sake.
rambutan2: The Euro fund never happened. But this one trades around par and has payed out as promised, so far. Updated nav etc, reflecting yet another fall in power price curve. But div remains on target.
jonwig: Comment from i i i , looks fair, though I'd need to check on the wind-down comments, and if they are going to continue raising capital, I'd want a slice: Bluefield Solar Income has forecast a dividend of 7p for the year to end June 2015, indicating a yield of 6.8% paid semi-annually at the current share price. Two thirds of its revenue derives from government-backed renewable energy obligation certificates and feed-in tariffs, both of which are linked to the Retail Prices Index (RPI). The rest derives from electricity prices, which the managers expect to rise broadly in line with inflation. On this basis, the dividend is predicted to rise in line with RPI, making it very attractive. Launched in July 2013, the Guernsey-based fund has a portfolio of 12 large-scale solar energy projects on greenfield sites across southern England and Wales. All but one are operational. It only invests in projects that have the requisite planning permission and grid connections in place, but will also commit at the pre-operational stage. This allows it to achieve better terms, oversee the quality of installation, and secure greater contractor liability for any problems. Bluefield Solar is managed by Bluefield Partners, which has a good track record in the solar sector. To minimise risks, Bluefield works with a variety of contractors using equipment from a range of manufacturers, and has started to diversify into ground-based industrial and commercial solar energy by buying a portfolio of established plants. Its projects all have 20- to 25-year contracts, and the outlook for solar is arguably better than for wind generation as it is less environmentally contentious and the output from irradiation is less variable. Growth in Bluefield Solar's net asset value (NAV) per share is likely to be limited and plans to nearly double the company's issued capital over the next year or so - in order to fund further diversification - seem likely to limit any increase in the modest premium. More importantly, dividends from the current portfolio will tail off in around 20 years, and the projects may have negligible residual value. So unless the managers keep adding to the portfolio on attractive terms, investors are effectively buying a 20-year index-linked annuity. However, the NAV per share, like the yield, should be unaffected by short-term gyrations in the stock market, making the shares a high-yielding refuge from a potential bear market. HTtp://www.i (Close up the space)
Bluefield Solar share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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