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April

Europe continues to be a successful theme for us as a number of our holding companies benefit from stronger than market NAV performance and discount contraction.

Sofina was the largest contributor to performance with its shares rising by 5% over the month.  Thus far in 2015 its discount has narrowed from 37% to 32% and remains wide in absolute terms and relative to its peer group.  We do not believe that such a wide discount is justified for a group that has consistently delivered market beating NAV performance.  Shares in Paris Orléans jumped by 15% over the month as the company announced that stronger than expected results and also that it would be renaming itself Rothschild & Co. Aker, the Norwegian oil services holding company has also had a bounce in recent weeks, helped by a stronger oil price.  Three recent acquisitions in the mining sector were also strong contributors over the month.  Detour Gold shares rose 27.5%, Blackrock World Mining increased by 7.5%, and Teck Resources went up by 5%.

On the negative side Jardine Matheson was the largest detractor from performance over the month.  A 2% decline in share price was magnified by a widening in the discount from 24% to 27% and this was further compounded by US dollar weakness against the Pound.  Other dollar priced holdings such as Harbourvest, NB Private Equity and Symphony International detracted from performance – more from Dollar weakness than share price declines.

During the month, the discount on the portfolio widened to 24.8% and cash levels remain relatively low at 3.2%.

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