BTEM’s NAV increased by a subdued 0.5% in March as Sterling strength and a widening portfolio discount (26.1% from 24.9%) acted as headwinds to performance.
Wendel, Jardine Strategic, Investor AB, Pargesa, Exor, Digital Garage, and NB Private Equity Partners were the largest contributors; Hudson’s Bay, Symphony, Aker, and Adler all detracted from returns.
Jardine Strategic benefitted from both a rising NAV (up 7% on strong performance from Hongkong Land, Dairy Farm, and Jardine Cycle & Carriage) and narrowing discount (in from 31% to 28% as the post-MSCI index inclusion buying continued). Although Pargesa’s discount remained wide, material share price increases at its holdings in Adidas, Imerys, and Lafarge boosted its NAV. Exor, the Agnelli-family controlled Italian holding company with investments that include Fiat, Ferrari, and Partners Re, saw its discount narrow markedly from 25% to 21%. Our investment in Digital Garage, a Japanese technology-focused holding company, also benefitted from a narrowing discount (18% in from 26%) which was more than enough to offset the impact of a decline in NAV resulting from share price weaknesses at its largest holding Kakaku.