Disclaimer

The website is directed only at Professional Clients in the UK. The website is issued by Asset Value Investors Limited (“AVI”), in respect of British Empire Trust plc (“British Empire”). AVI is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). British Empire is a public company listed and traded on the London Stock Exchange.

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The price of the Shares will be determined by supply and demand in the market as well as NAV per Share. The market price of the Shares is therefore likely to fluctuate and may represent either a premium or discount to NAV per Share.

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January

We made a number of changes to the portfolio during the month as new positions were initiated and 4 holdings were sold entirely. We exited fully from last year’s top performer, Kinnevik, as well as from Granite Real Estate, Henderson Land and JP Morgan Private Equity. In the Far East we bought Hyundai Motor Preference Shares and Hitachi, both on wide discounts.

We are always looking for measures that companies can take to improve shareholder returns and often try and engage with management accordingly. In the UK we bought a stake in WM Morrison. Recent weak operating performance has left the shares trading at relatively low multiples, as well as below the theoretical value of its real estate. Pressure is mounting on management to deliver returns for shareholders and a number of large value/activist investors have stakes in the company. Similarly, we recently invested into German industrial conglomerate, ThyssenKrupp. It too has made poor capital allocation decisions in recent years with value destructive capital investments in their North American steel business. They have the attraction of a high quality elevator business, but the challenge of loss making steel business. They too are coming under pressure from activists.

Amongst our investments in listed private equity funds, we continue to use our clout on the shareholder register to engage with management in a constructive manner. Following the sale of the last tranche of the Lehman Estate’s holding in Neuberger Berman Private Equity Partners (NBPE), we met with the manager for an update. AVI is now the largest shareholder in NBPE with an 11% stake which accounts for 2.5% of our funds’ NAV. In line with our thesis, the discount has narrowed sharply following the removal of the perceived Lehman Estate overhang and currently stands at 19%, in from the 28% level where we last acquired shares at the end of 2013. The company’s transition from a fund of funds to a direct investor in private equity continues, with 55% of NAV now in direct investments. As the portfolio shift continues and is more widely recognised by the market, we expect its discount to contract further towards the single-digit average at which direct investing peers trade.

British Empire Securities and General Trust p.l.c is referred to as ‘British Empire’ throughout the website. British Empire’s investment managers, Asset Value Investors are referred to as ‘AVI’

British Empire currently conducts its affairs so that its shares can be recommended by Independent Financial Advisers (“IFAs”) in the UK to ordinary retail investors in accordance with the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) rules in relation to non-mainstream investment products and intends to continue to do so. The shares are excluded from the FCA’s restrictions which apply to non-mainstream investment products because they are shares in an authorised investment trust. © British Empire Trust plc. 2014 Registered in England No: 00028203. An investment company under Section 833 of the Companies Act 2006. Registered Office: Beaufort House, 51 New North Road, Exeter, EX4 4EP. Managed by Asset Value Investors Ltd. which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future performance. The price of investments and the income may fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the full amount invested. British Empire uses gearing techniques (leverage) which will exaggerate market movements both down and up which could mean sudden and large falls in market value. Please refer to the Key Features Document for further details of the risks affecting your investment. Performance figures are cumulative and based on Price total return and do not include Plan charges. For more information, please call 03458 500181. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. Asset Value Investors Ltd do not offer Innovative Finance ISAs.