European holding companies were the strongest performers during the month, with Investor, Wendel and Sofina the largest contributors as their share prices increased by 8%, 10% and 5% respectively. All experienced sharp discount contractions too, and the weighted average discount on the portfolio also narrowed from 26% to 25%.
The one area of the portfolio that hurt us during the month was companies with mining and resource exposure. Thus Dundee Corp, Blackrock World Mining Trust and Teck Resources fell by 12.4%, 14.5% and 22.2% respectively over the month – in aggregate detracting 0.75% from performance.
Cash has been further reduced during the month and at month end we were slightly geared having added to a number of existing European holding companies and property companies.
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’