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.
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’