May saw BTEM’s NAV increase by +1.8% despite the headwind of a widening portfolio discount (out 101bps to 29.3%), with local currency losses more than offset by gains from Sterling’s weakness against most currencies (in particular, the US Dollar and the Yen).
The most significant contribution came again from Aker, followed by Pershing Square Holdings, Symphony International, and the newest addition to the portfolio, Oakley Capital Investments. Wendel and Cosan were the largest detractors.
While the WTI oil price benchmark drifted back over May (-2%), the increase in Brent is more relevant for Aker and its +3% move to $78 per barrel by month-end helped push Aker’s shares higher. While the commodity price boosted Aker’s largest holding (Aker BP, up +13%), the latter’s Q1 results also proved supportive with capex coming in below forecasts and management reaffirming guidance for the year. In contrast to last month, Aker’s share price growth overshot that of its NAV and we took advantage of the tightening discount to sell a small part of our position. Aker ended the month on a 22% discount to NAV.
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’