Developed markets were up over the month, led by the US. Our MSCI AC World ex-US benchmark recorded a 0.49% gain against 1.8% for the MSCI AC World index (which includes the US). British Empire’s NAV fell 0.21% on the back of further Euro weakness (down 1.5% vs Sterling), and continued outperformance of “Growth” vs “Value” stocks.
Jardine Matheson was our largest detractor as its NAV fell with the wider Asian market, exacerbated by a widening discount. The position in BlackRock World Mining was once again painful, and we added to the holding at lower levels as it fell over the month. Weak sentiment towards commodity-related exposure was also responsible for declines in Dundee Corporation, a Canadian holding company with exposure to gold (through listed Dundee Precious Metals) and oil (via private holding United Hydrocarbon).
The stand-out performer was Symphony International, up 11% in November. Despite Thai-listed Minor International accounting for over half of Symphony’s NAV, there is a near-zero correlation between daily moves in the two companies’ share prices. We once again took advantage of the resulting high volatility in Symphony’s discount to add to our position at the low levels seen at the start of the month.
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’