All information is at 31 August 2019 and unaudited.

Performance at month end with net income reinvested

Five years
Net asset value -1.3% 8.8% 13.4% 6.1% 38.2% 92.4%
Share price -1.7% 11.4% 16.1% 12.7% 54.8% 116.7%
Russell 1000 Value Index -2.4% 8.6% 11.7% 7.4% 35.8% 87.7%

Source: BlackRock

At month end
Net asset value – capital only:   183.61p
Net asset value – cum income:                                 184.73p
Share price:                                                  194.00p
Premium to cum income NAV:  5.0%
Net yield¹:                                                      4.1%
Total assets including current year revenue:                  £141.7m
Gearing:                                                          Nil
Options overwrite:                              16.3%
Ordinary shares in issue²: 76,724,044
Ongoing charges³: 1.1%

¹ In line with the dividend policy announced in the Annual Report on 17 December 2018 of dividends amounting to 8.00p per share for the year ending 31 October 2019 and based on the share price as at close of business on 31 August 2019.

² Excluding 23,637,261 ordinary shares held in treasury.

³ Ongoing charges represent the management fee and all other operating expenses excluding interest as a % of average shareholders’ funds for the year ended 31 October 2018.

Benchmark Sector Analysis Total Assets (%)
Financials 24.6
Health Care 17.2
Information Technology 9.1
Energy 9.0
Consumer Staples 7.7
Industrials 7.5
Communication Services 6.3
Consumer Discretionary 6.2
Utilities 2.7
Materials 2.4
Net current assets 7.3


Country Analysis Total Assets (%)
United States 71.1
United Kingdom 6.2
Netherlands 3.5
Ireland 3.1
Germany 2.7
Switzerland 2.3
Japan 1.6
Canada 0.8
France 0.6
Denmark 0.5
Norway 0.3
Net current assets 7.3


Ten Largest Investments
Company Country of Risk Total Assets (%)
Verizon Communications USA 4.2
JPMorgan Chase USA 3.6
Wells Fargo USA 3.4
Citigroup USA 3.1
Bank of America USA 2.6
Medtronic Ireland 2.6
Williams Companies USA 2.5
BP Group United Kingdom 2.1
American International Group USA 2.0
Koninklijke Philips Netherlands 2.0

Tony DeSpirito, Franco Tapia and David Zhao, representing the Investment Manager, noted:

For the one-month period ended 31 August 2019, the Company’s NAV decreased by 1.3% and the share price by 1.7% (all in sterling with dividends reinvested). The Company’s benchmark, the Russell 1000 Value Index, returned -2.4% for the period.

The largest contributor to relative performance was stock selection in the health care sector. Notably, selection decisions in the pharmaceuticals industry proved beneficial. Stock selection and an overweight to health care equipment & supplies also boosted relative performance in the sector. In consumer discretionary, a combination of stock selection and an overweight to multiline retail and household durables added to relative return. Other notable contributors included the portfolio's cash position, which averaged 9.1% during the month, and stock selection in the information technology sector.

The largest detractor from relative performance was our underweight allocation to real estate. The portfolio continues to maintain 0% allocation to the sector due to our view that valuations are unattractive. In utilities, an underweight to the multi-utilities and electric utilities industries weighed on relative performance. Other notable detractors included stock selection in financials and an underweight to the household products industry.

The portfolio’s option overwriting strategy contributed modestly to performance in August.


Transactions: In August, the portfolio initiated new positions in Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Cisco Systems, NXP Semiconductors, Equinor ASA and Henkel AG & Co. Conversely, we exited our existing positions in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited, Novartis AG, Diageo plc and Suncor Energy.

Options:  As of 31 August 2019, the Company’s options exposure was 16.3% and the delta of the options was 84.5. 


As of the period end, the Company’s largest overweight positions relative to the benchmark were in the health care, information technology and financials sectors. The Company’s largest underweight positions relative to the benchmark were in the real estate, utilities, and communication services sectors.

Source: BlackRock. Data as of 31 August 2019.

18 September 2019

Latest information is available by typing on the internet, "BLRKINDEX" on Reuters, "BLRK" on Bloomberg or "8800" on Topic 3 (ICV terminal).  Neither the contents of the Manager’s website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Manager’s website (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

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