Fund manager August commentary – Henderson EuroTrust
August saw another moderately positive month for global equities. The period was characterised by the continued outperformance of cyclical companies as investors tried to look beyond the short-term economic impact of Covid-19. We have tended to run an underweight exposure to cyclicality, and although this held us back during August, we still managed to marginally outperform the market in NAV terms.
Our key positions that outperformed during August were Telecom Italia, Embracer and Vestas. Telecom Italia finally seems to be seeing substantive progress in its attempt to merge its fibre business the other domestic player, OpenFibre. Embracer, the Swedish gaming company, reported very strong quarterly numbers during August highlighting a continued buoyant environment for gaming revenue growth driven by a number of successful product launches. Vestas is witnessing consistently strong demand-side conditions as global renewable capacity continues to grow.
Our biggest detractors during the month included Grifols, Delivery Hero and Zur Rose. Grifols is suffering from the combination of collection delays and potentially heightened future competitive pressure. Delivery Hero and Zur Rose simply lost ground after a very strong run over recent months.
We sold our positions in Rubis and Getlink during August; we did this to reallocate capital towards ideas where we see larger potential upside. Our most notable purchases were to increase our exposure to Telecom Italia, where we see a fibre merger as likely, Vivendi, which we see as undervalued ahead of a potential UMG IPO, and AMS, the Swiss semi-conductor company.
We are confident in our positioning and will continue to retain balance in our exposures by considering two types of business for investment; those where we see potential high and sustainable returns that are undervalued by the market and those companies where we can see a material improvement in medium term business prospects.
Cyclical: Companies that sell discretionary consumer items, such as cars, or industries highly sensitive to changes in the economy, such as miners. The prices of equities and bonds issued by cyclical companies tend to be strongly affected by ups and downs in the overall economy, when compared to non-cyclical companies.
Net Asset Value (NAV): The total value of a fund’s assets less its liabilities.
Please read the following important information regarding funds related to this article.
- If a Company's portfolio is concentrated towards a particular country or geographical region, the investment carries greater risk than a portfolio that is diversified across more countries.
- The Company may have a particularly concentrated portfolio (low number of holdings) relative to its investment universe - an adverse event impacting only a small number of holdings can create significant volatility or losses for the Company.
- Where the Company invests in assets that are denominated in currencies other than the base currency, the currency exchange rate movements may cause the value of investments to fall as well as rise.
- This Company is suitable to be used as one component of several within a diversified investment portfolio. Investors should consider carefully the proportion of their portfolio invested in this Company.
- Active management techniques that have worked well in normal market conditions could prove ineffective or negative for performance at other times.
- The Company could lose money if a counterparty with which it trades becomes unwilling or unable to meet its obligations to the Company.
- Shares can lose value rapidly, and typically involve higher risks than bonds or money market instruments. The value of your investment may fall as a result.
- The return on your investment is directly related to the prevailing market price of the Company's shares, which will trade at a varying discount (or premium) relative to the value of the underlying assets of the Company. As a result, losses (or gains) may be higher or lower than those of the Company's assets.
- The Company may use gearing (borrowing to invest) as part of its investment strategy. If the Company utilises its ability to gear, the profits and losses incurred by the Company can be greater than those of a Company that does not use gearing.