Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust plc sees NAV drop by 0.7%
The Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust plc, a company managed by abrdn, has seen its Net Asset Value (NAV) total return drop by 0.7% in the six months ended 31 October 2021.
This is compared to a rise of 43.4% in the year ended 30 April 2021.
The company’s share price total return also dropped by 2.5% compared to a rise of 48.3% in April 2021. The benchmark total return dropped by 4.7%, while it rose by 35.7% in the year ended 30 April 2021.
The board has declared an unchanged interim dividend for the year of 1.0p per Ordinary share, which will be paid on 11 February 2022 to shareholders on the register on 7 January 2022 (the relevant ex-dividend date being 6 January 2022).
As in previous years, future dividends will depend on the level of income from the portfolio and the Board will decide on the level of the final dividend at the time of reviewing the outcome for the financial year.
Donald Workman, chairman, Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust, said: “The six month period to 31 October 2021 was difficult for Asia as markets lost momentum in the face of several challenges. Chief among these were the fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 that prompted governments to return to lockdown-like conditions that threatened the economic recovery. Concerns over rising inflation and fears about regulatory tightening in China added to the downbeat mood.
“Unsurprisingly, share prices faltered, with the benchmark MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan Index falling by 4.7% in total return terms.
“Although it is disappointing to report negative returns, the relative outperformance of the benchmark reflects the Investment Manager’s preference for high-quality companies with solid fundamentals, which enables them to stay resilient in tougher times. This is reflected in the Company’s longer term performance record where it has outperformed the benchmark over one, three and five years.”
Commenting on the outlook, he added: “Just as the world seemed to be turning a corner on the pandemic, the discovery of the new Omicron variant underscores the fragility of the situation. The news has impacted financial markets, while many countries are already re-imposing restrictions.
“Whilst the situation is worrying, vaccination rates today are far higher than when the Delta variant surfaced, which should help keep severe case counts low. Moreover, in Asia, most governments are evolving their strategies and are starting to treat Covid-19 as just another endemic disease. This should support a further easing of curbs and the cautious resumption of cross-border travel, which will strengthen the economic recovery and boost corporate earnings.
“China’s changing regulatory landscape will likely be an overhang for markets there for some time. However, the government will be sensitive to the need to support the economy, given signs that growth may be moderating. Meanwhile, the country’s ongoing tensions with the US will further drive its push towards self-sufficiency, especially in high-tech areas, such as semiconductors, indicating that investing in China still presents tremendous opportunities. Segments that are closely aligned to key policy goals, which include domestic consumption, green technology and healthcare, should be well-positioned for long-term growth, despite the near-term uncertainties.”
Mr Workman concluded: “More broadly, the long-term appeal of Asia’s investment landscape is undimmed. Dynamic and increasingly affluent populations can be expected to drive demand for a range of products, services and infrastructure. The region is now home to innovative businesses at the forefront of emergent trends, including cloud computing, fintech, electric vehicles, block chain and more advanced virtual reality technologies.
“Investing in quality companies remains a sound way to access these exciting opportunities. In this regard, the Investment Manager’s patient and disciplined approach, focusing on businesses with market-leading positions and clear competitive advantages, remains appropriate. The sound fundamentals of these businesses, combined with solid financials, should give them resilience against the immediate challenges and enable them to thrive in the long run.”