Portfolio & Performance

ISINGB0005800072
SEDOL0580007

Share Price is the price of a single ordinary share, as determined by the stock market. The share price above is the mid-market price at market close.
Share Price
393.0p


Net Asset Value (NAV) per Share is calculated as available shareholders’ funds divided by the number of shares in issue, with shareholders’ funds taken to be the net value of all the company’s assets after deducting liabilities. The NAV figure above is based on the fair/market value of the company’s long-term debt and preference shares (known as debt at market value). This allows for the valuation of long-term debt and preference shares at fair value or current market price, rather than at final repayment value (known as debt at par).
NAV per Share
359.5p


Premium/Discount. Since investment company shares are traded on a stock market, the share price that you get may be higher or lower than the NAV. The difference is known as a premium or discount.
Premium/-Discount
9.3%


Dividend Yield is calculated using the latest full year dividend divided by the current share price.
Dividend Yield
6.8%

Data source DataStream and Allianz Global Investors as at 08.04.2020 based on market close mid price.

Awards & Ratings

X
RSMR Rating: The Merchants Trust has been awarded RSMR’s ‘R’ rating, widely recognised as a mark of quality for funds, ranges and investment trusts that receive this seal of approval. The RSMR research process results in a list of investment trusts which are the trusts that RSMR feel have a robust, repeatable process and the ability to deliver strong performance in the future.
The RSMR rating is designed for use by professional advisers and intermediaries as part of their advice process. This rating is not a recommendation to buy. If you need further information or are in doubt then you should consult a professional adviser.

Portfolio

The data shown is not constant over time and the allocation may change in the future. Totals may not sum to 100.0% due to rounding. All data source Allianz Global Investors unless otherwise stated.

Top 10 Holdings (%)

GlaxoSmithKline
5.2
Royal Dutch Shell - B Shares
5.1
BAE Systems
4.3
Imperial Brands
3.8
British American Tobacco
3.8
Barclays
3.7
Scottish & Southern Energy
3.4
Land Securities
3.1
Legal & General
3.0
St James's Place
2.9

Data as of 29.02.2020

Geographic Breakdown (%)

UK 99.1
Cash 0.9

Data as of 29.02.2020

Sector Breakdown (%)

Financials
25.0
Industrials
20.9
Consumer Goods
16.3
Consumer Services
11.6
Utilities
8.7
Oil & Gas
7.4
Health Care
5.3
Basic Materials
3.9
Cash
0.9

Data as of 29.02.2020

Market Cap Breakdown (%)

FTSE 100 63.9
FTSE 250 25.5
Small Cap 9.8
Cash 0.9

Data as of 29.02.2020

Fund Manager Comments

February was a busy month for corporate reporting. Although some companies reported difficult trading conditions, affected by supply chain disruptions from the coronavirus Covid-19 in Asia, the stock market was steady for the first three weeks. However, markets then fell sharply in the last week, as Italy reported numerous cases of the disease and investors feared that it would become impossible to contain. Over the month the UK stock market fell by nearly 9%, in total return terms. Concern that economic growth would be impacted, led to bond yields falling sharply, with the 10 year gilt yield around 0.44% at the month end.

The worst performing sectors of the market included travel & leisure, as airlines, cruise companies and hotels were impacted by fears over travel. The commodity sectors, oil & gas and mining, were also very weak as commodity prices pulled back. The strongest performing sectors included utilities and healthcare equipment and services, which are more defensive areas.

The portfolio underperformed the market in February after very strong performance in the preceding months. The Trust’s NAV fell by 13.1% in February, ending the month behind the -8.9% return of the market. The biggest detractors from performance included Imperial Brands and WPP which both had disappointing trading statements, whilst Keller underperformed despite little news, and HSBC (not owned) outperformed the falling market. On the positive side, utilities SSE and Pennon performed well, IG Group benefitted from increased market volatility and BAE Systems reported strong results.

There were no significant changes to the investment portfolio structure in February. However, we took advantage of share price movements to add to companies that had underperformed and offered better value, such as Royal Dutch Shell, Landsec, National Express and Imperial Brands. This was funded largely by profit taking in shares that had performed well and were closer to fair value, such as Pennon, GSK and Sirius Real Estate.

With the sharp pull back in the market, many companies’ shares are now offering very good value again. Clearly, there is an increased risk of economic disruption from Covid-19, and trying to ascribe a probability to different scenarios is fraught with difficulty. With that in mind, we continue to hold a diversified portfolio of companies with diverse end markets, geographic exposures and economic sensitivities. Some of these are more vulnerable to economic shocks than others, which are relatively defensive. But we are confident that these businesses offer good value, and on a medium to long term view, they should provide income, dividend growth and total returns commensurate with Merchants’ objectives.

Simon Gergel11 March 2020

we continue to hold a diversified portfolio of companies with diverse end markets, geographic exposures and economic sensitivities

This is no recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any particular security.

Performance

Performance (%)

Select period:

    Cumulative Returns (%)

    3M6M1Y3Y5Y
    Share Price-6.84.84.317.528.1
    NAV (debt at fair value)-8.72.60.79.218.3
    Benchmark-8.9-5.5-1.44.718.6

    Source: Thomson Reuters DataStream, percentage growth, mid to mid, total return to 29.02.2020.1

    Discrete 12 Month Returns to 28 February (%)

    2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
    Share Price4.36.75.523.1-11.4
    NAV (debt at fair value)0.71.76.619.3-9.2
    Benchmark-1.41.74.424.2-8.7

    Source: Thomson Reuters DataStream, percentage growth, mid to mid, total return as at 29.02.2020.1

    1Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. You should not make any assumptions on the future on the basis of performance information. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of market fluctuations and you may not get back the amount originally invested.This investment trust charges 65% of its annual management fee to the capital account and 35% to revenue. This could lead to a higher level of income but capital growth will be constrained as a result.

    Copyright 2020 © DataStream, a Thomson Reuters company. All rights reserved. DataStream shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

    © Allianz Global Investors GmbH 2020, Registered Office: Frankfurt am Main, Register: HRB 9340, Local court: Frankfurt am Main. All Rights Reserved. The Merchants Trust PLC is incorporated in England and Wales. (Company registration no. 28276). Registered Office: 199 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3TY. The Company is a member of the Association of Investment Companies - Category: UK Equity Income.