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Aberdeen New Thai IT (ANW)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Wednesday 11 October, 2017

Aberdeen New Thai IT

Half-yearly Financial Report

RNS Number : 3507T
Aberdeen New Thai Inv Trust PLC
11 October 2017
 

ABERDEEN NEW THAI INVESTMENT TRUST PLC

Legal Entity Identifier (LEI):  213800LUTHTZ8LS5UK85

 

 

HALF-YEARLY FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 AUGUST 2017

 

The following is the unaudited Interim Board Report for the six months ended 31 August 2017.

 

Performance (capital return plus dividends reinvested)

Six months ended 31 August 2017

Year ended 28 February 2017

Ordinary share price total return

6.1%

27.8%

Net asset value total return

7.8%

26.5%

Stock Exchange of Thailand ("SET") Index (Sterling adjusted, total return)

7.9%

36.5%

 

Source: Aberdeen Asset Management PLC/Morningstar



 

 


31 August 2017

28 February 2017

% change

Total assets (£'000)

117,114

113,862

+2.9

Equity shareholders' funds (net assets) (£'000)

114,464

111,212

+2.9

Ordinary share price (mid-market)

530.50p

510.00p

+4.0

Net asset value per Ordinary share {A}

636.09p

600.22p

+6.0

Discount to net asset value {A}

16.6%

15.0%


Ongoing charges ratio {B}

1.37%

1.39%


Stock Exchange of Thailand ("SET") Index (Sterling-adjusted)

37.77

35.90

+5.2

Net gearing

0.92%

1.68%






{A}         Calculated including undistributed net revenue for the period.

{B}         Ongoing charges ratio calculated in accordance with guidance issued by the AIC as the total of the investment management fee and administrative expenses (annualised) divided by the average cum income net asset value throughout the year. The ratio for 31 August 2017 is based on forecast ongoing charges for the year ending 28 February 2018.

 

 

Investment Objective

The investment objective of the Company is to provide shareholders with a high level of long-term, above average capital growth through investment in Thailand.

 

Performance

Thai equities rose during the period under review on the back of a late rally. The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index ("SET Index" or the "Benchmark") was up by 7.9% on a Sterling-adjusted, total return basis. Your Company's net asset value improved by 7.8%, largely in line with its Benchmark. Meanwhile, the Ordinary shares reached 530.5p, representing a return of 6.1% (all figures total return), as the discount widened marginally on subdued activity during the mourning period for the late King Bhumibol.

 

Investment Process

Longer term shareholders will know that our Manager's investment process, which has served us well over the years, is designed to ensure that investments are made in companies with solid balance sheets, healthy revenue accounts with strong cash flows, and where management have experience of business cycles and treat their shareholders fairly. The portfolio is structured with our holdings either in market leaders in their respective industries or well managed small cap companies. We remain confident that the portfolio remains positioned for the longer term with an eye to any political risk.

 

Overview

Thai equities were relatively range-bound for much of the period, with investors content to maintain their positions amid a paucity of domestic catalysts. However, a late bout of positivity sparked a rally that accounted for the bulk of the gains. Meanwhile, the Baht's steady appreciation against the pound increased Sterling-denominated returns.

 

It was largely business as usual in Thailand. The economy maintained a steady course, with the recovery backed by tourism, government spending and a double-digit jump in exports driven by marked improvements in global demand. Private investment struggled to look lively by comparison, while domestic consumption remained weak, constrained by persistently high household debt. The central bank tightened controls on credit cards and personal loans, including capping interest charges and imposing salary-based lending limits. However, because individuals could still hold multiple credit cards, the impact of the restrictions was not material.

 

More broadly, the economy grew by 3.7% year-on-year in the second quarter, its fastest pace in four years and well ahead of expectations. This helped revive enthusiasm for equities in August. Yingluck Shinawatra's no-show at the verdict in her criminal negligence trial also had an uplifting effect on markets. Her presumed flight from the country alleviated fears of violence and instability that might have followed a guilty verdict. Separately, the King signed the new constitution, effectively clearing the way for future democratic elections.

 

On the external front, political uncertainty in the West helped heighten the allure of emerging markets such as Thailand, as did the waning US dollar. The US currency fell against most developed and many developing currencies, amid growing frustration at Trump's lack of follow-through on much-touted reforms. Meanwhile, global investors were briefly rattled by the US and North Korea's nuclear brinkmanship later in the period.

 

Portfolio

The Company's performance largely kept pace with the market over the reporting period. Not holding Group Lease was the top contributor to relative performance after its share price collapsed in March. The motorcycle loan provider, which is not widely held by institutional investors, came under pressure when an audit report was unable to verify its rapid growth outside Thailand.

 

Retail property developer Central Pattana proved resilient on the back of relatively decent second-quarter results, which pointed to good growth in rental income. Its shares drew further support when its property fund was approved for conversion into a Real Estate Investment Trust. Meanwhile, the portfolio benefited from holding Big C Supercenter (Big C), which gained following Berli Jucker's tender offer for all of the retailer's outstanding shares, which your Manager accepted (Big C was delisted at the end of September 2017).

 

In the banking sector, Kasikornbank was buoyed by broadly positive investor sentiment, despite persistent pressure from high levels of provisions in the second quarter. Tisco Financial's share price maintained the positive momentum sparked by its acquisition and subsequent integration of Standard Chartered Bank Thailand's retail portfolio, which is due to complete in October.

 

Elsewhere, Advanced Info Service (AIS) rallied on the back of easing competitive pressures in the telco industry, with most players dialling back on aggressive promotions. AIS performed well in the second quarter, with revenues exceeding its target. Meanwhile, despite sluggish cement demand domestically, Siam City Cement benefited from its exposure to higher growth frontier markets, having recently acquired capacity in Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Investors were encouraged by Bumrungrad Hospital's resilient revenues and good cost control, which helped drive its share price sharply higher in August.

 

Conversely, not holding Airports of Thailand was the biggest detractor from relative returns, as the airport operator benefited from the impressive growth in tourist arrivals. Your Manager does not own the stock due to governance concerns. Energy Absolute, another non-holding, also weighed on performance; its share price rose on the back of plans to expand into energy storage.

 

Holding Dynasty Ceramic proved costly given the tough operating environment, with lacklustre consumption hurting tile sales. Your Manager remains confident in the low-cost producer and is encouraged by its strategy to expand capacity through consolidation. Thai Reinsurance also came under pressure from domestic sluggishness, which dampened underwriting profits. However, it is well positioned for long-term growth. Elsewhere, Banpu's share price softened, despite a supportive coal price. This detracted from the portfolio's relative returns due to the sizeable overweight position. Your Manager took the opportunity to increase its holding of Banpu on share price weakness, given the lack of negative catalysts and still decent outlook.

 

Your Manager also added to Land & Houses after money-laundering allegations levelled against the Chairman sparked a short-term sell-off. Against this, your Manager took profits in BEC World and Hana Microelectronics on share price strength.

 

Outlook

As an investment destination, Thailand has plenty to recommend it. The global economy is looking hardier than it has for some time, which bodes well for the kingdom's buoyant export sector. Tourism appears to have settled into a sustainable growth phase, while the government looks set to maintain its investment momentum. Furthermore, with subsidies and decent weather boosting rural incomes and the year-long mourning period due to end in October, domestic demand might finally be due a recovery.

 

That said, it seems unlikely that the pace and trajectory of the recent rally will continue unchecked. While the Baht's resilience could deter some offshore investors, company valuations appear high by historic standards, but are modest when viewed from a regional standpoint. Business confidence remains subdued, with few apparently willing to take any chances with capital expenditure in the current climate. Any significant share price re-ratings from here will likely demand firmer evidence of a measurable improvement in company fundamentals and earnings growth.

 

This makes your Manager's meticulous and disciplined investment approach particularly crucial, helping it to uncover high-quality, attractively-valued companies. Over the longer-term, Thailand's prospects remain very encouraging, due in no small part to its favourable position in the heart of the populous, yet under-penetrated region including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

 

Share Buybacks

The Board continues to monitor the share price discount to NAV and will continue to pursue a policy of selective buybacks of shares where to do so would be in the best interests of shareholders.

 

During the six months ended 31 August 2017 the Company bought back and cancelled 533,600 Ordinary shares (2016 - 326,300). As at 31 August 2017, the Company's issued share capital consisted of 17,995,032 Ordinary shares with voting rights. Between 1 September 2017 and the date of approval of this Report, the Company bought back for cancellation a further 201,042 Ordinary shares leaving 17,793,990 shares with voting rights in issue.

 

Principal Risks and Uncertainties

Management of Risk

Investment in Thai equities involves a greater degree of risk than that usually associated with investment in major securities markets. The securities which the Company owns may be considered speculative because of the higher degree of risk.

 

The principal risks and uncertainties associated with the Company are set out in detail on pages 9 to 11 of the Annual Report for the year ended 28 February 2017, which is published on the Company's website, and which are applicable for the remaining six months of the Company's financial year ended 28 February 2018 as they have been for the period under review.

 

Transactions with Manager

Hugh Young, a director of Aberdeen Asset Management Asia Limited, the Company's Investment Manager, was a Director of the Company until 27 June 2017.

 

Going Concern

The Directors have undertaken a rigorous review and consider both that there are no material uncertainties and that the adoption of the going concern basis of accounting is appropriate. The Company's assets consist entirely of equity shares in companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand which are, in most circumstances, realisable within a short timescale.

 

The Board has set limits for borrowing and regularly reviews the level of any gearing, cash flow projections and compliance with banking covenants. On 28 October 2015, the Company entered into a three-year multi-currency revolving loan facility ("the Facility") with Scotiabank (Ireland) Limited for £10.0m of which £2.65m had been drawn down as at 31 August 2017.

 

The Directors are mindful of the principal risks and uncertainties disclosed on pages 9 to 11 and in Note 15 to the financial statements of the Annual Report for the year ended 28 February 2017.

 

The Company will enter negotiations with its bankers in advance of renewal in October 2018. If acceptable terms are available from the existing bankers, or any alternative, the Company would expect to continue to access the Facility. However, should these terms not be forthcoming, any outstanding borrowing will be repaid through the proceeds of equity sales.

 

After making enquiries, including a review of forecasts detailing revenue and liabilities, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company possesses adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, they continue to adopt the going concern basis of accounting in preparing the financial statements.

 

 

 

Aberdeen

The merger on 14 August 2017 between Aberdeen Asset Management PLC and Standard Life plc has resulted in a new investment division banner of Aberdeen Standard Investments. Both companies have set up a highly experienced and dedicated integration team, to ensure that our Manager remains focussed on the best interests of the Company and its shareholders.  The Board will monitor developments closely and ensure that excellent client service is maintained.

 

Duration

The Company does not have a fixed life. However, under the Articles of Association, if in the 12 weeks preceding the Company's financial year end (28 February) the Ordinary shares have been trading, on average, at a discount in excess of 15% to the underlying NAV (calculated including undistributed net revenue) over the same period, notice will be given of a special resolution to be proposed at the following Annual General Meeting that the Company be put into voluntary liquidation. 

 

Statement of Directors' Responsibilities

The Directors are responsible for preparing the Half-Yearly Financial Report in accordance with applicable law and regulations. The Directors confirm that to the best of their knowledge:

 

-     the condensed set of Financial Statements has been prepared in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 104 (Interim Financial Reporting);

-     the Half-Yearly Board Report includes a fair review of the information required by rule 4.2.7R of the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules (being an indication of important events that have occurred during the first six months of the financial year and their impact on the condensed set of Financial Statements and a description of the principal risks and uncertainties for the remaining six months of the financial year); and

-     the Half-Yearly Board Report includes a fair review of the information required by 4.2.8R of the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules (being related party transactions that have taken place during the first six months of the financial year and that have materially affected the financial position of the Company during that period; and any changes in the related party transactions described in the last Annual Report that could do so).

 

The Half-Yearly Financial Report for the six months ended 31 August 2017 comprises the Half-Yearly Board Report, the Directors' Responsibility Statement and a condensed set of Financial Statements.

 

Nicholas Smith

Chairman

 

11 October 2017



CONDENSED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (UNAUDITED)

 



Six months ended



31 August 2017



Revenue

Capital

Total


Notes

£'000

£'000

£'000

Gains on investments


-

6,043

6,043






Income

2

2,999

-

2,999

Management fee


(563)

-

(563)

Administrative expenses


(218)

-

(218)

Currency losses


-

(50)

(50)


_________

_________

_________

Net return on ordinary activities before finance costs and taxation

2,218

5,993

8,211






Interest payable and similar charges


(29)

-

(29)



_________

_________

_________

Net return on ordinary activities before taxation


2,189

5,993

8,182






Taxation

3

(280)

-

(280)



_________

_________

_________

Return on ordinary activities after taxation


1,909

5,993

7,902



_________

_________

_________

Return per Ordinary share (pence)

4

10.45

32.81

43.26



_________

_________

_________






The total column of this statement represents the profit and loss account of the Company.

All revenue and capital items are derived from continuing operations.

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements.

 

 



CONDENSED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (UNAUDITED)

 



Six months ended



31 August 2016



Revenue

Capital

Total


Notes

£'000

£'000

£'000

Gains on investments


-

16,034

16,034






Income

2

2,878

-

2,878

Management fee


(507)

-

(507)

Administrative expenses


(220)

-

(220)

Currency losses


-

(42)

(42)


_________

_________

_________

Net return on ordinary activities before finance costs and taxation

2,151

15,992

18,143






Interest payable and similar charges


(32)

-

(32)



_________

_________

_________

Net return on ordinary activities before taxation


2,119

15,992

18,111






Taxation

3

(268)

-

(268)



_________

_________

_________

Return on ordinary activities after taxation


1,851

15,992

17,843



_________

_________

_________

Return per Ordinary share (pence)

4

9.36

80.91

90.27



_________

_________

_________

 

 



CONDENSED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION (UNAUDITED)

 



As at

As at



31 August
2017

28 February
2017


Notes

£'000

£'000

Non-current assets




Investments at fair value through profit or loss


115,705

113,164



_________

_________

Current assets




Debtors and prepayments


309

457

Money market funds

6

1,501

201

Cash at bank and in hand


96

578



_________

_________



1,906

1,236



_________

_________

Creditors: amounts falling due within one year




Bank loans


(2,650)

(2,650)

Other creditors


(497)

(538)



_________

_________



(3,147)

(3,188)



_________

_________

Net current liabilities


(1,241)

(1,952)



_________

_________

Net assets


114,464

111,212



_________

_________

Share capital and reserves




Called-up share capital

8

4,499

4,632

Share premium account


19,391

19,391

Capital redemption reserve


1,036

903

Capital reserve

9

85,479

82,260

Revenue reserve


4,059

4,026



_________

_________

Equity shareholders' funds


114,464

111,212



_________

_________

Net asset value per Ordinary share (pence)

10

636.09

600.22



_________

_________

 

 



CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY (UNAUDITED)

 

Six months ended 31 August 2017









Share

Capital





Share

premium

redemption

Capital

Revenue



capital

account

reserve

reserve

reserve

Total


£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Balance at 28 February 2017

4,632

19,391

903

82,260

4,026

111,212

Purchase of own shares for cancellation

(133)

-

133

(2,774)

-

(2,774)

Return on ordinary activities after taxation

-

-

-

5,993

1,909

7,902

Dividend paid (see note 5)

-

-

-

-

(1,876)

(1,876)


_____

______

______

______

______

______

Balance at 31 August 2017

4,499

19,391

1,036

85,479

4,059

114,464


_____

______

______

______

______

______








Six months ended 31 August 2016









Share

Capital





Share

premium

redemption

Capital

Revenue



capital

account

reserve

reserve

reserve

Total


£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Balance at 28 February 2016

4,965

19,391

570

67,304

3,702

95,932

Purchase of own shares for cancellation

(82)

-

82

(1,466)

-

(1,466)

Return on ordinary activities after taxation

-

-

-

15,992

1,851

17,843

Dividend paid (see note 5)

-

-

-

-

(1,679)

(1,679)


_____

______

______

______

______

______

Balance at 31 August 2016

4,883

19,391

652

81,830

3,874

110,630


_____

______

______

______

______

______

 

 



CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CASHFLOWS (UNAUDITED)

 


Six months
ended

Six months
ended


31 August
2017

31 August
2016


£'000

£'000

Operating activities



Net return on ordinary activities before finance costs and taxation

8,211

18,143

Adjustment for:



Gains on investments

(6,043)

(16,034)

Currency losses

50

42

Increase in accrued dividend income

(113)

(187)

Decrease in other debtors

-

14

Decrease in other creditors

(94)

(69)

Stock dividends included in investment income

(50)

-

Overseas withholding tax

(269)

(250)


_________

_________

Net cash flow from operating activities

1,692

1,659




Investing activities



Purchases of investments

(1,933)

(3,595)

Sales of investments

5,501

5,810


_________

_________

Net cash from investing activities

3,568

2,215




Financing activities



Interest paid

(22)

(32)

Equity dividends paid

(1,876)

(1,679)

Buyback of Ordinary shares

(2,494)

(1,347)


_________

_________

Net cash used in financing activities

(4,392)

(3,058)


_________

_________

Increase in cash

868

816


_________

_________

Analysis of changes in cash during the period



Opening balance

779

433

Effect of exchange rate fluctuations on cash held

(50)

(42)

Increase in cash and cash equivalents as above

868

816


_________

_________

Closing balances

1,597

1,207


_________

_________

 

 



NOTES TO THE ACCOUNTS:

 

1.

Accounting policies


Basis of preparation


The condensed financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 104 (Interim Financial Reporting) and with the Statement of Recommended Practice for 'Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts'. They have also been prepared on a going concern basis and on the assumption that approval as an investment trust will continue to be granted.




The interim financial statements have been prepared using the same accounting policies as the preceding annual financial statements.

 



Six months ended

Six months ended



31 August 2017

31 August 2016

2.

Income

£'000

£'000


Income from investments




Overseas dividends

2,947

2,876


Stock dividends

50

-



_________

_________



2,997

2,876



_________

_________


Other income




Interest from money market funds

2

2



_________

_________


Total income

2,999

2,878



_________

_________

 

3.

Taxation


The taxation charge for the period represents withholding tax suffered on overseas dividend income.

 



Six months ended

Six months ended



31 August 2017

31 August 2016

4.

Return per Ordinary share

p

p


Revenue return

10.45

9.36


Capital return

32.81

80.91



_________

_________


Total return

43.26

90.27



_________

_________


The return per share is based on the following figures:









Six months ended

Six months ended



31 August 2017

31 August 2016



£'000

£'000


Revenue return

1,909

1,851


Capital return

5,993

15,992



_________

_________


Total return

7,902

17,843



_________

_________


Weighted average number of Ordinary shares in issue

18,264,554

19,766,601



_________

_________

 



Six months ended

Six months ended



31 August 2017

31 August 2016

5.

Dividends

£'000

£'000


2016 final dividend - 8.50p

-

1,679


2017 final dividend - 10.30p

1,876

-



_________

_________



1,876

1,679



_________

_________






In accordance with stated policy no interim dividend has been declared for the period (2016 - nil).

 

6.

Money market funds


At the period end the Company had £1,501,000 (28 February 2017 - £201,000) invested in a zero-fee share class of the Aberdeen Liquidity Fund (Lux) - Sterling Fund.

 

7.

Transaction costs


During the six months ended 31 August 2017 expenses were incurred in acquiring or disposing of investments classified as fair value through profit or loss. These have been expensed through capital and are included within gains on investments in the Condensed Statement of Comprehensive Income. The total costs were as follows:







Six months ended

Six months ended



31 August 2017

31 August 2016



£'000

£'000


Purchases

1

6


Sales

5

5



_________

_________



6

11



_________

_________

 

8.

Called-up share capital


During the six months ended 31 August 2017 the Company purchased 533,600 Ordinary shares for cancellation at a cost of £2,774,000. During the six months ended 31 August 2016 the Company purchased 326,300 Ordinary shares for cancellation at a cost of £1,466,000. Between 1 September 2017 and the date of approval of this Report, the Company bought back for cancellation 201,042 Ordinary shares at a cost of £1,062,000.

 

9.

Capital reserve


The capital reserve reflected in the Condensed Statement of Financial Position at 31 August 2017 includes gains of £54,018,000 (28 February 2017 - gains of £50,551,000) which relate to the revaluation of investments held at the reporting date.

 



As at

As at

10.

Net asset value per Ordinary share

31 August 2017

28 February 2017


Attributable net assets (£'000)

114,464

111,212


Number of Ordinary shares in issue

17,995,032

18,528,632


Net asset value per Ordinary share (p)

636.09

600.22

 

11.

Fair value hierarchy


FRS 102 requires an entity to classify fair value measurements using a fair value hierarchy that reflects the significance of the inputs used in making the measurements. The fair value hierarchy shall have the following classifications:




Level 1: unadjusted quoted prices in an active market for identical assets or liabilities that the entity can access at the measurement date.


Level 2: inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable (i.e. developed using market data) for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly.


Level 3: inputs are unobservable (i.e. for which market data is unavailable) for the asset or liability.




The financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value in the Condensed Statement of Financial Position at the reporting date have all been identified as Level 1 (28 February 2017 - same).

 

12.

Related party and transactions with Manager


Mr Young, who retired as a Director of the Company on 28 June 2017, is a director of Aberdeen Asset Management Asia Limited which, along with Aberdeen Fund Managers Limited ("AFML") and Aberdeen Asset Managers Limited are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC. Standard Life plc and Aberdeen Asset Management PLC merged to form Standard Life Aberdeen plc on 14 August 2017.




The Company has agreements with AFML for the provision of investment management, secretarial, accounting and administration and promotional activity services.




The management fee is payable monthly in arrears based on an annual amount of 1% of the net asset value of the Company valued monthly. The management agreement is terminable on one year's notice. During the period £563,000 (31 August 2016 - £507,000) of investment management fees were earned by the Manager, with a balance of £95,000 (31 August 2016 - £93,000) being payable to AFML at the period end.




The promotional activities fee is based on a current annual amount of £66,000, payable quarterly in arrears. During the period £33,000 (31 August 2016 - £30,000) of fees were paid, with a balance of £11,000 (31 August 2016 - £11,000) being payable to AFML at the period end.




During the course of the period, the Company has held an investment in another fund managed by the same Manager. Details of this holding are disclosed in note 6.

 

13.

Segmental information


The Company is engaged in a single segment of business, which is to invest in equity securities and debt instruments. All of the Company's activities are interrelated, and each activity is dependent on the others. Accordingly, all significant operating decisions are based on the Company as one segment.

 

14.

The financial information contained in this Half-Yearly Report does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in Sections 434 - 436 of the Companies Act 2006. The financial information for the six months ended 31 August 2017 and 31 August 2016 has not been reviewed or audited by the Company's external auditor.




The financial information for the year ended 28 February 2017 has been extracted from the latest published audited financial statements which have been filed with the Registrar of Companies. The report of the Independent Auditor on those accounts contained no qualification or statement under Section 498 (2), (3) or (4) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

15.

This Half-Yearly Report was approved by the Board on 11 October 2017.

 

 

Please note that past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future and that the value of investments and the income from them may fall as well as rise and may be affected by exchange rate movements.  Investors may not get back the amount they originally invested.

 

For Aberdeen New Thai Investment Trust plc

Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, Secretary

 

END


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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