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Personal Assets Tst. (PNL)

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Friday 16 August, 2013

Personal Assets Tst.

Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 9244L
Personal Assets Trust PLC
16 August 2013

Personal Assets Trust plc


Interim Management Statement


For the Three Month Period from 1 May 2013 to 31 July 2013


Investment Objective


Personal Assets is an investment trust run expressly for private investors. Its capital structure is the simplest possible for an investment trust, consisting only of ordinary shares. Its investment objective is to protect and increase (in that order) the value of shareholders' funds over the long term.

We aim to pay as high, secure and sustainable a dividend as is compatible with protecting and increasing the value our shareholders' funds and maintaining our investment flexibility.

The Board's policy is to ensure that the shares of Personal Assets always trade at close to NAV.


Performance Summary





As at

 31 July


As at

30 April





Market capitalisation




Shareholders' funds




Effective liquidity (1)




Share price




Net asset value per share




Premium to NAV




FTSE All-Share index





(1) Includes holding in gold of 11.2% at 31 July 2013 (30 April 2013: 12.2%).


Period Review and Material Events


Economic growth remains fragile and the corporate earnings cycle appears to have peaked some time ago.  The move up in stock markets, over the past year, has been the result of a reduction in risk aversion rather than any meaningful rise in earnings, with a consequent increase in valuations.  Buoyed by greater confidence in the abilities of central bankers, momentum has fed on itself.  While good economic news is viewed positively, bad news is also good news because it is likely to lead to renewed market intervention.  This paradox cannot last forever.


The US stock market, on a cyclically adjusted price earnings multiple of 24x, is 50% overvalued compared to its long term average.  Deteriorating fundamentals coinciding with high markets at record profit margins are an unattractive and risky combination.  Rushing into rising stock markets, four years into a rally, is driven by the need for short term returns and is not a path we will take.  On the basis that profit margins and stock valuations revert to the mean, now does not seem to be an opportune time to be adding to equity allocations.


Short-term missed opportunities are the price we pay for dependable and sustainable wealth protection and growth over the long-term.  Complacency is an enemy of successful investing and so is panic.  Risks are now rising, notwithstanding the benefits of the printing press.  We wait patiently on the side-lines for the market to offer us better value.


The portfolio's inflation protection in gold and index linked bonds has hurt recent performance.  These will have crucial roles to play against the force that rarely preannounces itself.  While it is painful to be punished for prudence, we are confident that short term falls in the price of these assets will not lead to falls in their long term value.  The risk of higher inflation over the medium to long term remains and this makes the protection provided by these assets worth having.


Portfolio activity was minimal over the period.  We continued to take profits into the rally, reducing holdings in Microsoft and Becton Dickinson and sold out of the trust's longstanding holding in Johnson & Johnson.  Pharmaceutical and medical device companies have been some of the best performing stocks over the year-to date. Indeed Johnson & Johnson's share price has risen by a third. However, earnings expectations for this year and 2014 have not improved meaning the shares have rerated.  The company has made a number of expensive acquisitions and heavily invested in research in the hope of reinvigorating only tepid revenue growth.  The returns from these investments are uncertain and we believe the share price discounts only good news, hence our decision to sell.


During the three months ended 31 July 2013 the Company issued 47,011 Ordinary Shares for a total consideration of £16.4 million, representing 2.8% of the Ordinary Shares in issue at the beginning of the period. Since 31 July 2013 the Company has issued a further 5,504 Ordinary Shares for a total consideration of £1.9 million.


On 5 June the Company announced a first interim dividend of £1.40 per share. This was paid to shareholders on 19 July 2013. On 25 July the Company announced a second interim dividend of £1.40 per share. This will be paid to shareholders on 18 October 2013.


Top Ten Equity Holdings as at 31 July 2013




Percentage of shareholders' funds

Percentage of equity exposure

British American Tobacco









Imperial Oil



Coca Cola



Becton Dickinson



Philip Morris



Sage Group









Other equities (8)







Geographical Analysis as at 31 July 2013




Percentage of shareholders' funds

US equities


UK equities


Canadian equities


European equities


Australian equities


Liquidity (including 11.2% gold)





Sector Distribution as at 31 July 2013




Percentage of shareholders' funds

Oil & Gas


Basic Materials


Consumer Goods


Health Care


Consumer Services






Liquidity (including 11.2% gold)







Additional Information


Further information regarding the Company, including Quarterly Reports and Investment Plan documents can be obtained from the Company's website or from Steven Budge, Personal Assets Trust plc, 10 St. Colme Street, Edinburgh EH3 6AA. Telephone: 0131 538 6605.

Email: [email protected]

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

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