BLACKROCK FRONTIERS INVESTMENT TRUST PLC

(BRFI)
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BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust Plc - Half-year Report

05/26/2022 | 02:01am EDT

BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust plc
(LEI: 5493003K5E043LHLO706)

HALF YEARLY FINANCIAL REPORT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 MARCH 2022

PERFORMANCE RECORD

The Company’s financial statements are presented in US Dollars. The Company’s shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and quoted in British Pound Sterling. The British Pound Sterling amounts for performance returns shown below are presented for convenience. The difference in performance returns measured in US Dollars and British Pound Sterling reflects the change in the value of British Pound Sterling versus the US Dollar over the period.



 
As at 
31 March 
2022 
As at 
30 September 
2021 


 
US Dollar
Net assets (US$’000)1 357,167  352,778 
Net asset value per ordinary share (cents) 188.65  186.33 
Ordinary share price (mid market)2 (cents) 169.19  165.18 
 ------------   ------------ 
British Pound Sterling
Net assets (£’000)1,2 271,270  261,627 
Net asset value per ordinary share2 (pence) 143.29  138.19 
Ordinary share price (mid market) (pence) 128.50  122.50 
Discount3 10.3%  11.4% 
 ========   ======== 

   




Performance
Six months 
ended 
31 March 2022 
Year ended 
30 September 
2021 

Since 
inception4 
US Dollar
Net asset value per share (with dividends reinvested)3 +3.6  +53.0  +85.7 
Benchmark Index (NR)5,6 +10.7  +27.3  +61.5 
MSCI Frontier Markets Index (NR)5,6 -7.3  +32.2  +54.6 
MSCI Emerging Markets Index (NR)6 -8.2  +18.2  +34.2 
Ordinary share price (with dividends reinvested)3 +4.9  +42.8  +64.1 
 ------------   ------------   ------------ 
British Pound Sterling
Net asset value per share (with dividends reinvested)3 +6.1  +46.7  +119.4 
Benchmark Index (NR)5,6 +13.3  +22.1  +89.8 
MSCI Frontier Markets Index (NR)5,6 -5.0  +26.8  +83.1 
MSCI Emerging Markets Index (NR)6 -6.0  +13.3  +58.9 
Ordinary share price (with dividends reinvested)3 +7.5  +36.9  +93.5 
 ========   ========   ======== 

1     The change in net assets reflects dividends paid and market movements during the period.

2     Based on an exchange rate of US$1.3166 to £1 at 31 March 2022 and US$1.3484 to £1 at 30 September 2021.

3     Alternative Performance Measure, see Glossary in the half yearly report and financial statements.

4     The Company was incorporated on 15 October 2010 and its shares were admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange on 17 December 2010.

5     With effect from 1 April 2018, the Benchmark Index changed to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index ex Selected Countries + MSCI Frontier Markets Index + MSCI Saudi Arabia Index. Prior to 1 April 2018, the Benchmark Index was the MSCI Frontier Markets Index. The performance returns of the Benchmark Index since inception have been blended to reflect this change.

6     Net return (NR) indices calculate the reinvestment of dividends net of withholding taxes.

Sources: BlackRock and Datastream.

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

Dear Shareholder,

I am pleased to present the Company’s Half Yearly Financial Report for the six months to 31 March 2022.

PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS

  • NAV total return of 3.6% (in US Dollar terms with dividends reinvested);
  • Share price total return of 4.9% (in US Dollar terms with dividends reinvested);
  • Share price total return of 7.5% (in British Pound Sterling terms with dividends reinvested);
  • Declared interim dividend of 2.75 cents per share; and
  • Yield of 4.3% (based on share price at 23 May 2022, interim dividend for 2022 and final dividend for 2021).

PERFORMANCE AND OVERVIEW
During the six months to 31 March 2022, the Company achieved a NAV total return in US Dollars of +3.6%, underperforming its Benchmark Index which returned +10.7%. The Company’s share price total return was +4.9%. To provide further context, the Company’s previous Benchmark Index, the MSCI Frontier Markets Index, returned -7.3% and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index returned -8.2%. The Company’s return for the six months to 31 March 2022 of +3.6% follows a very strong financial year to 30 September 2021 in which the Company returned +53.0% and outperformed the Benchmark Index by 25.7%. As at 23 May 2022, the net asset value per share of the Company has decreased by 7.1% from 188.65 cents per share to 175.31 cents per share. The Company’s Benchmark Index has decreased by 7.8%.

As you will read in the Investment Manager’s Report which follows, Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine has dominated market sentiment in the second half of the period. Although we had no exposure, this contagion negatively impacted our portfolio, in particular in Kazakhstan, and through other Eastern European markets to which we are exposed as investors sought to reduce their exposure to the region. This acted to offset some strong performance generated by our holdings in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, which were somewhat insulated from the effects of the ongoing conflict.

There is no doubt that these events have been powerful drivers of change in the global geopolitical landscape which will have far reaching consequences for many years to come. The uncertainty around supply has resulted in price spikes in global energy and commodities, although this should benefit several of our markets which are net exporters of hard and soft commodities. Your investment managers provide a detailed description of the key contributors and detractors to performance during the period, portfolio activity and their views on the outlook for the second half of the financial year in their report below.

REVENUE RETURN AND DIVIDENDS
The Company’s revenue return per share for the six months ended 31 March 2022 amounted to 2.31 cents (six months ended 31 March 2021: 2.00 cents (restated)).

One of the benefits of the closed-end structure is the ability to use revenue or capital reserves to smooth dividends. As at the date of this report the Company held revenue reserves of US$6,036,000.

The Board recognises that many shareholders value the dividends paid by the Company and is therefore pleased to declare an interim dividend of 2.75 cents per share (2021: 2.75 cents per share) payable on 24 June 2022 to shareholders on the Company’s register on 6 June 2022. The shares will go ex-dividend on 1 June 2022. The final dividend of 4.25 cents per share for the year ended 30 September 2021 was declared on 1 December 2021 and paid to shareholders on 11 February 2022.

SHARE CAPITAL
The Directors are keen to ensure that the Company’s share price does not trade at a significant discount or premium to the underlying NAV. Accordingly, the Directors monitor the share price and will consider the issue of ordinary shares at a premium or repurchase at a discount to help balance demand and supply in the market if they believe it is in shareholders’ interests to do so. For the period under review, the Company’s ordinary shares traded at an average discount to NAV of 8.4%, but were trading at a discount of 10.3% on a cum-income basis at 31 March 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to discounts widening across the Global Emerging Markets sector. As at 23 May 2022, the discount stood at 6.8%. This level of discount is within the sector average range and therefore the Board has not seen fit to buy back any shares at the present time given the broader macroeconomic backdrop. The Board will continue to monitor the Company’s share rating closely and may use its powers to repurchase the Company’s shares if deemed to be in shareholders’ interests to do so.

The Directors currently have the authority to buy back shares in the market equivalent to 14.99% of the Company’s issued share capital and also to issue new shares equivalent to 10% of the Company’s issued share capital (excluding any shares held in treasury).

No new shares were issued or sold from treasury during the period or up to the date of this report.

ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (ESG)
ESG issues can present both opportunities and risks to long-term investment performance. These ethical and sustainability issues are a key focus of the Board, and your Board is committed to a diligent oversight of the activities of the Investment Manager in these areas. The frontier markets in which the Company can invest are home to almost 3 billion of the world’s population and our portfolio includes investment in power, infrastructure, renewable energy, food and healthcare. We believe that the companies in which the portfolio is invested should operate within a healthy ecosystem of all their stakeholders whether these are shareholders, employees, customers, regulators or suppliers and that this may aid the sustainability of long-term returns. Further information on the Board’s policy with regard to ESG and the Investment Manager’s approach can be found in the Company’s Annual Report for the year ended 30 September 2021 at www.blackrock.com/uk/brfi.

SHAREHOLDER COMMUNICATION
We appreciate how important access to regular information is to our shareholders. To supplement our Company website, we now offer shareholders the ability to sign up to the Trust Matters newsletter which includes information on the Company as well as news, views and insights. Further information on how to sign up is included on the inside cover of this report.

OUTLOOK
In developed markets, spiking energy prices, coupled with supply chain constraints, have driven inflation to levels not seen in decades. By contrast, many of the countries in our investment universe have inflation rates well below their 10-year average and interest rates at more normal levels. In addition, frontier market countries have generally lagged the broader COVID-19 recovery and the resurgence of more normal economic activity seen in the developed markets and, therefore, our portfolio managers believe they are well placed to generate good performance as we move through the second half of our financial year.

As was the case when we launched the Company in 2010, the frontier markets remain under researched and inefficient. This provides real opportunity for our Investment Manager which has extensive resources and the local knowledge required to unearth the hidden gems on offer. In addition, the frontier markets are trading at very attractive valuations, both relative to historic levels and versus the developed markets.

In summary, we believe frontier markets will continue to be driven primarily by local factors and domestic policy and this aspect continues to offer significant diversification benefits in these ever more challenging times. Our portfolio managers remain emboldened by the current opportunity set available and your Board shares this enthusiasm for this exciting and dynamic asset class.

AUDLEY TWISTON-DAVIES
Chairman
25 May 2022

INVESTMENT MANAGER’S REPORT

Market Review
Despite tumultuous political events globally, the net asset value (NAV) of the Company increased by 3.6% in US Dollar terms and 6.1% in British Pound Sterling terms over the last six months (all percentages with dividends reinvested). During the period, it was devastating to see the start of an unprecedented war in Ukraine. We also saw a new COVID-19 variant cause serious worldwide concern, surging global inflation, ongoing conflict in the Middle East and an attempted coup in Kazakhstan. While it is natural to focus on the many challenges that have beset markets globally during the first half of our financial year, and indeed our report will discuss these issues, we have found many resilient companies with strong operating trends to invest in within our investment universe.

Post COVID-19 reopening
The fourth quarter of 2021 started with a semblance of “normality” resuming, yet it was quickly overshadowed by the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. As more data emerged, it became clear that although more transmissible, Omicron was less severe and certainly less fatal than previous COVID-19 variants, largely since populations were inoculated and healthcare systems were better prepared. Vaccination rates in most of the countries we invest in have continued to tick up, which, coupled with natural immunity from past infections, bodes well for a long-overdue pickup in economic activity within our Frontier Markets universe.

Geopolitical turmoil
January 2022 started with an unexpected eruption of violent coordinated protests in Almaty and elsewhere in Kazakhstan, following large fuel price hikes. In response, Kazakh security forces, with the backing of Russian troops, returned the country to order. The government then reshuffled several key political appointees in an attempt to appease public ire, and stocks bounced off their lows, which had seen some of our significant holdings fall 40% in a matter of days. Unfortunately for the world, this was a precursor to a much more severe conflict. Beyond the unthinkable human tragedy, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has the potential to drive far-reaching changes to global commodity supply chains. The blockade of Ukraine’s ports, together with the coordinated sanction effort from the West, particularly the freezing of Russian companies and their assets, has resulted in significant disruptions to regional exports, causing price spikes across the commodity complex.

Middle East stability

While sadly many globally will be negatively impacted by these price changes, frontier countries with significant exports of oil in the Middle East or of soft commodities in ASEAN and Latin America could prove more resilient. For 2022, the Gulf Cooperation Council region is currently on track to report the highest current account and fiscal account surpluses for 8 years. The irony of a region, that has seen so much conflict for the last 70 years, being considered a relative safe haven for investment, is not lost on us. However, as long-term investors, we look for the anomaly and the unexpected in order to generate returns. The emergence of Dubai as a truly global financial centre, and workplace of choice for those in creative industries and crypto enthusiasts alike, was not predicted pre-COVID-19, hence asset prices there have done well.

Supply constraints and not-so-transitory inflation
Even prior to the Russian invasion, we had seen consistent signs of inflation, particularly in the West following a long period of fiscal largesse and behind-the-curve monetary policy. The Russia/Ukraine crisis risks turning that persistent inflation into a full-scale global supply shock. The developed world is seeing levels of inflation that are the highest in your fund managers’ lifetimes, with countries such as the United States of America and United Kingdom seeing prices rising by numbers that previously would only have been seen by countries deemed to be ‘uninvestible’ to mainstream investors. However, while German wholesale prices are up 23% year-on-year, the biggest move since the data series began in 1968, European interest rates remain at zero, a record low. The contrast to frontier markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, where inflation is currently below the 10-year average, and interest rates are at normal levels, is very notable.

While speaking of inflation and the fact that most of our universe is at present much better placed than the western world, it would be remiss not to mention Turkey, where the central bank has continued to lower interest rates despite consistently high inflation rates, most recently hitting a 20-year high of 61%. The country’s deeply negative real interest rates have put huge pressure on the Turkish lira. We believe this unorthodox policy is unlikely to be effective in restoring confidence in either the currency or the economy. We currently have no exposure to the market. However, we can envisage a scenario where the outlook over the next 18-24 months could look significantly better.

During the last six months we were once again able to travel to meet our portfolio companies. Our travels took us to countries including Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uzbekistan. Our broad conclusions from these trips were that our companies have, in general, used the desperately unpleasant pandemic period to strengthen their market positions, improve their product portfolios and refine their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) credentials. We anticipate that the next six months will see us travel to the remainder of our portfolio countries, and to a few jurisdictions to which we currently have no exposure but look interesting on a medium-term view.

In recent months, we have seen a reimposition of COVID lock-downs across China impact global supply chains.  Post the imposition of US tariffs a few years ago, manufacturing for a variety of industries had slowly started to relocate out of China. We see the current environment as giving continued impetus to this trend and expect countries across South-East Asia and Eastern Europe to benefit. 

Portfolio review
In the six months to 31 March 2022, the Company’s NAV returned 3.6% (on a US Dollar basis with dividends reinvested) versus its Benchmark Index (the MSCI Emerging Markets Index ex Selected Countries + MSCI Frontier Markets + MSCI Saudi Arabia Index) which returned 10.7%. Over this time period, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell by 8.2% and MSCI Frontier Markets Index fell by 7.3%. Since inception, the Company’s NAV returned 85.7%, compared to 61.5% return on its Benchmark Index. For reference, the MSCI Frontier Markets Index and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index returned 54.6% and 34.2% respectively (all percentages in US Dollar terms with dividends reinvested).

The relative performance of the Company compared to its Benchmark Index suffered largely in late February and March 2022 as many investors aggressively reduced their exposure to Eastern Europe. Our portfolio was also overweight to the region given the positive outlook prior to the invasion. The biggest detractor was Kazakhstan which was impacted first in a selloff triggered by the domestic unrest mentioned above, and then made worse by contagion from the Russia-Ukraine geo-political conflict. The UK listed Ukrainian iron ore producer, Ferrexpo (-48%) also hurt performance. Our positioning in Financials across Eastern Europe came under pressure as the prospects of economic acceleration and subsequent loan growth dimmed. This included Austrian listed banking group Raiffeisen Bank International (-54%) which has around 18% of its assets and 30% of its profits from Russia, as well as Hungarian bank OTP Bank (-37%). However, as investors gradually re-assessed the real long-term impact of Russia’s actions, in late March and April 2022, many companies in Eastern Europe saw a sharp bounce, with Kazakh fintech JSC Kaspi up by 90% between mid-March and at the time of writing in mid-April.

Moving to the contributors during the period, stock selection in UAE was the biggest contributor to performance, notably Fertiglobe (+105%), UAE’s biggest nitrogen fertilizer producer which has benefited from the huge spike in global urea prices on the back of high European gas prices. UAE airline, Air Arabia (+25%), was another strong performer as the post COVID-19 recovery happened in earnest. Saudi Hospital operator, National Medical Care, (+33%) rose after reporting a very strong recovery in earnings for the final quarter of the year, up 67% compared to the final quarter of 2020. Greek renewable energy company, Terna Energy (+41%), was another contributor as the energy transition continues. Peruvian lender, Credicorp, (+55%) was another notable performer after seeing a significant recovery in earnings as mobility restrictions were eased in the country. Earnings for the final quarter of the year were up more than 60% on the previous year.

In terms of broad positioning, we have not altered the portfolio significantly. We have continued to increase our exposure to South-East Asia on expectations of a pickup in activity and mobility as well as a relaxation of border controls which should drive economic growth. We re-initiated a position in Indonesian consumer conglomerate Astra International and also bought Thai bank Kasikornbank, and Airports of Thailand. We continue to like rate sensitive financials such as PKO Bank Polski in Poland where the economy continues to do well, and inflation surprises mean that the central bank will likely have to continue on its hiking path. We also added to Romanian financials for similar reasons. We have increased exposure to UAE and Qatar, including adding Qatar Gas Transport which we believe will benefit from an expansion in domestic gas production.

We exited Polish financial, KRUK, following very strong performance. We also sold out of Chilean retailer Falabella over disappointing results and a deteriorating consumer outlook. We have also trimmed several positions to book profits, including Peru’s Credicorp, and Egypt’s EFG Hermes Holdings where a recent bid for the company has crystalised some value.

Outlook
While the current global macro environment does present concerns for western equity markets, we believe investors will find the endogenous growth, low correlation, diversification, and valuations of our universe attractive. While COVID-19 has been a challenging time for these countries, we see strong growth potential across our investment universe in the years ahead.

We continue to monitor the path of inflation and the likelihood of a global growth shock. However, we feel encouraged by the fiscal and monetary discipline shown by several countries in our universe, which contrasts starkly with the largesse seen in developed countries. We continue to see multiple stock specific opportunities in both South-East Asia and the Middle East which are relatively shielded from the current conflict. We are avoiding countries which are prone to severe inflation shocks from commodity market tightness.

Valuations in most of the frontier and emerging markets remain attractive relative to their own history and also relative to the more developed markets. We believe our opportunity set is a compelling universe to generate alpha, and with global investors from both east and west increasingly looking for friendly foreign geographies to place their assets, we sense that the outlook for frontier markets may be brighter than many imagine.

Sam Vecht and Emily Fletcher
BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited
25 May 2022

INTERIM MANAGEMENT REPORT AND RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT

The Chairman’s Statement and the Investment Manager’s Report give details of the important events which have occurred during the period and their impact on the financial statements.

Principal risks and uncertainties
A detailed explanation of the risks relating to the Company can be divided into various areas as follows:

  • Investment Performance Risk;
  • Income/Dividend Risk;
  • Legal and Regulatory Risk;
  • Counterparty Risk;
  • Operational Risk;
  • Political Risk;
  • Financial Risk; and
  • Market Risk.

The Board reported on the principal risks and uncertainties faced by the Company in the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 September 2021. A detailed explanation can be found in the Strategic Report on pages 39 to 42 and in note 17 on pages 98 to 111 of the Annual Report and Financial Statements which are available on the website maintained by BlackRock at: www.blackrock.com/uk/brfi.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on all aspects of society in recent years. The impact of this significant event on the Company’s financial risk exposure is disclosed in note 12.

The Directors have assessed the impact of market conditions arising from the COVID-19 outbreak on the Company’s ability to meet its investment objective. Based on the latest available information, the Company continues to be managed in line with its investment objective, with no disruption to its operations.

Certain financial markets have fallen towards the end of the financial period due primarily to geo-political tensions arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact of the subsequent range of sanctions, regulations and other measures which impaired normal trading in Russian securities. The Board and the Investment Manager continue to monitor investment performance in line with the Company’s investment objectives, and the operations of the Company and the publication of net asset values are continuing.

In the view of the Board, other than those noted above, there have not been any material changes to the fundamental nature of these risks since the previous report and these principal risks and uncertainties, as summarised, are equally applicable to the remaining six months of the financial year as they were to the six months under review.

Going concern
The Board remains mindful of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the potential duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its longer term effects on the global economy and the current heightened geopolitical risk. Nevertheless, the Directors, having considered the nature and liquidity of the portfolio, the Company’s investment objective and the Company’s projected income and expenditure, are satisfied that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future and is financially sound. The Board believes that the Company and its key third party service providers have in place appropriate business continuity plans and will be able to maintain service levels through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the above, the Board is satisfied that it is appropriate to continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. The Company has a portfolio of investments which are considered to be readily realisable and is able to meet all of its liabilities from its assets and income generated from them. Ongoing charges (excluding performance fees, finance costs, direct transaction costs, custody transaction charges, VAT recovered, taxation and certain non-recurring items) were approximately 1.36% of average daily net assets for the year ended 30 September 2021.

Related party disclosures and transactions with the AIFM and Investment Manager
BlackRock Fund Managers Limited (BFM) is the Company’s Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) with effect from 2 July 2014. BFM has (with the Company’s consent) delegated certain portfolio and risk management services, and other ancillary services to BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited (BIM (UK)). Both BFM and BIM (UK) are regarded as related parties under the Listing Rules. Details of the management and performance fees payable are set out in note 4 and note 14. The related party transactions with the Directors are set out in note 13.

Directors’ Responsibility Statement
The Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules (DTR) of the UK Listing Authority require the Directors to confirm their responsibilities in relation to the preparation and publication of the Interim Management Report and Financial Statements.

The Directors confirm to the best of their knowledge that:

·        the condensed set of financial statements contained within the Half Yearly Financial Report has been prepared in accordance with the UK-adopted International Accounting Standard 34 – Interim Financial Reporting; and

·        the Interim Management Report, together with the Chairman’s Statement and Investment Manager’s Report, includes a fair review of the information required by 4.2.7R and 4.2.8R of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

The Half Yearly Financial Report has been reviewed by the Company’s Auditors.

The Half Yearly Financial Report was approved by the Board on 25 May 2022 and the above Responsibility Statement was signed on its behalf by the Chairman.

AUDLEY TWISTON-DAVIES
FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
25 May 2022

TEN LARGEST INVESTMENTS¹ AS AT 31 MARCH 2022

1 + Emaar Properties (2021: 7th)
Real Estate (United Arab Emirates)
Portfolio value: $16,208,000

Percentage of net assets: 4.5% (2021: 3.1%)

Emaar Properties is a real estate development company located in the UAE. It operates internationally providing both development and property management services. It is diversified across several property types, including commercial and residential, as well as malls and hospitality.

2 - Saudi National Bank2 (2021: 1st)
Financials (Saudi Arabia)
Portfolio value: $15,454,000

Percentage of net assets: 4.3% (2021: 4.8%)

Saudi National Bank is the largest financial institution in Saudi Arabia, created following the merger of National Commercial Bank and Samba Financial Group in April 2021, providing a range of financial services from personal and corporate banking to brokerage and investment banking in Saudi Arabia. It also has international presence in the Middle East, South Asia and Turkey.

3 - Bank Rakyat (2021: 2nd)
Financials (Indonesia)
Portfolio value: $13,375,000

Percentage of net assets: 3.8% (2021: 3.8%)

Bank Rakyat is one of the largest banks in Indonesia. It specialises in small scale and microfinance style borrowing from and lending to its approximately 30 million retail clients through its over 4,000 branches, units and rural service posts.

4 = FPT2 (2021: 4th)
Information Technology (Vietnam)
Portfolio value: $12,327,000
Percentage of net assets: 3.4% (2021: 3.5%)

FPT is the largest information technology service company in Vietnam with its core business focusing on the provision of information and communications technology related services to both domestic and foreign companies. The company is benefiting, in particular, from the digitisation of domestic companies.

5 + Saudi British Bank2 (2021: 6th)
Financials (Saudi Arabia)
Portfolio value: $11,393,000

Percentage of net assets: 3.2% (2021: 3.2%)

Saudi British Bank is an associate of HSBC Group and the leading international bank in Saudi Arabia. The company has been an active partner in supporting Saudi Arabia’s economic growth and social development by offering an array of corporate, institutional, retail banking and wealth management services since 1978.

6 - Mobile World2 (2021: 3rd)
Consumer Discretionary (Vietnam)
Portfolio value: $11,259,000

Percentage of net assets: 3.2% (2021: 3.8%)

Mobile World is Vietnam’s top mobile phone retailer by revenue and net profit after tax, with 2,200+ stores nationwide. During the pandemic, the company pivoted over 1,000 stores to online point of sales to comply with government lockdown rules.

7 + United International Transport2
(2021: 12th)
Industrials (Saudi Arabia)
Portfolio value: $10,825,000

Percentage of net assets: 3.0% (2021: 2.5%)

United International Transport is a Saudi Arabia based vehicle leasing and rental service company. Their services include domestic and international, short and long-term rentals as well as corporate leasing.

8 + Leejam Sports2 (2021: 13th)
Consumer Discretionary (Saudi Arabia)
Portfolio value: $10,553,000

Percentage of net assets: 3.0% (2021: 2.5%)

Leejam Sports is a sports and fitness centre operator in the Middle East and North Africa region. It operates 75 fitness clubs across 13 cities, most of which are in Saudi Arabia.

9 + CP All (2021: 10th)
Consumer Staples (Thailand)
Portfolio value: $9,887,000

Percentage of net assets: 2.8% (2021: 2.7%)

CP All was initially established to operate convenience stores in Thailand under the “7-Eleven” trademark. The company has now expanded to include bill payment and collection services, manufacturing and sale of convenience store food and bakery products, and more recently, membership-based wholesale services through the Makro brand.

10 + Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa
(2021: 15th)
Materials (Indonesia)
Portfolio value: $9,275,000

Percentage of net assets: 2.6% (2021: 2.4%)

Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa is one of the largest cement producers in Indonesia, operating 13 factories, with a total annual production of approximately 25 million tonnes of cement.


1     Gross market exposure as a % of net assets.

Percentages in brackets represent the portfolio holding at 30 September 2021.

2     Exposure gained via contracts for difference only.

3       Arrows indicate the change in the relative ranking of the position in the portfolio compared to its ranking as at 30 September 2021.

Portfolio analysis as at 31 March 2022

Country Allocation: Absolute Weights (Gross Market Exposure as a % of Net Assets)1 

%
Saudi Arabia 23.7
Indonesia 13.4
United Arab Emirates 10.2
Vietnam 9.1
Thailand 8.8
Greece 6.8
Malaysia 5.6
Philippines 5.0
Qatar 4.7
Kazakhstan 4.6
Egypt 3.8
Chile 2.9
Hungary 2.3
Poland 2.3
Romania 2.3
Kenya 1.7
Colombia 1.5
Panama 1.5
Peru 1.2
Pakistan 0.9
Ukraine 0.5
Pan Frontier Europe 0.3
Nigeria 0.3


Source: BlackRock

Country allocation relative to the Benchmark Index (%)1

%
Vietnam 6.8
Greece 5.5
Kazakhstan 4.1
Egypt 3.4
Indonesia 3.3
United Arab Emirates 1.9
Romania 1.9
Panama 1.5
Kenya 1.3
Hungary 1.1
Pakistan 0.8
Philippines 0.5
Ukraine 0.5
Pan Frontier Europe 0.3
Colombia 0.2
Estonia 0.0
Sri Lanka 0.0
Chile -0.1
Nigeria -0.1
Jordan -0.1
Croatia -0.1
Senegal -0.1
Mauritius -0.2
Oman -0.2
Slovenia -0.3
Bangladesh -0.3
Peru -0.4
Iceland -0.6
Bahrain -0.7
Saudi Arabia -0.7
Morocco -0.8
Czech Republic -0.9
Qatar -0.9
Turkey -1.6
Poland -2.0
Thailand -2.0
Malaysia -3.1
Kuwait -4.5

Sector allocation: Absolute weights (Gross market exposure as a % of net assets)1

%
Financials 34.3
Industrials 15.8
Consumer Discretionary 15.7
Materials 12.5
Consumer Staples 9.1
Energy 7.3
Real Estate 5.6
Health Care 4.3
Information Technology 3.4
Utilities 2.9
Communication Services 2.5

Source: BlackRock.

Sector allocation relative to the Benchmark Index (%)1

%
Consumer Discretionary 11.9
Industrials 10.7
Consumer Staples 3.3
Information Technology 2.9
Real Estate 1.7
Health Care 1.6
Energy 0.4
Materials -0.3
Utilities -1.1
Communication Services -8.1
Financials -9.6


1     Includes exposure gained through equity positions and long and short CFD positions.

Sources: BlackRock and Datastream.

Investments as at 31 March 2022

EQUITY PORTFOLIO




Company

Principal 
country of 
operation 



Sector 


Fair value1 
US$’000 
Gross market 
exposure 
as a % of 
net assets2 
Bank Rakyat Indonesia  Financials  13,375  3.8 
Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa Indonesia  Materials  9,275  2.6 
Astra International Indonesia  Consumer Discretionary  8,945  2.5 
Mitra Adiperkasa Indonesia  Consumer Discretionary  6,528  1.8 
AKR Corporindo TBK Indonesia  Energy  5,753  1.6 
Pakuwon Jati Indonesia  Real Estate  3,903  1.1 
---------------  --------------- 
47,779  13.4 
=========  ========= 
Emaar Properties United Arab Emirates  Real Estate  16,208  4.5 
Fertiglobe United Arab Emirates  Materials  9,216  2.6 
Air Arabia United Arab Emirates  Industrials  6,733  1.9 
---------------  --------------- 
32,157  9.0 
=========  ========= 
CP All Thailand  Consumer Staples  9,887  2.8 
Airports Of Thailand Thailand  Industrials  6,853  1.9 
Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Thailand  Health Care  6,000  1.7 
Kasikornbank Thailand  Financials  4,786  1.3 
---------------  --------------- 
27,526  7.7 
=========  ========= 
Genting Malaysia  Consumer Discretionary  7,306  2.0 
Frontken Corp Malaysia  Industrials  5,521  1.6 
RHB Bank Malaysia  Financials  5,410  1.5 
Westports Holdings Malaysia  Industrials  1,616  0.5 
---------------  --------------- 
19,853  5.6 
=========  ========= 
Terna Energy Greece  Utilities  6,366  1.8 
National Bank of Greece Greece  Financials  5,908  1.7 
Hellenic Telecom Organisation Greece  Communication Services  4,697  1.3 
Titan Cement International Greece  Materials  2,136  0.6 
---------------  --------------- 
19,107  5.4 
=========  ========= 
International Container Terminal Services Philippines  Industrials  5,510  1.5 
Bloomberry Resorts Philippines  Consumer Discretionary  4,578  1.3 
LT Group Philippines  Industrials  4,532  1.3 
Jollibee Foods Philippines  Consumer Discretionary  3,277  0.9 
---------------  --------------- 
17,897  5.0 
=========  ========= 
Industries Qatar Qatar  Industrials  5,858  1.6 
Qatar Gas Transport Qatar  Energy  5,687  1.6 
Qatar National Bank Qatar  Financials  5,360  1.5 
---------------  --------------- 
16,905  4.7 
=========  ========= 
JSC Kaspi Kazakhstan  Financials  7,423  2.1 
Kazatomprom Kazakhstan  Energy  4,999  1.4 
Halyk Savings Bank Kazakhstan  Financials  4,078  1.1 
---------------  --------------- 
16,500  4.6 
=========  ========= 
Eastern Company Egypt  Consumer Staples  5,495  1.5 
EFG Hermes Holdings Egypt  Financials  5,098  1.4 
Orascom Construction Egypt  Industrials  1,692  0.5 
Integrated Diagnostics Egypt  Health Care  1,513  0.4 
---------------  --------------- 
13,798  3.8 
=========  ========= 
Empresas CMPC Chile  Materials  5,345  1.5 
Albemarle Chile  Materials  5,065  1.4 
---------------  --------------- 
10,410  2.9 
=========  ========= 
OTP Bank Hungary  Financials  5,877  1.6 
Wizz Air Holdings Hungary  Industrials  1,729  0.5 
MOL Group Hungary  Energy  743  0.2 
---------------  --------------- 
8,349  2.3 
=========  ========= 
BRD–Groupe Société Générale Romania  Financials  4,733  1.3 
Banca Transilvania Romania  Financials  3,600  1.0 
---------------  --------------- 
8,333  2.3 
=========  ========= 
PKO Bank Polski Poland  Financials  4,676  1.3 
LPP Poland  Consumer Discretionary  2,783  0.8 
---------------  --------------- 
7,459  2.1 
=========  ========= 
Equity Group Kenya  Financials  6,088  1.7 
---------------  --------------- 
6,088  1.7 
=========  ========= 
Ecopetrol Colombia  Energy  5,391  1.5 
---------------  --------------- 
5,391  1.5 
=========  ========= 
Copa Airlines Panama  Industrials  5,177  1.5 
---------------  --------------- 
5,177  1.5 
=========  ========= 
Credicorp Peru  Financials  4,114  1.2 
---------------  --------------- 
4,114  1.2 
=========  ========= 
Ferrexpo Ukraine  Materials  1,678  0.5 
---------------  --------------- 
1,678  0.5 
=========  ========= 
Guaranty Trust Bank Nigeria  Financials  1,167  0.3 
---------------  --------------- 
1,167  0.3 
=========  ========= 
Raiffeisen Bank International Pan Frontier Europe  Financials  1,135  0.3 
---------------  --------------- 
1,135  0.3 
=========  ========= 
Equity investments 270,823  75.8 
=========  ========= 
BlackRock’s Institutional Cash Series plc - US Dollar Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (Cash Fund) 83,297  23.3 
---------------  --------------- 
Total investments (including Cash Fund) 354,120  99.1 
=========  ========= 

CFD portfolio




Company

Principal 
country of 
operation 



Sector 


Fair value1 
US$’000 

Gross market 
exposure3 
US$’000 
Gross market 
exposure as a 
% of net
assets2 
Long positions
Saudi National Bank Saudi Arabia  Financials  15,454  4.3 
Saudi British Bank Saudi Arabia  Financials  11,393  3.2 
United International Transport Saudi Arabia  Industrials  10,825  3.0 
Leejam Sports Saudi Arabia  Consumer Discretionary  10,553  3.0 
Yanbu National Petrochemical Saudi Arabia  Materials  9,235  2.6 
National Medical Care Saudi Arabia  Health Care  7,760  2.2 
Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Saudi Arabia  Consumer Staples  7,413  2.1 
Riyad Bank Saudi Arabia  Financials  4,770  1.3 
Saudi Arabian Oil Saudi Arabia  Energy  3,665  1.0 
Al Nahdi Medical Saudi Arabia  Consumer Staples  3,496  1.0 
---------------  --------------- 
84,564  23.7 
=========  ========= 
FPT Vietnam  Information Technology  12,327  3.4 
Mobile World Vietnam  Consumer Discretionary  11,259  3.2 
Vietnam Dairy Products Vietnam  Consumer Staples  6,055  1.7 
Vietnam Technological & Commercial Vietnam  Financials  2,902  0.8 
---------------  --------------- 
32,543  9.1 
=========  ========= 
National Bank of Greece Greece  Financials  2,691  0.7 
Titan Cement International Greece  Materials  2,417  0.7 
---------------  --------------- 
5,108  1.4 
=========  ========= 
MCB Bank Pakistan  Financials  3,009  0.9 
---------------  --------------- 
3,009  0.9 
=========  ========= 
LPP Poland  Consumer Discretionary  768  0.2 
---------------  --------------- 
768  0.2 
=========  ========= 
Orascom Construction Egypt  Industrials  161  0.0 
---------------  --------------- 
161  0.0 
=========  =========  ========= 
Total long CFD positions 4,856  126,153  35.3 
=========  =========  ========= 
Total short CFD positions (471) (8,292) (2.3)
=========  =========  ========= 
Total CFD portfolio 4,385  117,861  33.0 
=========  =========  ========= 

FAIR VALUE AND GROSS MARKET EXPOSURE OF INVESTMENTS AS AT 31 MARCH 2022


 

 
Gross market exposure as 
a % of net assets3


Portfolio

Fair value1 
US$’000 
Gross market 
exposure2 
US$’000 

31 March 2022 


31 March 2021 

30 September 2021 
Equity investments 270,823  270,823  75.8  73.0  73.1 
Total long CFD positions 4,856  126,153  35.3  32.7  35.0 
Total short CFD positions (471) (8,292) (2.3) (3.4) (0.4)
Forward currency positions –  –  0.0  5.4  4.6 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total gross exposure 275,208  388,684  108.8  107.7  112.3 
=========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
Cash Fund 83,297  83,297  23.3  26.7  27.3 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total investments 358,505  471,981  132.1  134.4  139.6 
=========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
Cash and cash equivalents 5,820  (107,656) (30.1) (33.6) (35.9)
Net other current liabilities (7,139) (7,139) (2.0) (0.8) (3.7)
Non-current liabilities (19) (19) 0.0  0.0  0.0 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net assets 357,167  357,167  100.0  100.0  100.0 
=========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

The Company was geared through the use of long and short CFD positions and gross and net gearing as at 31 March 2022 was 13.5% and 8.8% respectively (31 March 2021: 9.1% and 2.3%; 30 September 2021: 8.5% and 7.6%). Gross and net gearing are Alternative Performance Measures, see Glossary in the half yearly report and financial statements.

1     Fair value is determined as follows:

–    Listed investments are valued at bid prices where available, otherwise at latest market traded quoted prices.

–    The sum of the fair value column for the CFD contracts totalling US$4,385,000 (fair value gains on long CFDs US$4,856,000 less fair value loss on short CFDs of US$471,000) represents the fair valuation of all the CFD contracts, which is determined based on the difference between the notional transaction price and value of the underlying shares in the contract (in effect the unrealised gains/(losses) on the exposed positions). The cost of purchasing the securities held through long CFD positions directly in the market would have amounted to US$121,297,000 at the time of purchase, and subsequent market movements in prices have resulted in unrealised gains on the long CFD positions of US$4,856,000 resulting in the value of the total market exposure to the underlying securities increasing to US$126,153,000 as at 31 March 2022. The notional price of selling the securities to which exposure was gained via the short CFD positions would have been US$7,821,000 at the time of entering into the contract, and subsequent market movements in prices have resulted in unrealised losses on the short CFD positions of US$471,000 resulting in the value of the market exposure of these investments increasing to US$8,292,000 at 30 September 2021. If the short positions had been closed on 31 March 2022 this would have resulted in an unrealised loss of US$471,000 for the Company.

2     The gross market exposure column for cash and cash equivalents has been adjusted to assume the Company purchased/sold direct holdings rather than exposure being gained through long and short CFDs and forward currency positions.

3     Market exposure in the case of equity investments is the same as fair value. In the case of long and short CFDs it is the market value of the underlying shares to which the portfolio is exposed via the contract. Market exposure in the case of forward currency positions is the value of the receivable portion of the forward currency contracts. There were no open forward currency positions at 31 March 2022.

Statement of Comprehensive Income for the six months ended 31 March 2022




 



 

Six months ended 
31 March 2022 
(unaudited)
Six months ended 
31 March 2021 
(unaudited) 
(restated)1

Year ended 
30 September 2021 
(audited)

 

Notes 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Income from investments held at fair value through profit or loss 4,963  74  5,037  4,951  –  4,951  10,973  –  10,973 
Net income from contracts for difference 644  –  644  1,026  –  1,026  7,966  –  7,966 
Other income –  –  –  –  –  –  – 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total income 5,608  74  5,682  5,977  –  5,977  18,939  –  18,939 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
Net (loss)/gain on investments held at fair value through profit or loss –  (1,933) (1,933) –  85,852  85,852  –  88,376  88,376 
Net gain/(loss) on foreign exchange –  363  363  –  (1,609) (1,609) –  (1,399) (1,399)
Net profit from derivatives –  11,154  11,154  –  27,813  27,813  –  53,428  53,428 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total 5,608  9,662  15,270  5,977  112,056  118,033  18,939  140,405  159,344 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
Expenses
Investment management and performance fees (394) (1,574) (1,968) (403) (2,891) (3,294) (777) (6,922) (7,699)
Other operating expenses (430) (22) (452) (456) (21) (477) (891) (60) (951)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total operating expenses (824) (1,596) (2,420) (859) (2,912) (3,771) (1,668) (6,982) (8,650)
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
Net profit on ordinary activities before finance costs and taxation 4,784  8,066  12,850  5,118  109,144  114,262  17,271  133,423  150,694 
Finance costs (1) (2) (3) (1) (4) (5) (2) (8) (10)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net profit on ordinary activities before taxation 4,783  8,064  12,847  5,117  109,140  114,257  17,269  133,415  150,684 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
Taxation (408) (4)  (412) (491) 27  (464) (2,365) 1,153  (1,212)
Profit for the period 4,375  8,060  12,435  4,626  109,167  113,793  14,904  134,568  149,472 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Earnings per ordinary share (cents) 2.31  4.26  6.57  2.00  47.27  49.27  7.09  64.06  71.15 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

1     Please refer to note 2 for more information regarding the restatement of prior period comparatives.

The total column of this statement represents the Company’s Statement of Comprehensive Income, prepared in accordance with UK-adopted International Accounting Standards (IASs). The supplementary revenue and capital accounts are both prepared under guidance published by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC). All items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. No operations were acquired or discontinued during the period. All income is attributable to the equity holders of the Company.

The Company does not have any other comprehensive income. The net profit for the period disclosed above represents the Company’s total comprehensive income.

STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 MARCH 2022




 



Note 
Called 
up share 
capital 
US$’000 
Share 
premium 
account 
US$’000 
Capital 
redemption 
reserve 
US$’000 

Special 
reserve 
US$’000 

Capital 
reserves 
US$’000 

Revenue 
reserve 
US$’000 


Total 
US$’000 
For the six months ended 31 March 2022 (unaudited)
At 30 September 2021 2,418  –  5,798  308,804  26,051  9,707  352,778 
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the period –  –  –  –  8,060  4,375  12,435 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Dividends paid1 –  –  –  –  –  (8,046) (8,046)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 March 2022 2,418  –  5,798  308,804  34,111  6,036  357,167 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
For the six months ended 31 March 2021 (unaudited) (restated)2
At 30 September 2020 2,418  165,984  5,798  230,040  (108,517) 10,261  305,984 
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the period –  –  –  –  109,167  4,626  113,793 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Cancellation of share premium account3 –  (165,984) –  165,984  –  –  – 
Tender offer –  –  –  (86,434) –  –  (86,434)
Tender offer costs –  –  –  (803) –  –  (803)
Dividends paid4 –  –  –  –  –  (10,252) (10,252)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 31 March 2021 2,418  –  5,798  308,787  650  4,635  322,288 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 
For the year ended 30 September 2021 (audited)
At 30 September 2020 2,418  165,984  5,798  230,040  (108,517) 10,261  305,984 
Total comprehensive income:
Net profit for the year –  –  –  –  134,568  14,904  149,472 
Transactions with owners, recorded directly to equity:
Cancellation of share premium account2 –  (165,984) –  165,984 –  –  – 
Tender offer –  –  –  (86,434) –  –  (86,434)
Tender offer costs –  –  –  (786) –  –  (786)
Dividends paid5 –  –  –  –  –  (15,458) (15,458)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
At 30 September 2021 2,418  –  5,798  308,804  26,051  9,707  352,778 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

1     Final dividend of 4.25 cents per share for the year ended 30 September 2021, declared on 1 December 2021 and paid on 11 February 2022.

2     Please refer to note 2 for more information regarding the restatement of prior period comparatives.

3     Share premium account was cancelled pursuant to Court approval on 11 March 2021 and US$166.0m was transferred to the special reserve. Please refer to note 16 on pages 97 and 98 of the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 September 2021 for further details.

4     Final dividend of 4.25 cents per share for the year ended 30 September 2020, declared on 11 December 2020 and paid on 12 February 2021.

5     Final dividend of 4.25 cents per share for the year ended 30 September 2020, declared on 11 December 2020 and paid on 12 February 2021 and interim dividend paid in respect of the year ended 30 September 2021 of 2.75 cents per share, declared on 1 June 2021 and paid on 25 June 2021.

For information on the Company’s distributable reserves, please refer to note 11.

Statement of Financial Position as at 31 March 2022





 




Notes 

31 March 
2022 
(unaudited) 
US$’000 
31 March 
2021 
(unaudited) 
(restated)1 
US$’000 

30 September 
2021 
(audited) 
US$’000 
Non current assets
Investments held at fair value through profit or loss 12  354,120  321,493  354,075 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Current assets
Current tax asset 408  206  418 
Other receivables 4,611  4,132  3,878 
Derivative financial assets held at fair value through profit or loss - contracts for difference 6,474  3,430  7,725 
Derivative financial assets held at fair value through profit or loss - forward currency contracts –  202  346 
Cash and cash equivalents 5,820  1,275  5,717 
Cash collateral pledged with brokers 320  80  330 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total current assets 17,633  9,325  18,414 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total assets 371,753  330,818  372,489 
=========  =========  ========= 
Current liabilities
Bank overdraft –  (434) – 
Other payables (7,265) (5,088) (11,597)
Derivative financial liabilities held at fair value through profit or loss - contracts for differences (2,089) (976) (1,908)
Liability for cash collateral received (5,213) (2,013) (6,187)
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total current liabilities (14,567) (8,511) (19,692)
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total assets less current liabilities 357,186  322,307  352,797 
=========  =========  ========= 
Non current liabilities
Management shares of £1.00 each (one quarter paid) (19) (19) (19)
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net assets 357,167  322,288  352,778 
=========  =========  ========= 
Equity attributable to equity holders
Called up share capital 10  2,418  2,418  2,418 
Capital redemption reserve 5,798  5,798  5,798 
Special reserve 308,804  308,787  308,804 
Capital reserves 34,111  650  26,051 
Revenue reserve 6,036  4,635  9,707 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total equity 357,167  322,288  352,778 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net asset value per ordinary share (cents) 9 188.65  170.23  186.33 
=========  =========  ========= 

1     Please refer to note 2 for more information regarding the restatement of prior period comparatives.

Cash Flow Statement for the six months ended 31 March 2022





 

31 March 
2022 
(unaudited) 
US$’000 
31 March 
2021 
(unaudited) 
(restated)1 
US$’000 

30 September 
2021 
(audited) 
US$’000 
Operating activities
Net profit on ordinary activities before taxation 12,843  114,257  150,684 
Add back finance costs 10 
Net profit on investments and contracts for difference held at fair
value through profit or loss (including transaction costs) (9,729) (114,300) (142,733)
Net (gain)/loss on foreign exchange (363) 1,609  1,399 
Sales of investments held at fair value through profit or loss 88,020  181,056  253,543 
Purchases of investments held at fair value through profit or loss (102,860) (90,022) (182,331)
Sales of Cash Fund2 114,354  99,033  176,807 
Purchases of Cash Fund2 (101,418) (120,637) (208,621)
Amounts paid for losses on closure of derivatives (21,803) (10,166) (22,372)
Amounts received on gains on closure of derivatives 34,823  35,974  70,902 
Increase in other receivables (1,484) (964) (661)
Increase in other payables 393  582  3,780 
Decrease in amounts due from brokers 1,097  703  437 
(Decrease)/Increase in amounts due to brokers (4,725) 1,796  5,452 
Net cash collateral (pledged)/received (964) (319) 3,605 
Taxation paid (398) (456) (1,566)
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net cash inflow from operating activities 7,789  98,151  108,335 
=========  =========  ========= 
Financing activities
Interest paid (3) (5) (10)
Tender offer –  (86,434) (86,434)
Tender costs paid –  (479) (786)
Dividends paid (8,046) (10,252) (15,458)
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Net cash outflow from financing activities (8,049) (97,170) (102,688)
=========  =========  ========= 
(Decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents (260) 981  5,647 
Effect of foreign exchange rate changes 363  (1,609) (1,399)
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Change in cash and cash equivalents 103  (628) 4,248 
Cash and cash equivalents at the start of the period 5,717  1,469  1,469 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period 5,820  841  5,717 
=========  =========  ========= 
Comprised of:
Cash at bank 5,820  1,275  5,717 
Bank overdraft (434) – 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
5,820  841  5,717 
=========  =========  ========= 

1     Please refer to note 2 for more information regarding the restatement of prior period comparatives.

2     Cash Fund represents funds held on deposit with BlackRock Institutional Cash Series plc – US Dollar Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund.

Notes to the financial statements for the six months ended 31 March 2022

1. PRINCIPAL ACTIVITY
The principal activity of the Company is that of an investment trust company within the meaning of Section 1158 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010.

2. Basis of preparation
The half yearly financial statements for the period ended 31 March 2022 have been prepared in accordance with the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules sourcebook of the Financial Conduct Authority and with the UK-adopted International Accounting Standard 34 (IAS 34), ‘Interim Financial Reporting’. The half yearly financial statements should be read in conjunction with the Company’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 September 2021, which have been prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standards (IASs) in conformity with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006.

Insofar as the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for investment trust companies and venture capital trusts, issued by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) in October 2019 and updated in April 2021, is compatible with UK-adopted IASs, the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with guidance set out in the SORP.

Amendments to IFRS 9, IAS 39 and IFRS 7 – Interest rate benchmark reform Phase 2 (effective 1 January 2021). The Phase 2 amendments address issues that might affect financial reporting during the reform of an interest rate benchmark, including the effects of changes to contractual cash flows or hedging relationships arising from the replacement of an interest rate benchmark with an alternative benchmark rate (replacement issues).

The objectives of the Phase 2 amendments are to assist companies in:

  • applying IFRS Standards when changes are made to contractual cash flows or hedging relationships because of the interest rate benchmark reform; and
  • providing useful information to users of financial statements.

In Phase 2 of its project, the Board amended requirements in IFRS 9 Financial Instruments, IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures, IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts and IFRS 16 Leases relating to:

  • changes in the basis for determining contractual cash flows of financial assets, financial liabilities and lease liabilities;
  • hedge accounting; and
  • disclosures.

The Phase 2 amendments apply only to changes required by the interest rate benchmark reform to financial instruments and hedging relationships.

These amendments have been adopted by the UK. The adoption of these amendments did not have any significant impact on the Company.

International Accounting Standards that have yet to be adopted:
IFRS 17 – Insurance contracts (effective 1 January 2023). This standard replaces IFRS 4, which currently permits a wide range of accounting practices in accounting for insurance contracts. IFRS 17 will fundamentally change the accounting by all entities that issue insurance contracts and investment contracts with discretionary participation features. This standard is unlikely to have any impact on the Company as it has no insurance contracts.

IAS 12 – Deferred tax related to assets and liabilities arising from a single transaction (effective 1 January 2023). The IASB has amended IAS 12, ‘Income taxes’, to require companies to recognise deferred tax on particular transactions that, on initial recognition, give rise to equal amounts of taxable and deductible temporary differences. According to the amended guidance, a temporary difference that arises on initial recognition of an asset or liability is not subject to the initial recognition exemption if that transaction gave rise to equal amounts of taxable and deductible temporary differences. These amendments might have a significant impact on the preparation of financial statements by companies that have substantial balances of right-of-use assets, lease liabilities, decommissioning, restoration and similar liabilities. The impact for those affected would be the recognition of additional deferred tax assets and liabilities.

The amendment of this standard is unlikely to have any significant impact on the Company.

Restatement of prior period comparatives
During the six months period ended 31 March 2021, the value of the tender pool recognised in the financial statements was based on the value of the assets allocated to the tender pool on the calculation date instead of the tender price being the value of these assets when fully realised. The comparative figures for the period ended 31 March 2021 have been restated to reflect the amounts realised from the tender pool instead of value of assets allocated to the tender pool in line with the Company’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 September 2021. As a result of this restatement, the financial statement line items that have been materially impacted are summarised in the table below:

Financial statement line item as at and for the six months period ended 31 March 2021 Amount before restatement
US$’000
Restatement
US$’000
Amount after restatement
US$’000
Net profit/(loss) on investments held at fair value through profit or loss 86,237 (385) 85,852
Net (loss)/profit on foreign exchange (112) (1,497) (1,609)
Profit/ (loss) for the period 115,638 (1,845) 113,793
Special reserves 306,942 1,845 308,787
Capital reserves 2,546 (1,896) 650
Revenue reserve 4,584 51 4,635
Tender offer in cash flow statement 88,713 (2,279) 86,434
=========  =========  ========= 

This restatement had no effect on the Company’s net asset value as at 31 March 2021.

3. Income







 

Six months 
ended 
31 March 
2022 
(unaudited) 
US$’000 
Six months 
ended 
31 March 
2021 
(unaudited) 
(restated)1 
US$’000 


Year ended 
30 September 
2021 
(audited) 
US$’000 
Investment income:
UK dividends –  167  166 
Overseas dividends 4,500  3,594  9,344 
Overseas special dividends 407  1,121  1,340 
Interest from Cash Fund 56  69  123 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total investment income 4,963  4,951  10,973 
=========  =========  ========= 
Net income from contracts for difference 644  1,026  7,966 
Deposit interest –  – 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total income 5,608  5,977  18,939 
=========  =========  ========= 

1     Please refer to note 2 above for more information regarding the restatement of prior period comparatives.

Dividends and interest received in cash in the six months ended 31 March 2022 amounted to US$3,239,000 and US$49,000 (six months ended 31 March 2021: US$4,090,000 and US$76,000; year ended 30 September 2021: US$11,549,000 and US$129,000).

Special dividends of US$74,000 have been recognised in capital for the six months ended 31 March 2022 (six months ended 31 March 2021: US$nil; year ended 30 September 2021: US$nil).

4. Investment management fee and performance fees




 

Six months ended 
31 March 2022 
(unaudited) 
Six months ended 
31 March 2021 
(unaudited) 
(restated) 1

Year ended 
30 September 2021 
(audited) 

 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Investment management fee 394  1,574  1,968  403  1,613  2,016  777  3,107  3,884 
Performance fee –  –  –  –  1,278  1,278  –  3,815  3,815 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total 394  1,574  1,968  403  2,891  3,294  777  6,922  7,699 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

1     Please refer to note 2 for more information regarding the restatement of prior period comparatives.

An investment management fee equivalent to 1.10% per annum of the Company’s gross assets (defined as the aggregate net assets of the long equity and CFD portfolios of the Company) is payable to the Manager. In addition, the Manager is entitled to receive a performance fee at a rate of 10% of any increase in the NAV at the end of a performance period over and above what would have been achieved had the NAV since launch increased in line with the Benchmark Index, which, since 1 April 2018, is a composite of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index ex Selected Countries + MSCI Frontier Markets Index + MSCI Saudi Arabia Index.

For the purposes of the calculation of the performance fee, the performance of the Net Asset Value total return was measured against the performance of the Benchmark Index on a blended basis.

For the six months ended 31 March 2022, the Company’s NAV underperformed the Benchmark Index on a US Dollar basis by 7.1% (six months ended 31 March 2021: outperformed by 19.2%; year ended 30 September 2021: outperformed by 25.7%); therefore, a performance fee of US$nil has been accrued (six months ended 31 March 2021: US$1,278,000; year ended 30 September 2021: US$3,815,000). Any accrued performance fee is included within other payables on the Statement of Financial Position. Any final performance fee for the full year ending 30 September 2022 will not crystallise and fall due until the calculation date of 30 September 2022.

The performance fee payable in any year is capped at an amount equal to 2.5% or 1.0% of the gross assets if there is any increase or decrease in the NAV per share at the end of the relevant performance period, respectively. Any capped excess outperformance for a period may be carried forward to the next two performance periods, subject to the then applicable annual cap. The performance fee is also subject to a high watermark such that any performance fee is only payable to the extent that the cumulative relative outperformance of the NAV is greater than what would have been achieved had the NAV increased in line with the Benchmark Index since the last date in relation to which a performance fee had been paid.

The investment management fee is allocated 80% to the capital account and 20% to the revenue account and the performance fee is wholly allocated to the capital account of the Statement of Comprehensive Income. There is no additional fee for company secretarial and administration services.

5. Other operating expenses







 

Six months 
ended 
31 March 
2022 
(unaudited) 
US$’000 
Six months 
ended 
31 March 
2021 
(unaudited) 
(restated)1 
US$’000 


Year ended 
30 September 
2021 
(audited) 
US$’000 
Allocated to revenue:
Custody fee 118  101  212 
Auditor’s remuneration:
- audit services2 26  40  72 
- other assurance services3
Registrar’s fee 16  18  45 
Directors’ emoluments 109  114  183 
Broker fees 20  19  40 
Depositary fees4 14  18  32 
Marketing fees 40  56  101 
AIC fees 11  11  19 
FCA fees 17 
Printing and postage fees 20  28  57 
Employer NI contributions 15  12  17 
Stock exchange listings 12 
Legal and professional fees 10  18 
Write back of prior year expenses5,6 (6) (50) (50)
Other administrative costs 19 58  107 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
430  456  891 
=========  =========  ========= 
Allocated to capital:
Custody transaction charges7 22  21  60 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
452  477  951 
=========  =========  ========= 

1     Please refer to note 2 for more information regarding the restatement of prior period comparatives.

2     For the year ended 30 September 2021, fees for audit services excluded £10,000 (US$14,000) (excluding VAT) paid in respect of the additional audit work on the Company’s tender offer. These fees are included within tender offer costs in the Statement of Changes in Equity.

3     Fees for other assurance services of £3,550 (US$5,000) (six months ended 31 March 2021: £3,550 (US$5,000); year ended 30 September 2021: £6,500 (US$9,000)) relate to the review of the interim financial statements.

4     All expenses other than depositary fees are paid in British Pound Sterling and are therefore subject to exchange rate fluctuations.

5     Relates to Directors’ expenses and miscellaneous fees written back during the six months ended 31 March 2022.

6     Relates to Directors’ search fees, legal fees, Directors’ expenses and AIC fees written back during the six months ended 31 March 2021 and the year ended 30 September 2021.

7     For the six month period ended 31 March 2022, expenses of £17,000 (US$22,000) (six months ended 31 March 2021: £15,000 (US$21,000); year ended 30 September 2021: £45,000 (US$60,000)) were charged to the capital account of the Statement of Comprehensive Income. These relate to transaction costs charged by the custodian on sale and purchase trades.

The transaction costs incurred on the acquisition of investments amounted to US$170,000 for the six months ended 31 March 2022 (six months ended 31 March 2021: US$138,000; year ended 30 September 2021: US$264,000). Costs relating to the disposal of investments amounted to US$120,000 for the six months ended 31 March 2022 (six months ended 31 March 2021: US$242,000; year ended 30 September 2021: US$328,000). All transaction costs have been included within the capital reserve.

6. Finance costs



 
Six months ended 
31 March 2022 
(unaudited)
Six months ended 
31 March 2021 
(unaudited)
Year ended 
30 September 2021 
(audited)

 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Interest payable – bank overdraft 10 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total 10 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

7. Taxation

Analysis of charge/(credit) for the period:




 

Six months ended 
31 March 2022 
(unaudited)
Six months ended 
31 March 2021 
(unaudited) 
(restated)1

Year ended 
30 September 2021 
(audited)

 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Revenue 
US$’000 
Capital 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Current tax:
Corporation tax –  –  –  48  (48) –  1,220  (1,220) – 
Overseas tax 408  412  443  –  443  1,145  –  1,145 
Overseas tax on capital gains –  –  –  –  21  21  –  67  67 
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total taxation charge/(credit) 408  412  491  (27) 464  2,365  (1,153) 1,212 
=========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  =========  ========= 

1     Please refer to note 2 for more information regarding the restatement of prior period comparatives.

8. Dividends
The Board has declared an interim dividend of 2.75 cents per share for the period ended 31 March 2022 which will be paid on 24 June 2022 to shareholders on the register at 6 June 2022 (interim dividend for the six months ended 31 March 2021: 2.75 cents per share). This dividend has not been accrued in the financial statements for the six months ended 31 March 2022 as, under IAS, interim dividends are not recognised until paid. Dividends are debited directly to reserves.

9. Earnings and net asset value per ordinary share
Total revenue, capital return and net asset value per ordinary share are shown below and have been calculated using the following:






 

Six months 
ended 
31 March 
2022 
(unaudited)
Six months 
ended 
31 March 
2021 
(unaudited)
(restated)1


Year ended 
30 September 
2021 
(audited)
Net revenue profit attributable to ordinary shareholders (US$’000) 4,375  4,626  14,904 
Net capital profit attributable to ordinary shareholders (US$’000) 8,060  109,167  134,568 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total profit attributable to ordinary shareholders (US$’000) 12,435  113,793  149,472 
=========  =========  ========= 
Equity shareholders’ funds (US$’000) 357,167  322,288  352,778 
=========  =========  ========= 
The weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the period, on which the return per ordinary share was calculated was: 189,325,748  230,947,596  210,079,656 
The actual number of ordinary shares in issue at the period end, on which the net asset value per ordinary share was calculated was: 189,325,748  189,325,748  189,325,748 
Earnings per share
Revenue earnings per share (cents) – basic and diluted 2.31  2.00  7.09 
Capital earnings per share (cents) – basic and diluted 4.26  47.27  64.06 
---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
Total earnings per share (cents) – basic and diluted 6.57  49.27  71.15 
=========  =========  ========= 

1     Please refer to note 2 for more information regarding the restatement of prior period comparatives.




 
As at 
31 March 
2022 
(unaudited)
As at 
31 March 
2021 
(unaudited)
As at 
30 September 
2021 
(audited)
Net asset value per ordinary share (cents) 188.65  170.23  186.33 
Ordinary share price (cents)1 169.19  172.46  165.18 
Net asset value per ordinary share (pence)2 143.29  123.38  138.19 
Ordinary share price (pence) 128.50  125.00  122.50 
=========  =========  ========= 

1     The Company’s share price is quoted in British Pound Sterling and the above represents the US Dollar equivalent, based on an exchange rate of US$1.3166 to £1 at 31 March 2022 (31 March 2021: US$1.3797 to £1; 30 September 2021: US$1.3484 to £1).

2     Based on an exchange rate of US$1.3166 to £1 at 31 March 2022 (31 March 2021: US$1.3797 to £1; 30 September 2021: US$1.3484 to £1).

10. Called up share capital




 
Ordinary 
shares 
in issue 
number 

Treasury 
shares 
number 

Total 
shares 
number 

Nominal 
value 
US$’000 
Allotted, called up and fully paid share capital comprised:
Ordinary shares of 1 cent each:
At 30 September 2021 189,325,748  52,497,053  241,822,801  2,418 
At 31 March 2022 189,325,748  52,497,053  241,822,801  2,418 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 

The Company also has in issue 50,000 management shares which carry the right to a fixed cumulative preferred dividend. Additional information is given in note 14 to the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 September 2021.

During the six months ended 31 March 2022, the Company did not issue any ordinary shares (six months ended 31 March 2021 and year ended 30 September 2021: nil) for a total gross consideration of US$nil (six months ended 31 March 2021 and year ended 30 September 2021: US$nil). Additionally, during the period there was no tender offer and no shares (six months ended 31 March 2021 and year ended 30 September 2021: 51,884,770 shares) were transferred into treasury for a total consideration of US$nil (six months ended 31 March 2021 and year ended 30 September 2021: US$87,220,000).

Since 31 March 2022 and up to the date of this report, no ordinary shares have been issued or bought back.

11. Reserves
The share premium and capital redemption reserve are not distributable profits under the Companies Act 2006. In accordance with ICAEW Technical Release 02/17BL on Guidance on Realised and Distributable Profits under the Companies Act 2006, the special reserve and capital reserve may be used as distributable profits for all purposes and, in particular, the repurchase by the Company of its ordinary shares and for payments as dividends. In accordance with the Company’s Articles of Association, special reserves, capital reserves and the revenue reserve may be distributed by way of dividend. The capital reserve arising on the revaluation of investments of US$6,840,000 (31 March 2021: gain of US$19,674,000; 30 September 2021: gain of US$13,092,000) is subject to fair value movements and may not be readily realisable at short notice, as such it may not be entirely distributable. The investments are subject to financial risks; as such capital reserves (arising on investments sold) and the revenue reserve may not be entirely distributable if a loss occurred during the realisation of these investments.

12. Valuation of financial instruments

Market risk arising from price risk
Price risk is the risk that the fair value or future cash flows of a financial instrument will fluctuate because of changes in market prices (other than those arising from interest rate risk or currency risk), whether those changes are caused by factors specific to the individual financial instrument or its issuer, or factors affecting similar financial instruments traded in the market. Local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, the spread of infectious illness or other public health issue, recessions, climate change or other events could have a significant impact on the Company and its investments.

The coronavirus outbreak has had a profound impact on all aspects of society in recent years. While there is a growing consensus in developed economies that the worst of the impact is now over, there is an expectation that travel restrictions, enhanced health screenings at ports of entry and elsewhere, disruption of and delays in healthcare service preparation and delivery, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, and lower consumer demand will create ongoing challenges. While widescale vaccination programmes are now in place in many countries and are having a positive effect, the impact of COVID-19 continues to adversely affect the economies of many nations across the globe and this impact may be greater where vaccination rates are lower, such as in certain emerging markets. Although it is difficult to make timing predictions, it is expected that the economic effects of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for a period after the virus itself has moved from being pandemic to endemic in nature, and this in turn may continue to impact investments held by the Company.

Valuation of financial instruments
Financial assets and financial liabilities are either carried in the Statement of Financial Position at their fair value (investments and derivatives) or at an amount which is a reasonable approximation of fair value (due from brokers, dividends and interest receivable, due to brokers, accruals, cash at bank and bank overdrafts). IFRS 13 requires the Company to classify fair value measurements using a fair value hierarchy that reflects the significance of inputs used in making the measurements. The valuation techniques used by the Company are explained in the accounting policies note 2(g) as set out on pages 88 and 89 of the Company’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 September 2021.

Categorisation within the hierarchy has been determined on the basis of the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement of the relevant asset.

The fair value hierarchy has the following levels:

Level 1 - Quoted market price for identical instruments in active markets
A financial instrument is regarded as quoted in an active market if quoted prices are readily available from an exchange, dealer, broker, industry group, pricing service or regulatory agency and those prices represent actual and regularly occurring market transactions on an arm’s length basis. The Company does not adjust the quoted price for these instruments.

Level 2 - Valuation techniques using observable inputs
This category includes instruments valued using quoted prices for similar instruments in markets that are considered less active, or other valuation techniques where all significant inputs are directly or indirectly observable from market data.

Valuation techniques used for non-standardised financial instruments such as options, currency swaps and other over-the-counter derivatives include the use of comparable recent arm’s length transactions, reference to other instruments that are substantially the same, discounted cash flow analysis, option pricing models and other valuation techniques commonly used by market participants making the maximum use of market inputs and relying as little as possible on entity specific inputs.

As at the period end the CFDs were valued based on the difference between the underlying equity bid/ask prices and the notional transaction prices (in effect, the unrealised gains and losses). The inputs to the valuation were the exchange rates used to convert the CFD valuation from the relevant local currency in which the underlying equity was priced to US Dollars at the period end date. There have been no changes to the valuation technique since the previous year or as at the date of this report.

Contracts for difference and forward currency contracts have been classified as Level 2 investments as their valuation has been based on market observable inputs represented by the market prices of the underlying quoted securities to which these contracts expose the Company.

Level 3 - Valuation techniques using significant unobservable inputs
This category includes all instruments where the valuation technique includes inputs not based on market data and these inputs could have a significant impact on the instrument’s valuation.

This category also includes instruments that are valued based on quoted prices for similar instruments where significant entity determined adjustments or assumptions are required to reflect differences between the instruments and instruments for which there is no active market. The Investment Manager considers observable data to be that market data that is readily available, regularly distributed or updated, reliable and verifiable, not proprietary and provided by independent sources that are actively involved in the relevant market.

The level in the fair value hierarchy within which the fair value measurement is categorised in its entirety is determined on the basis of the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement. If a fair value measurement uses observable inputs that require significant adjustment based on unobservable inputs, that measurement is a Level 3 measurement.

Assessing the significance of a particular input to the fair value measurement in its entirety requires judgement, considering factors specific to the asset or liability. The determination of what constitutes ‘observable’ inputs requires significant judgement by the Investment Manager.

Fair values of financial assets and financial liabilities
For exchange listed equity investments the quoted price is the bid price. Substantially all investments are valued based on unadjusted quoted market prices. Where such quoted prices are readily available in an active market, such prices are not required to be assessed or adjusted for any price related risks, including climate risk, in accordance with the fair value related requirements of the Company’s Financial Reporting Framework.

The table below sets out fair value measurements using the IFRS 13 fair value hierarchy.


Financial assets/(liabilities) at fair value through profit or loss at 31 March 2022 (unaudited)
Level 1 
US$’000 
Level 2 
US$’000 
Level 3 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Assets:
Equity investments 270,823  –  –  270,823 
Cash Fund 83,297  –  –  83,297 
Contracts for difference (fair value) –  6,474  –  6,474 
Liabilities:
Contracts for difference (fair value) –  (2,089) –  (2,089)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
354,120  4,385  –  358,505 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 

   


Financial assets/(liabilities) at fair value through profit or loss at 31 March 2021 (unaudited)
Level 1 
US$’000 
Level 2 
US$’000 
Level 3 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Assets:
Equity investments 235,436  –  –  235,436 
Cash Fund 86,057  –  –  86,057 
Contracts for difference (fair value) –  3,430  –  3,430 
Forward currency contracts (fair value) –  202  –  202 
Liabilities:
Contracts for difference (fair value) –  (976) –  (976)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
321,493  2,656  –  324,149 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 

   

Financial assets/(liabilities) at fair value through profit or loss at 30 September 2021 (audited) Level 1 
US$’000 
Level 2 
US$’000 
Level 3 
US$’000 
Total 
US$’000 
Assets:
Equity investments 257,806  –  –  257,806 
Cash Fund 96,269  –  –  96,269 
Contracts for difference (fair value) –  7,725  –  7,725 
Forward currency contracts (fair value) –  346  –  346 
Liabilities:
Contracts for difference (fair value) –  (1,908) –  (1,908)
---------------  ---------------  ---------------  --------------- 
354,075  6,163  –  360,238 
=========  =========  =========  ========= 

There were no transfer between levels of financial assets and financial liabilities during the period recorded at fair value as at 31 March 2022, 31 March 2021 or the year ended 30 September 2021. The Company held no Level 3 securities during the period ended 31 March 2022.

A reconciliation of fair value measurement in Level 3 is set out below.




Level 3 Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss
31 March 
2022 
(unaudited)
US$’000 
31 March 
2021 
(unaudited)
US$’000 
30 September 
2021 
(audited)
US$’000 
Opening fair value – 
Disposal of Contract for difference (fair value)1 –  (3) (3)
Closing balance –  –  – 
=========  =========  ========= 

1     During the year ended 30 September 2021, the Company disposed of a contract for difference in Kuwait Food (Americana).

13. Related party disclosure

Directors’ emoluments
The Board consists of six non-executive Directors, all of whom are considered to be independent of the Manager by the Board. None of the Directors has a service contract with the Company. With effect from 1 October 2021, the Chairman receives an annual fee of £39,000, the Chairman of the Audit and Management Engagement Committee receives an annual fee of £33,000 and each of the other Directors receives an annual fee of £29,000.

As at 31 March 2022, an amount of US$20,200 (£15,300) was outstanding in respect of Directors’ fees (31 March 2021: US$14,000 (£10,500); 30 September 2021: US$15,000 (£11,000)).

At the period end, members of the Board, including any connected persons, held ordinary shares in the Company as set out below:

Ordinary shares 
Audley Twiston-Davies (Chairman) 128,935 
Liz Airey1 75,000 
Katrina Hart 39,789 
Lucy Taylor-Smith1 nil 
Stephen White 30,000 
Sarmad Zok nil 
========= 

1     Appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 10 December 2021.

14. Transactions with the Investment Manager and AIFM
BlackRock Fund Managers Limited (BFM) provides management and administration services to the Company under a contract which is terminable on six months’ notice. BFM has (with the Company’s consent) delegated certain portfolio and risk management services, and other ancillary services, to BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited (BIM (UK)). Further details of this investment management contract are disclosed on pages 50 and 51 of the Directors’ Report in the Company’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 September 2021.

The investment management fee due for the six months ended 31 March 2022 amounted to US$1,968,000 (six months ended 31 March 2021: US$2,016,000; year ended 30 September 2021: US$3,884,000). There is no performance fee payable for the six months ended 31 March 2022 (six months ended 31 March 2021: US$1,278,000; year ended 30 September 2021: US$3,815,000).

At the period end, US$1,968,000 was outstanding in respect of management fees (31 March 2021: US$1,016,000; 30 September 2021: US$1,867,000) and US$3,815,000 was outstanding in respect of performance fees (31 March 2021: US$1,278,000; 30 September 2021: US$3,815,000). Any final performance fee for the full year ending 30 September 2022 will not crystallise and fall due until the calculation date of 30 September 2022.

In addition to the above services, BlackRock has provided the Company with marketing services. The total fees paid or payable for these services to 31 March 2022 amounted to US$40,000 excluding VAT (six months ended 31 March 2021: US$56,000; year ended 30 September 2021: US$101,000). Marketing fees of US$104,000 excluding VAT (31 March 2021: US$127,000; 30 September 2021: US$64,000) were outstanding as at 31 March 2022.

The Company has an investment in the BlackRock Institutional Cash Series plc - US Dollar Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund of US$83,297,000 as at 31 March 2022 which is a fund managed by a company within the BlackRock Group (31 March 2021: US$86,057,000; 30 September 2021: US$96,269,000).s

The ultimate holding company of the Manager and the Investment Manager is BlackRock, Inc., a company incorporated in Delaware USA.

15. Contingent liabilities
There were no contingent liabilities at 31 March 2022 (six months ended 31 March 2021: nil; year ended 30 September 2021: nil).

16. Publication of non statutory accounts
The financial information contained in this half yearly report does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in Section 435 of the Companies Act 2006. The financial information for the six months ended 31 March 2022 and 31 March 2021 has not been audited.

The information for the year ended 30 September 2021 has been extracted from the latest published audited financial statements which have been filed with the Registrar of Companies, unless otherwise stated. The report of the auditors on those accounts contained no qualifications or statement under Sections 498(2) or 498 (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

17. Annual results
The Board expects to announce the annual results for the year ending 30 September 2022 in early December 2022.

Copies of the annual results announcement can be obtained from the Secretary on 020 7743 3000 or at cosec@blackrock.com. The Annual Report should be available by late December 2022 with the Annual General Meeting being held in February 2023.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Melissa Gallagher, Managing Director, Investment Trusts, BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited
Tel: 020 7743 3000

Press enquiries:
Lansons Communications

Email: BlackRockInvestmentTrusts@lansons.com

Tel:  020 7490 8828

26 May 2022

12 Throgmorton Avenue
London EC2N 2DL

END


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