Category Archives: Factsheet

August 2020

By | 10th September 2020

Pan European real estate equities rose +1.49% (when measured in GBP) with the Trust’s NAV +2.15%. The share price rose an encouraging +5.4% as the discount tightened towards 10%. The month was characterised by a continuation of the theme of the top performing sectors (industrial/logistics, residential, long income) keeping on winning and weakened sectors (retail, hospitality, short income) falling further. The most prominent casualty was Unibail Rodamco which fell -12% as short sellers were emboldened by the (so far unfounded) rumour of an equity raise. The problem for URW is partly one of size, if it does need to raise then it requires several billion euros. The second issue is that the problems in the US portfolio will be harder to resolve. This is amplified by a newly configured management team following the departure of previous (Westfield) management. However, the poorest performance in the month goes to Hammerson (-24.5%) as investors were presented with the details of a £525m emergency deeply discounted rights issue alongside the disposal of its 50% share in the VIA Outlets to its JV partner for c.£275m. The wilful ignoring of clear market trends and the siren call of (short lived) earnings enhancement through increased (cheap) leverage ensured the mass destruction of shareholders’ equity firstly at Intu and now at Hammerson. Across Europe, retail names fared poorly with Mercialys (-16%) as the major shareholder, Casino, tries to reduce its holding. The only bright spot was Vastned (+14%) but that looks short lived with the largest shareholder (a private investor) demanding managerial change which we don’t agree with.

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July 2020

By | 13th August 2020

The Trust’s net asset value (NAV) with income rose +1.39% versus a return of +0.07% for the benchmark, while the share price returned +2.55%. The discount still stands at an attractive -13%.

European property companies, measured by the FTSE EPRA Developed Europe Index, generated total returns of +1.2% in euros, outperforming general equities (measured by the EuroStoxx 600 Index, total returns, in euros), which returned -0.9% in July. They were helped by depressed bond yields (the 10-year German bund fell -7 basis points (bps) in the month, ending at -52bp) and the spread of negative real interest rates across several major economies.

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June 2020

By | 15th July 2020

Pan European real estate equities started the month very much continuing the late May theme of benefiting from the rotation  away from growth focused (and more expensive) stocks towards the ‘value’ (cheaper multiples) names. However mid month that macro tailwind petered out and the sector corrected almost -7% in 5 days, this was followed by an equally sharp but short lived rally with the sector ending the month just +1.8% having been +9% at one point. ‘Volatile’ remains the most commonly used adjective. In essence markets are constantly torn between the attraction of equity valuations when bond yields are set to remain very flat for long periods (and real rates are negative) and the daily news that much of the real economy is in dire straits. The consumer (beyond the immediate post lockdown spending spree) is unlikely to come to the rescue given expected rising unemployment levels and job insecurity leading to higher savings ratios.

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May 2020

By | 12th June 2020

Pan-European real estate equities continued the range-bound, yet volatile performance (which we have experienced since the end of March) for most of the month. However, the last ten days of May and early June saw a sustained rally as investors preferred value stocks (seen to be undervalued) to growth stocks (companies that are expected to grow faster than the market). On a global perspective, the gap between the two had rarely been wider, and this snap back was sharp. In our universe, this has translated into a strong correction from those stocks that have had the weakest performance since markets began to react to COVID-19 in mid-February. This was primarily in retail, hotels and other consumer-facing real estate.

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April 2020

By | 6th May 2020

Pan-European broad equities (measured by the STOXX Europe 600 index, in euros) generated total returns of +6.7%. They shrugged off poor corporate earnings releases and dreadful macroeconomic news flow in April, warmed by the enormous central bank and government support actions. Pan-European property stocks (EPRA Developed Europe, sterling, total returns) returned +1.7%, lagging the wider market. This was possibly due to concerns over surging debt spreads, lease length potentially undermined by bankruptcies, dividend cuts, and a worsening outlook for the consumer-facing property sub-sectors, such as retail, hotel, leisure and serviced offices. However, the picture wasn’t quite so bleak when viewed in euros, with total return for the month at +3.7%. Sterling strengthened over 2% versus the euro over the month, carrying on its bounce from the mid-March lows. The Trust’s net asset value (NAV) rose +2.0% while the share price was up +5.5%, as the discount percentage tightened to single figures.

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