Manager Commentary

Please read in conjunction with the Performance section above.

30 September 2020Gervais Williams & Martin Turner

After a strong rise in previous months, the trust’s NAV fell 1.1% in September. This compares with a decline of 0.4% in the FTSE AIM All-Share Index. The trust’s share price that has been lagging the rise of the NAV over the last year, caught up a little with a rise of 2.4% in the month.

Profits are being taken on some of the holdings that have delivered very strong returns over recent years. In many cases it is not related to any slowdown in their prospects, but the potential to reallocate to the smallest companies on more overlooked valuations. The long-term winner Kape Technologies was trimmed for example, as well as some more recent holdings such as Loop Up which was sold completely. A similar trend occurred in the Health Care sector where Genedrive was sold. During September, the largest holding to be sold was Hydrogen Group at a premium to the recent bid.

The two worst performers during September were Kape Technologies, and Simec Atlantic, both of which have risen very substantially over the last year. Meanwhile several less high-profile holdings performed well including MTI Wireless Edge, Trackwise Designs, Open Orphan, and along with the bid for Hydrogen Group they all added almost 2% combined to the trust’s return over the month.

Importantly we are continuing to identify numerous opportunities where we believe the business prospects are not reflected in the share prices, as new markets open. A good example is Gaming Realms, where its Sligo online games are taking market share as the US market deregulates.