Interactive Investor

Oriel: Last roll of the dice for India Capital Growth Trust

12th September 2013 11:07

Tanzeel Akhtar from interactive investor

The India Capital Growth Trust's net asset value fell by 10% to 46.1p in the first half of the year.

India's stockmarket has been faced with negativity and uncertainty, but despite this the trust's board is satisfied with its performance.

India Capital Growth is managed by David Cornell at Ocean Dial Asset Management. The trust is listed on the Alternative Investment Market, London Stock Exchange and domiciled in Guernsey. Its objective is to provide long-term capital appreciation by investing in listed mid and small cap companies, with a smaller proportion in unlisted companies. Investment may also be made in large cap listed Indian companies.

Oriel Securities contributing analyst Tom Tuite Dalton says: "It has been a rough ride for shareholders since this trust was launched in 2005, with the share price still significantly below issue price.

"With net assets of under £30 million, a discount of 22% and a wind-up vote in 2015, it would appear to be the last roll of the dice for this [trust], since shareholder patience is arguably wearing thin, and they might ultimately vote with their feet."

According to the company it has constituted an outperformance of 8.2% against the BSE Mid Cap Index, its notional benchmark, which fell 18.2%.

Tuite Dalton reports in his outlook that the board sees opportunities for India to benefit from falling energy and commodity prices. He says: "In the medium and long term, we believe the changing global environment will serve to enforce the attractive investment proposition that India still provides rather than detract from it.

"As ultra-loose monetary policy comes to an end, the shale gas 'revolution' increases global fuel supply and China re-balances away from an investment-dominated economy, the expected moderation in commodity prices will benefit India."

Positive contributors to India Capital Growth's performance have been Idea Cellular, Lupin and Eicher Motors. Negative contributors were Yes Bank, Federal Bank and Sintex Industries.

In the most recent factsheet for the trust, Cornell highlights intensified volatility in Indian equity markets and says the Main Board Sensex Index fell 0.3%, the Mid Cap Index fell 7.1%.

The manager adds: "This precipitous fall followed the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy U-turn, shifting from an accommodative stance of liquidity infusion into the banking sector to an implicit tightening position."

The Indian rupee has been volatile, and recent proposals by the US Federal Reserve's to taper its quantitative easing programme have distracted markets from the domestic economic recovery.

Cornell comments that beyond the banks, cyclical sectors - in particular infrastructure and industrials - plus those with weak balance sheet positions have been most affected.

Over one year, the trust has underperformed its sector at 6.9% compared with 15.7% of the IT Country Specialists Asia Pacific sector as at 11 September.