Interactive Investor

Your vote counts: the investment trust AGMs in December 2023

Kepler Trust Intelligence highlights investment trust AGMs taking place next month.

30th November 2023 09:00

David Kimberley from Kepler Trust Intelligence

Despite the looming Christmas festivities and new year celebrations, December is set to be a busy month for the investment trust world, with almost 30 closed-ended funds holding their annual general meetings (AGMs) next month.

AGMs are a fantastic opportunity for private investors to interact with the people managing their money. They also provide a chance to get managers’ thoughts on markets and an understanding of how their portfolios are currently positioned.

Next month is also illustrative of the broad opportunity set that investment trusts offer, whether it be country specialists such as Schroder Japan Trust (LSE:SJG) or venture-capital style funds such as Augmentum Fintech (LSE:AUGM). With that in mind, here are three trusts holding their AGMs next month that should give you a sense of what AGMs tend to vote on and what opportunities exist in the sector.

Ashoka India Equity

One of the more unique trusts listed on the London Stock Exchange today is Ashoka India Equity (LSE:AIE). The trust invests solely in Indian companies and has no management fee. Instead they are paid 30% of excess returns generated over three-year periods. That fee is paid in shares, half of which are locked up for another three-year period. Whether or not that is the causal factor, the trust has consistently outperformed its peers and benchmark since IPO in 2018.

Positive performance has enabled the trust to grow and issue new shares regularly, increasing assets from £40 million at IPO to over £260 million today. That ties into one of the key votes for the trust next month. The board will be looking for approval to issue new equity, something a trust typically does if it is consistently trading at a premium to its net asset value (NAV).

Fidelity Emerging Markets

This trust stands out from others in its sector through its wide reach in terms of its research team, as well as the managers being able to take short positions in the market.

Shareholders will be voting on a range of resolutions at next month’s AGM but perhaps the most noteworthy is approval of the Fidelity Emerging Markets (LSE:FEML)’ proposed dividend.

Another key vote will focus on the trust’s ability to buy back shares. Share buybacks are used by trusts to manage their discount, a concern that has become particularly pronounced this year given how wide discounts have become. How those buybacks are carried out and the terms under which a trust may engage in them need to be specified and then approved by shareholders.

International Biotechnology Trust

This specialist trust has been in the headlines this year after its mandate moved from SV Health Investors to Schroders. International Biotechnology Ord (LSE:IBT)’s management team has remained in place post-move and the underlying strategy will also remain the same.

The trust has a continuation vote at its AGM next month, meaning shareholders will be asked whether they want the trust to wind up. IBT holds this vote every other year and the most recent vote, which took place in 2021, saw more than 99% of votes approve the continuation of the trust.

Trust

AIC sector

AGM date

PRS REIT Ord (LSE:PRSR)

Property - UK Residential

04/12/2023

Schroder Oriental Income (LSE:SOI)

Asia Pacific Equity Income

04/12/2023

Schroder Japan Trust (LSE:SJG)

Japan

05/12/2023

abrdn Asia Focus plc (LSE:AAS)

Asia Pacific Smaller Companies

05/12/2023

Alternative Liquidity Fund (LSE:ALF)

Hedge Funds

06/12/2023

JPEL Private Equity Ord (LSE:JPEL)

Private Equity

06/12/2023

VinaCapital Vietnam Opp Fund Ord (LSE:VOF) 

Country Specialist

06/12/2023

Asia Dragon Ord (LSE:DGN)

Asia Pacific

07/12/2023

Doric Nimrod Air Three Ord (LSE:DNA3)

Leasing

07/12/2023

Fidelity Emerging Markets (LSE:FEML)

Global Emerging Markets

07/12/2023

Scottish Oriental Smaller Cos Ord (LSE:SST)

Asia Pacific Smaller Companies

07/12/2023

Supermarket Income REIT Ord (LSE:SUPR)

Property - UK Commercial

07/12/2023

Amedeo Air Four Plus (LSE:AA4)

Leasing

08/12/2023

Ashoka India Equity Investment Ord (LSE:AIE)

India / Indian Subcontinent

08/12/2023

Octopus Future Generations VCT

VCT Generalist Pre Qualifying

11/12/2023

Baillie Gifford Japan Ord (LSE:BGFD)

Japan

12/12/2023

BlackRock Greater Europe (LSE:BRGE)

Europe

12/12/2023

Henderson International Income Ord (LSE:HINT)

Global Equity Income

12/12/2023

International Biotechnology Ord (LSE:IBT)

Biotechnology & Healthcare

12/12/2023

Schroder Income Growth Ord (LSE:SCF)

UK Equity Income

13/12/2023

Fidelity Special Values Ord (LSE:FSV)

UK All Companies

14/12/2023

Marwyn Value Investors Ord (LSE:MVI)

UK Smaller Companies

14/12/2023

CQS Natural Resources G&I Ord (LSE:CYN)

Commodities & Natural Resources

15/12/2023

Schroder BSC Social Impact Trust Ord (LSE:SBSI)

Flexible Investment

15/12/2023

AVI Global Trust Ord (LSE:AGT)

Global

20/12/2023

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

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