Fund Manager's Comments
A collection of the Fund Manager's comments and Chairman's Statements. These are extracted from the original Portfolio Details and Accounts that are published on this website.
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It is pleasing to report that the Athelney Trust unaudited NAV increased by 3.27% during January, which compares with a 3.58% increase in the FTSE Index, a 7.01% increase in the AIM All Share index and a 2.29% increase in the Small Cap Index. Most other major stock markets around the world were also up during the month of January. The Dow Jones Index increased in US$ by 7.17% and there was a 7.68% increase in the MSCI World Index during the month.
We are now into the second month of the 2019 year and the trade and political outlook for 2019 is no clearer. What is clear however, is that the US Federal Reserve has decided to relax its stance on interest rate hikes and keep interest rates steady, in the 2.25% to 2.5% range for the foreseeable future. This means that the central bank is unlikely to raise borrowing costs any time soon, providing some stimulus to the market as evidenced during the past month.
Our focus is on retaining and consolidating our holdings into those quality companies in the portfolio which are unlikely to be disintermediated by technological change and able to maintain or increase their dividend, as well as adding companies which have an acceptable level of predictable growth in the business’s medium-term economic performance. To this end we have continued to sell our holdings in companies where there has been a change to the industry structure, the business model, the senior management team or the product/service offering, the occurrence of which will result in our view in a deterioration in future profitability and hence dividends to Athelney Trust Plc. Our positions in F&C UK Real Estate have been sold while we added to our holdings in the AEW UK REIT.