RNS Number : 4587A

Athelney Trust PLC

02 February 2022

Athelney Trust PLC

Legal Entity Identifier:


The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 282p at 31 January 2022.

Fund Manager's comment for January 2022

The world economy had the wind at its back in 2021 with a generous fiscal policy and accommodative Central Bankers. Inflation and supply chains have been identified as the key obstacles to earnings growth with Central Banks now focusing on dealing with the latter. In the US the Fed is expected to increase interest rates four times during 2022 and, with inflation increasing in the UK to 5.4% in December, the consensus forecast is for the BoE to hike its policy rate by 25 bps to 0.5% at its February meeting. In Europe recent data provided further confirmation of an economic soft patch with the Eurozone January services PMI index declining by more than expected and the corresponding index in the U.K. declining further in January.

The net effect of the expected tightening in monetary policy has been to put pressure on the high PE valuations of the market and the growth stocks in particular. This has resulted in the MSCI declining by 5.3% during the month, largely driven by similar declines in the broader US market where the S&P500 index reported an overall decline of 5.3% as well. The tech heavy NASDAQ declined by 9.0% from a high of 15,901.5 on 28(th) December representing almost 40 times earnings.

The UK markets responded similarly with the broad indicator, the FTSE 250 Index closing down by 6.6% over the month as compared to the FTSE 100 which was up by 1.1%. The FTSE 100 is home to many larger, older and more traditional companies including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and various utility companies which under-performed the high growth technology stocks over the last two years and are now seen to be offering value. The Fledgling Index was down by a mere 1.9% during the month. The Small Cap Index declined by 4.1% while the AIM All Share Index showed the biggest decline of 10.0%.

While our REIT exposure held up well and was mostly unchanged in January, the higher PE growth stocks in the portfolio declined in line with the negative market sentiment resulting in a 9.0% decline in the portfolio for the month of January. The NAV decline of 9.1% reflected once again that the expenses have been contained. We have remained fully invested, making no changes to our existing positions during the month with cash comprising 4.1% of the portfolio at month end .

Fact Sheet

An accompanying fact sheet which includes the information above as well as wider details on the portfolio can be found on the Fund's website www.athelneytrust.co.uk under "About" then select "Latest Monthly Fact Sheet".

Background Information

Dr. Emmanuel (Manny) Pohl AM

Manny is Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of E C Pohl & Co ("ECP"), an investment management company and has been a major shareholder in Athelney trust for many years.

E C Pohl & co is licensed by the Australian Financial services (licence no.421704).



Manny Pohl and the ECP group has AUD2.7bn (GBP1.5 billion) under its management including four listed investment companies, three listed in Australia and one in the UK:

   --    Flagship Investments (ASX code:FSI) 

AUD95m https://flagshipinvestments.com.au

   --    Barrack St Investments (ASX code: BST) 

AUD37m www.barrackst.com

   --    Global Masters Fund Limited (ASX code: GFL) 

AUD33m www.globalmastersfund.com.au

   --    Athelney Trust plc (LSE code: ATY) 

GBP6m www.athelneytrust.co.uk

Athelney Trust plc Investment Policy

The investment objective of the Trust is to provide shareholders with prospects of long-term capital growth with the risks inherent in small cap investment minimised through a spread of holdings in quality small cap companies that operate in various industries and sectors. The Fund Manager also considers that it is important to maintain a progressive dividend record.

The assets of the Trust are allocated predominantly to companies with either a full listing on the London Stock Exchange or a trading facility on AIM or ISDX. The assets of the Trust have been allocated in two main ways: first, to the shares of those companies which have grown steadily over the years in terms of profits and dividends but, despite this progress, the market rating is favourable when compared to future earnings and dividends; second, to those companies whose shares are standing at a favourable level compared with the value of land, buildings or cash in the balance sheet.

Athelney Trust was founded in 1994. In 1996 it was one of the ten pioneer members of the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM"). In 2008 the shares became fully listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Athelney Trust has a successful progressive dividend growth record and the dividend has grown every year since 2004. According to the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) Athelney Trust is one of only "22 investment companies that have increased their dividend every year between 10 and 20 years - the next generation of dividend heroes" (as at 20/03/2018). See link




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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 02, 2022 04:05 ET (09:05 GMT)

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