Portfolio & Performance

ISIN GB0001490001
SEDOL 0149000

Share Price is the price of a single ordinary share, as determined by the stock market. The share price above is the mid-market price at market close.
Share Price
838.0p


Net Asset Value (NAV) per Share is calculated as available shareholders’ funds divided by the number of shares in issue, with shareholders’ funds taken to be the net value of all the company’s assets after deducting liabilities. The NAV figure above is based on the fair/market value of the company’s long-term debt and preference shares (known as debt at market value). This allows for the valuation of long-term debt and preference shares at fair value or current market price, rather than at final repayment value (known as debt at par).
NAV per Share
914.9p


Premium/Discount. Since investment company shares are traded on a stock market, the share price that you get may be higher or lower than the NAV. The difference is known as a premium or discount.
Premium/-Discount
-8.4%


Dividend Yield is calculated using the latest full year dividend divided by the current share price.
Dividend Yield
2.2%

Data source DataStream and Allianz Global Investors as at 19.09.2019 based on market close mid price.

Awards & Ratings

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Morningstar Rating: The Morningstar Rating is an assessment of a fund’s past performance – based on both return and risk – which shows how similar investments compare with their competitors. A high rating alone is insufficient basis for an investment decision.
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Morningstar Bronze Rating: Morningstar analysts assign these ratings on a five-tier scale with three positive ratings of Gold, Silver, and Bronze, a Neutral rating, and a Negative rating. If a fund receives a positive rating it means Morningstar analysts think highly of the fund and expect it to outperform over a full market cycle of at least five years.
© 2019 Morningstar. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
The Morningstar Analyst Rating for Funds is a forward-looking analysis of a fund. Morningstar has identified five key areas crucial to predicting the future success of a fund: People, Parent, Process, Performance, and Price. The pillars are used in determining the Morningstar Analyst Rating for a fund. Morningstar Analyst Ratings are assigned on a five-tier scale running from Gold to Negative. The top three ratings, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, all indicate that our analysts think highly of a fund; the difference between them corresponds to differences in the level of analyst conviction in a fund’s ability to outperform its benchmark and peers through time, within the context of the level of risk taken over the long term. Neutral represents funds in which our analysts don’t have a strong positive or negative conviction over the long term and Negative represents funds that possess at least one flaw that our analysts believe is likely to significantly hamper future performance over the long term. Long term is defined as a full market cycle or at least five years. Past performance of a security may or may not be sustained in future and is no indication of future performance. For detailed information about the Morningstar Analyst Rating for Funds, please visit http://global.morningstar.com/managerdisclosures.

Portfolio

The data shown is not constant over time and the allocation may change in the future. Totals may not sum to 100.0% due to rounding. All data source Allianz Global Investors unless otherwise stated.

Top 20 Holdings (%)

Microsoft
4.9
UnitedHealth Group
3.1
Muenchener Rueckver
2.9
Roche
2.9
Accenture
2.9
Visa - A Shares
2.8
Ecolab
2.7
Cooper Cos
2.5
Estée Lauder
2.5
Royal Dutch Shell - B Shares
2.5
Taiwan Semiconductor
2.4
Agilent Technologies
2.2
GlaxoSmithKline
2.1
AIA Group
2.1
Adidas
2.0
Compass
1.8
Informa
1.8
Microchip Technologies
1.7
Schneider Electric
1.7
Unilever
1.7

Data as of 31.08.2019

Sector Breakdown (%)

Financials
22.9
Industrials
21.6
Health Care
14.9
Technology
11.8
Consumer Goods
9.3
Consumer Services
7.3
Basic Materials
5.1
Oil & Gas
3.4
Utilities
2.9
Telecommunications
0.8

Data as of 31.08.2019. Excludes Cash

Geographic Breakdown (%)

North America 43.4
Europe ex UK 24.4
UK 23.8
Pacific ex Japan 5.9
Japan 2.5

Data as of 31.08.2019. Excludes Cash

Fund Manager Comments

Market Review

Global equities retreated over August amid growing fears of a recession. The re-escalating US/China trade war, further US yield curve inversion (often seen as a sign of approaching recession) and continuing weak economic data all contributed to worsening market sentiment. At a sector level, higher yielding, defensive sectors like Consumer Staples and Utilities performed best, while Energy, Financials and Materials stocks were weakest.

At the start of the month the US announced it would impose tariffs on a further USD 30 billion of Chinese goods. The US also branded China a currency manipulator after the Renminbi weakened through the psychologically important rate of RMB 7 per USD. In response, China announced tariffs on another USD 75 billion of US goods, including agricultural products, crude oil and small aircraft.

The British pound weakened still further on the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit.

Oil prices, as measured by Brent crude, touched a seven-month low of USD 56 a barrel.

Portfolio Review

The Trust’s NAV fell by 3.2% over the month, against a benchmark return of -2.2%. This lag was due to some weaker stock selection in Health Care and Industrials, which outweighed positive contributions in Technology and Basic Materials.

The negative contributor within Industrials was Brambles, the supply chain logistics company. Full year results delivered lower margins than expected. Our post results meeting with management explained that margin growth is deferred rather than removed as a result of accelerated investment in automation. While the outlook is not immune from slower economic activity globally, there will be a special dividend, capital return and buyback as a result of the sale of its IFCO business, a manufacturer of plastic food crates. The yield remains secure and we maintain our position.

Ashmore, an emerging market focused asset manager, also weakened in August. The shares suffered a derating due to the increasing uncertainty around global trade and the news that Argentina, to which Ashmore has some exposure in its portfolios, could have to restructure its debts. However, margins should be resilient due to the more flexible nature of Ashmore’s remuneration policy and the fact that institutional investors (which make up c. 70 per cent of Ashmore’s assets under management) tend to be long-term in nature. The stock has outperformed peers year to date and our investment case remains intact.

On the positive side, multinational cosmetics company Estée Lauder delivered another strong set of results. With revenues and earnings both ahead of consensus, it is the company’s impressive sales in Asia, travel and online that continue to impress. Moreover, Estée Lauder issued uncharacteristically optimistic guidance for the year. It continues to be one of our highest conviction holdings.

Accenture has also performed well. Over the month, the consultancy firm announced four acquisitions: Fairway Technologies, a US-based software engineer; Insitum, a design company; Analytics8, an Australian big data consultancy; and Parker Fitzgerald, a UK risk consultant. All four deals reflect Accenture’s core strategy of growing revenues through high margin digital consultancy, which it continues to execute well.

Market Outlook

Global growth is resolutely decelerating. Even in the US, August’s manufacturing data signalled a contraction. As the cyclical environment deteriorates and US tax benefits are lapped, corporate earnings are also softening.

This trend is being exacerbated by ongoing US-China trade tensions. Despite the several false dawns, which have buoyed markets in 2019, tariff increases against sustained allegations of currency manipulation and cyber warfare will remain a key source of volatility. Nonetheless, with expectations of any US-China deal at rock bottom, even a modicum of progress could generate relief.

The situation is similar in the UK. For now, sterling will bear the brunt of a ‘no deal’ departure’s increasing likelihood, as well as a slowing economy. Yet legislative intercession from parliament or a General Election won by pro-European parties could see sentiment improve markedly.

Indeed, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell highlighted both tariff wars and Brexit as “significant” risks to the global economy in his Jackson Hole speech. Mr Powell also stressed that, contrary to President Trump’s insistence, more accommodative monetary policy is not an economic panacea. Even so, the scale of the recent bond rally combined with renewed easing from both the Fed and European Central Bank could be enough to spur a rebound in ‘risk assets’ such as equities.

Over the course of 2019 we have consistently reduced our exposure to stocks with overextended valuations and added to those on more reasonable multiples. Similarly, we maintain a neutral approach to market direction, macro-economic risk and investment style at all times. While September often sees a pick-up in volatility after the calm of summer, our stance should mean a less volatile outcome than average, with active stock selection continuing to be the main driver of returns.

Lucy Macdonald 13 September 2019

...with expectations of any US-China deal at rock bottom, even a modicum of progress could generate relief.

This is no recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any particular security.

Performance

Performance (%)

Select period:

    Cumulative Returns (%)

    3M 6M 1Y 3Y 5Y
    Share Price 7.2 11.4 8.1 51.3 75.3
    NAV (debt at fair value) 6.4 10.2 5.1 39.9 65.1
    Benchmark 6.6 10.6 5.3 35.8 62.7

    Source: Thomson Reuters DataStream, percentage growth, mid to mid, total return to 31.08.2019.1

    Discrete 12 Month Returns (%)

    2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
    Share Price 8.1 10.1 27.1 16.0 -0.1
    NAV (debt at fair value) 5.1 7.8 23.5 17.0 0.9
    Benchmark 5.3 9.9 17.4 19.5 0.3

    Source: Thomson Reuters DataStream, percentage growth, mid to mid, total return to 31.08.2019.1

    1Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. You should not make any assumptions on the future on the basis of performance information. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of market fluctuations and you may not get back the amount originally invested.This investment trust charges 70% of its annual management fee to the capital account and 30% to revenue. This could lead to a higher level of income but capital growth will be constrained as a result.

    Copyright 2019 © DataStream, a Thomson Reuters company. All rights reserved. DataStream shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

    © Allianz Global Investors GmbH 2019, Registered Office: Frankfurt am Main, Register: HRB 9340, Local court: Frankfurt am Main. All Rights Reserved. The Brunner Investment Trust PLC is incorporated in England and Wales. (Company registration no. 226323). Registered Office: 199 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3TY. VAT registration no. 244 7355 54. The Company is a member of the Association of Investment Companies - Category: Global Growth.