Portfolio & Performance

ISINGB0001490001
SEDOL0149000

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
910.0p


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
1004.7p


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
-9.4%


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 20.02.2020 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.
© 2020 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
5.0
Cooper Cos
3.3
UnitedHealth Group
3.3
Muenchener Rueckver
3.2
Roche
3.2
Visa - A Shares
2.8
Accenture
2.7
Royal Dutch Shell - B Shares
2.5
Taiwan Semiconductor
2.3
Ecolab
2.3
Agilent Technologies
2.3
Estée Lauder
2.2
GlaxoSmithKline
2.1
Adidas
1.9
AIA Group
1.9
Schneider Electric
1.8
Itochu
1.8
Microchip Technologies
1.7
Bright Horizons
1.7
AbbVie
1.7

Data as of 31.01.2020

Sector Breakdown (%)

Financials
22.9
Industrials
21.9
Health Care
16.5
Technology
11.2
Consumer Goods
9.0
Consumer Services
7.4
Basic Materials
5.0
Utilities
2.9
Oil & Gas
2.5
Telecommunications
0.7

Data as of 31.01.2020. Excludes Cash

Geographic Breakdown (%)

North America 44.0
Europe ex UK 24.1
UK 23.8
Pacific ex Japan 5.3
Japan 2.8

Data as of 31.01.2020. Excludes Cash

Fund Manager Comments

Market Review

After the strong rally in global equity markets since mid-2019, January saw a modest correction. Early tensions between the US and Iran, and the emergence in China of a new strain of coronavirus caused a deterioration in sentiment and profit taking. The Federal Reserve (Fed) kept rates on hold and indicated it has no plans to change them this year.

Economic growth indicators remain mixed after the downward revisions experienced last year. In Europe, flash indications for January indicated that growth in Germany and France was positive but that, elsewhere in the euro zone, economic activity had slowed to a six-and-a-half year low.

Chinese economic activity, which had been showing signs of stabilisation, has been negatively impacted by the emergence of the coronavirus and the extensive action taken by the Chinese government to contain it. Growth expectations for the region have been downgraded, as have the profits of those companies producing, operating or selling in affected areas. Given the importance of China as circa 16% of world gross domestic product (GDP), this has also had an impact on global GDP forecasts.

As markets sold off, demand for safe-haven assets rose again, suppressing government bond yields. As a result, the high dividends across Utilities stocks made it the month’s best-performing sector. Technology companies also advanced strongly, helped by positive fourth-quarter earnings from certain index heavyweights. Energy and Materials stocks declined the most, reflecting weaker expectations for global growth.

Portfolio Review

The Trust’s NAV fell by 1.8% in January, lagging a fall in the benchmark of 1.2%, though the portfolio performed in line with its benchmark. Stock selection was positive in the Basic Materials and Financials sectors, offset by weaker picks in Industrials and Technology. While sector allocation is a by-product of our conviction in individual stocks, the portfolio’s underweight allocation to the Oil and Gas sector boosted performance.

Microsoft made the largest positive contribution to returns, delivering strong results across every segment of its business. Most impressively, Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing division grew revenues 64% year on year, an acceleration from the previous quarter. With only 3% of workloads currently on cloud services, Microsoft’s established relationships with enterprise customers make it well-positioned to continue capturing this growing market.

The Cooper Companies also boosted returns. Shares in the maker of contact lenses and healthcare products had been overly discounted after the potential for a hard Brexit led to overstocking in the UK. As a result, we increased our position at the start of the year. The company has since provided investors with positive updates on its Misight myopia lenses. Given the increasing incidence of myopia in children, a successful global rollout could provide substantial long-term growth for the company.

UnitedHealth Group has been the portfolio’s main detractor. Shares in the provider of managed healthcare have weakened as positive polling for the Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders revives investor fears around universal healthcare. Combined with cases of coronavirus in the US, investors have begun fearing for United’s longer-term profitability. However, we continue to view universal healthcare in the US as an unlikely eventuality and, given its value-based approach, United as one of the most resilient players to funding changes within the industry.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) was one of the strongest contributors to performance last year and in its Q4 results, the maker of integrated circuits beat high revenue and margin expectations and also guided positively. Longer term, the company expects 5G to be a multi-year catalyst across all its clients. There is a strong demand for TSMC’s products and it has a relatively low factory count in China.

Outlook

Monetary policy is expected to remain loose in the US and elsewhere, providing a support but no extra boost to asset prices. At the same time, the outlook for economic growth and corporate earnings is mixed. Signs of stabilisation in global data towards the end of the year, as well as the Phase One US-China trade deal, had improved business confidence.

However, for now any improvement looks likely to be delayed by the sharp deterioration in Chinese economic activity as a result of the coronavirus. Our view is that the disease will present a temporary delay in recovery for the global economy rather than derailing it completely. In the meantime, we will take advantage of any buying opportunities in good quality stocks with meaningful exposure to China and enduring growth potential.

While the overall economic background remains uncertain, there are long-term structural trends which offer more visibility for investors: The shift towards digitalisation is one we have discussed previously, and have exposure to in the portfolio, in names like Microsoft or Atlas Copco. A second structural shift is related to developing of a low carbon economy which is reflected through our ownership of renewable energy companies Enel and Iberdrola. Thirdly, and of particular importance to the Brunner portfolio, is how the low interest rate environment intensifies the search for reliable yield and dividend growth potential.

Overall therefore, the outlook for equity returns in 2020 remains modest. The liquidity environment remains supportive while economic activity is mixed. Global equity valuations are at the high end of historic ranges, but remain attractive relative to other assets with yields above most bond markets. Generating good performance will require active investment and avoidance of risk.

Lucy Macdonald13 February 2020

of particular importance to the Brunner portfolio, is how the low interest rate environment intensifies the search for reliable yield

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

Performance

Performance (%)

Select period:

    Cumulative Returns (%)

    3M6M1Y3Y5Y
    Share Price10.63.229.754.390.1
    NAV (debt at fair value)5.01.419.235.169.9
    Benchmark3.00.415.529.661.5

    Source: Thomson Reuters DataStream, percentage growth, mid to mid, total return to 31.01.2020.1

    Discrete 12 Month Returns to 31 January (%)

    2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
    Share Price29.7-5.325.733.0-7.3
    NAV (debt at fair value)19.2-4.518.628.9-2.4
    Benchmark15.5-0.312.527.2-2.1

    Source: Thomson Reuters DataStream, percentage growth, mid to mid, total return as at 31.01.2020.1

    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 2020 © 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 2020, 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.