Continued growth in global economic activity has buoyed stock markets over the last quarter but substantial political uncertainty and the risk of potential protectionist moves in the US remain a concern for investors.
March asset management funds have adjusted to respond to the changing environment. In January, the March International – March Vini Catena A EUR returned 3.17%, compared with 1.23% for the MSCI World LC. The most heavily-weighted sectors in the portfolio are distilled spirits, wines, industrial machinery, and distribution. By country, the fund’s investments are focused on France, the US and the UK.
The fund holding that contributed the most to performance over the month was Treasury Wines, followed by Hawesko and Bucher Industries, while Baron de Ley, Tejon Ranch and Marie Brizard contributed the least. The fund shored up positions in two distributers which both have very compelling business growth forecasts: Diageo and Pernod Ricard.
In the seven years since this fund was launched it has slightly outperformed the market, with lower volatility and a low correlation with the benchmark index. Our strategy has been to invest in a balanced portfolio of names in the wine industry value chain, which offset each other’s performances and allow for equity exposure whilst limiting risk.
The March International – The Family Businesses Fund A EUR returned 3.43%, compared with 1.23% for the MSCI World LC in January, with the portfolio weighted towards consumer discretionary, industrials and consumer staples. Antofagasta was a notable performer, followed by Cie Financiere Richemont and Samsung Electronics, while Sonae, Helmerich & Paine and Inditex contributed the least to the portfolio’s performance. We took profits in Antofagasta after a strong performance last year.
In the five years since this fund’s inception equity markets have been affected more by political factors and monetary policy, and less by fundamentals, which tend to be more supportive for family businesses. Despite this, the fund has a return and a risk level in line with the market, confirming that in the long term, family businesses offer outstanding results.
Our March International – Valores Iberian Equity A EUR fund returned 0.59%, compared with minus 0.39% for the Ibex 35. It is most heavily invested in financials, consumer discretionary and industrials. The fund has maintained its exposure to Portugal – held via Sonae and CTT-Correios de Portugal at 6.0%, with the remainder invested in Spain. Stocks like eDreams, Banco Santander and NH Hoteles have done best for the fund. We kicked off the year by increasing our holding in DIA, a conviction bet which is one of the main portfolio names and offers exposure to domestic consumer spending. CTT-Correios de Portugal issued a profit warning but we bought as the share price dropped. We also reopened our position in Acerinox, where we see upside potential due to the recovery in commodities prices and upturn in global growth.
In January, the March International – Torrenova Lux A EUR fund returned -0.05%. We are positioned cautiously, particularly in light of the market upturn towards the end of 2016, with equity investments standing at 19.8%. We cut the weight of the industrial sector, particularly in the US, reducing our positions in Chicago Bridge & Iron, Bombardier and Boeing.
However, we have increased exposure to names that have not recovered in line with the market or have seen their prices fall, such as Exxon, Roche and Teva. On the fixed income side, we have maintained our positions in floating rate notes and peripheral sovereign debt and raised the weighting of corporate commercial paper with a maximum maturity of one year. The portfolio duration was kept at 1.0 years with a yield of 0.44%.
Notes to Editors
The March International Funds
March International is the Luxembourg SICAV (Société d'Investissement à Capital Variable) through which domestic and international investors can access the investment skills of the March Group. March International is a Ucits IV Luxembourg-domiciled Collective Investment Scheme. It is registered in Luxembourg with the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), in Spain in the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, as well as in other European countries.
March International Torrenova Lux, is the longest established and most conservative Wealth Fund of the March family, and a good example of co-investment (sharing the same risk and rewards) with clients. It combines dynamic asset allocation and stock selection in order to beat Eurozone CPI + 2%.
March International March Vini Catena, is the first global equity fund specialised in wine´s value chain.
The increasing global trend in favour of fine wine represents a unique opportunity for investors to participate in a sector where demand is growing worldwide and supply is constrained. The “premium” characteristics of the companies that operate in various wine sub-sectors make this fund very defensive compared to global equity indices.
March International The Family Businesses Fund is a global equity fund which invests in a selection of listed family businesses (FBs) across different sectors. The intrinsic values of FBs (long term vision, loyalty, motivation, low debt leverage) ensure they are typical survivors during economic crisis. The March Group’s experience as a FB and investor in other FBs supports this long and successful track record.
March International Valores Iberian Equity provides an optimal way to invest in Spain and Portugal. The benchmark-agnostic fund selects quality companies which have attractive valuations, solid fundamentals and differentiate themselves from their peers. The fund has a 15-year track record of achieving better returns than the market with less volatility.
March AM also has three Managed Portfolio options and three SICAV funds for institutional investors. Spanish Sicavs (Sociedad de Inversión de Capital Variable) are collective investment schemes which take the form of an open-ended investment company. Considered an ideal structure for high net worth investors, they invest primarily in negotiable securities, including stocks, government debt and corporate bonds amongst others. Sicavs may also issue different share classes with their own particular commission structure. The amount of capital varies according to the number of investors, who are shareholders rather than unit holders.
This document is for information purposes only.
Clients or prospective investors should bear in mind that this document does not constitute an investment recommendation by either March Asset Management, S.G.I.I.C., S.A.U. or Banca March, S.A. Clients or prospective investors should base their investment decisions on external tax, legal, financial, regulatory, accounting advice, or any other form of counsel, as appropriate.
Neither March Asset Management, S.G.I.I.C., S.AU. nor Banca March, S.A. take responsibility for any direct or indirect costs or losses resulting from the use of this document or any actions undertaken based on its content.
The client or prospective investor should be aware that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and that the risks related to the fund(s) referred to herein are outlined in the legal documents available on the websites indicated above.
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