RIT Capital Partners, the investment trusted started by Lord Jacob Rothschild, has reported a drop in its net asset value (NAV) but is offering investors a big increase in dividends.
Total NAV dropped 3% in the year ending on March 31st to £1.92bn and, amidst Eurozone headwinds, the most recent NAV (as of May 25th) had declined a further 3.4% to £1.85bn.
The annual decline in NAV has been worse than RIT's benchmark comparator, the MSCI Sterling World Index, which declined 1.3% over the last 12 months. In this situation, investment trusts usually start talking about their long-term performance. Unsurprisingly then, RIT's Chairman, still Jacob Rothschild, highlighted the the company has seen a 43% gain over the last three years, 19% over five years and 158% over 10 years.
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All of this, however, is firmly in the past; what will interest investors more is the change in dividend policy to bring RIT in line with many of its sector peers. Last year the firm paid 4p per share, this year that figure will be 28p per share.
Over the last year RIT exited its private investment in Agora Oil and Gas realising a profit of £73m over two years and Harbourmaster, realising £72m over seven years. It is also invested in green energy start up Tamar Energy and has completed funding for a new private equity fund in China.
Commenting on the results, Lord Rothschild, Chairman of RIT Capital Partners, said: "On the public market side we are...concentrating on investments with fund managers and individual companies...that can grow despite the state of their local markets. On the private investment side, our direct investments in unquoted companies have produced considerable successes, with two profitable exits in the year."
"Success in the future lies in our continuing to find exceptional opportunities throughout the world. I have no doubt that the links we have forged with distinguished groups such as Rockefeller, Edmond de Rothschild and Creat in the USA, Europe and China can only help us in our endeavours in the years ahead."
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