JPMorgan’s Russian Investment Trust Outperforms Benchmark

U.S. investment bank JP Morgan’s trust dedicated to Russian companies, JPMorgan Russian Securities PLC, said on Monday its annual net assets rose and the company outperformed its benchmark, Morningstar reports citing Alliance News.

At October 31, JPMorgan Russian Securities net asset value (NAV) per share stood at $8 per share compared to $7.43 the year before, an increase of 7.5%.

The investment trust increased its net assets slightly in the period to $390.1 million from $386.5 million the year before. During 2018, JPMorgan Russian Securities bought back about 6% of its issued share capital. The firm intends to pay a final dividend of $0.08, taking its total dividend for the financial year to $0.34, a 24% increase from last year.

The head of JPMorgan Russian Securities Gill Nott talked of the importance of international politics for the trust’s operations.

“This year has been no different; indeed arguably relationships between the West and Russia have reached a new low. This has a serious impact on investor sentiment and therefore affects company valuations on the Russian stock market,” said Nott.

JPMorgan Russian Securities outperformed its benchmark, however, achieving a total return of 12.1% compared to the benchmark RTS Index returning 10.6%. The RTS Index is the top 50 stocks traded on the Moscow Exchange.

“Russia remains one of the cheapest major stock markets, globally. This is despite the fact that the Russian economy continued to grow in the reporting period, benefitting from a number of factors including growing revenues from exports of energy and materials, lower inflation and declining interest rates,” Nott said.

“There are undoubtedly political risks to investing in Russia and heightened sensitivities to possible significant changes to sanctions, however, there are attractive investment opportunities if the right stocks are selected,” he added.