Portfolio

John Laing Infrastructure Fund benefits from market volatility after EU vote

By Maryam Cockar

Date: Monday 20 Mar 2017

John Laing Infrastructure Fund benefits from market volatility after EU vote

(ShareCast News) - John Laing Infrastructure Fund's share price benefitted from the market volatility in the wake of the EU referendum and its 2016 net asset value increased.
Chairman Paul Lester said that the company's share price benefitted from market volatility after last June's EU referendum outcome, delivering a share price total return of 17.5% over the year.

The value of its portfolio surged 40.3% to £1.21bn with 8.18% underlying portfolio growth, which is 1.14% ahead of growth arising from discount rate unwind.

Looking to the future, the company is hoping to gain shareholder approval at its next meeting in May to widen the geographic limits of its investment policy to include other countries that are fiscally strong and have a track-record of using public-private partnerships as a procurement method.

Net asset value climbed 22% to £1.08bn last year, compared to the previous year, which represented a NAV per share of 120.2p, up from 108.40p, with a NAV total return of 10.9%.

The FTSE 250-listed trust hiked its dividend for the second half of the year by 2%, which is above the consumer prices index, to 3.48p and resulted in total paid dividends of 6.82p in 2016.

There has been total shareholder return of 76.5% since the company's launch in November 2010, 9.8% on an annualised basis.

Last year the company made new investments of about £306m, including one follow-on interest and interests in seven new projects and received £93.2, in cash from investments.

It also sold two stakes in projects for £43.4m, representing about a 36% uplift on the carrying value, and resulting in an aggregate realised initial rate of return of around 16%.

Separately, the company announced the issue of up to about 89.8m new shares by way of a shareholder tap issue to fund future acquisitions of high quality assets.

Lester said the £306m of investments was a record amount in any single year since launch.

"I am confident in the outlook for JLIF's business prospects and look forward to being able to report to you news of another successful year in 2017."

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