BLACKROCK FRONTIERS INVESTMENT TRUST PLC
All information is at 31 March 2013 and unaudited.
Performance at month end with net income reinvested
One Three Six One Since
month months months year launch*
Share price 5.4% 28.9% 31.7% 27.8% 10.1%
Net asset value 0.1% 16.8% 22.3% 20.7% 8.2%
MSCI Frontiers Index (NR) 0.7% 15.8% 18.6% 17.5% 0.0%
MSCI EM Markets (NR) -1.8% 5.3% 10.5% 7.3% 1.0%
Net asset value 0.2% 9.1% 15.0% 14.7% 5.3%
MSCI Frontiers Index (NR) 0.7% 8.2% 11.5% 11.6% -2.7%
MSCI EM Markets (NR) -1.7% -1.6% 3.9% 2.0% -1.7%
Sources: BlackRock and Standard & Poor's Micropal
* 17 December 2010.
At month end
Net asset value - capital only: 150.74c
Net asset value - cum income: 153.03c
Net asset value - capital only: 99.28p
Net asset value - cum income: 100.79p
Share price: 104.50p
Total assets (including income): £95.5m
Premium to cum-income NAV: 3.7%
Gearing range (as a % of gross assets): 0-20%
Net yield: 2.4%
Ordinary shares in issue: 94,766,267
Sector Analysis Gross assets(%)* Country Analysis Gross assets(%)*
Financials 30.2 Nigeria 14.0
Telecommunication 15.5 Qatar 12.2
Consumer Staples 15.1 United Arab Emirates 11.0
Energy 10.3 Saudi Arabia 9.3
Industrials 7.9 Kazakhstan 9.1
Healthcare 6.4 Vietnam 6.0
Consumer Discretionary 5.0 Bangladesh 4.6
Materials 4.5 Iraq 4.5
Utilities 2.7 Ukraine 4.1
Technology 1.9 Sri Lanka 3.0
----- Argentina 2.8
Total 99.5 Croatia 2.7
----- Pan Africa 2.6
Short positions -1.2 Panama 2.4
===== Algeria 2.3
Short positions -1.2
*reflects gross market exposure from contracts for difference (CFDs)
30.04 31.05 30.06 31.07 31.08 30.09 31.10 30.11 31.12 31.01
2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2013
% % % % % % % % % %
Long 100.8 99.2 97.2 101.9 96.5 99.1 101.0 102.0 103.4 105.1
Short 2.1 0.0 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.6 4.2 4.9 5.2 3.5
Gross 102.9 99.2 99.8 104.5 99.0 101.7 105.2 106.9 108.6 108.6
Net 98.7 99.2 94.6 99.3 94.0 96.5 96.8 97.1 98.2 101.6
Ten Largest Equity Investments
Company Country of Risk % of gross assets
Zenith Bank Nigeria 4.5%
Kazmunaigas Exploration Kazakhstan 4.1%
Halyk Savings Bank Kazakhstan 4.1%
Etihad Etisalat Saudi Arabia 3.7%
FBN Holdings Nigeria 3.3%
MHP Ukraine 3.3%
Qatar Telecom Qatar 3.3%
Hatton National Bank Sri Lanka 3.0%
Petrovietnam Fertilizer & Chemical Vietnam 2.7%
Qatar Electricity & Water Qatar 2.7%
Commenting on the markets, Sam Vecht, representing the Investment Manager
In March, the Frontier Markets Index returned 0.7% (in sterling terms with net
income reinvested), outperforming the MSCI Emerging Markets Index which fell by
1.8%. Emerging Markets suffered as the Cyprus banking system collapsed,
investors of the unresolved problems in the Eurozone. The Cypriot solution of
a banking 'bail-in' using unsecured deposits set a precedent which negatively
impacted sentiment surrounding risk assets. Superior returns in Frontier
Markets were driven by strong growth in earnings reported by underlying
companies and a lack of the prolific share issuance currently hitting Emerging
The best performing market in the Frontier Market universe was Kenya. In
contrast to events of 5 years ago, the Kenyan presidential election has passed
off relatively peacefully. Since the month end, Uhuru Kenyatta has been sworn
in as President of Kenya, emulating his father who led the country from 1964 to
Argentina rose by 11% (in sterling terms) as fears of a sovereign default,
had led to a very aggressive sell off at the end of February, subsided
Qatar also outperformed during the month, rising. Increasing bullishness from
local fund managers has seen a rotation from fixed income to equity assets. The
improvement in sentiment has been driven by increased liquidity as evidenced by
a more than 30% increase in deposits in the local banks over the last year.
The weakest performing market was the Ukraine. The country's proximity to the
Eurozone and close financial ties with Cyprus impacted confidence in an economy
which is experiencing sluggish economic growth.
The Company's NAV returned 0.1% (in sterling terms with net income reinvested),
underperforming the index by 0.6%. Whilst, the portfolio was well positioned
across geographies, a number of stock specific issues hurt performance.
UAE hospital operator, NMC Health, continued its strong run year to date,
rising by a further 16% in March. The company reported strong results at the
end of February with net profit rising 36% year on year. The company will be a
key beneficiary of the introduction of private health insurance in Dubai, which
we expect to be announced in the near future.
Another stock which contributed strongly to performance was Sri Lankan
financial Hatton National Bank. Having reported strong numbers at the end of
February, well above analyst expectations, investors have become increasingly
excited about the banks prospects. The bank also substantially increased its
final dividend from just under 3 Rupees in 2012 to 7 Rupees in 2013.
The largest individual detractor from performance was Cameroon based miner,
Sundance Resources. A $1.3 billion takeover by Chinese company Hanlong was
withdrawn as Hanlong was unable to raise sufficient financing.
The Company's performance also suffered from holdings in Kazakh miner, Eurasian
Natural Resources Company, which fell along with the global commodity sector as
economic data from China disappointed.
The Company is invested in 53 stocks across 22 countries.
The Company opened a position in UAE financial, Dubai Islamic Bank as we
believed the franchise to be materially undervalued.
The Company reduced the positions in UAE hospital operator, NMC Health and
Cambodian casino operator, Naga Corp, after a run of good performance, locking
in some profits for the Company.
Although flows into risky assets slowed somewhat in March, whilst developed
market Central Banks continue to aggressively provide liquidity, we would
expect these flows to continue. Despite these flows, Emerging Market returns
have been muted so far this year due to weaker than expected corporate results
across some of the major markets and increased issuance, especially in Asia,
which has absorbed much of this liquidity. In contrast to Emerging Markets,
corporate results across Frontier Markets have surprised more positively and
there has been minimal stock issuance.
Frontier Markets continue to stand out for their low valuations and high
dividend yields. Positive structural reforms, high growth and well-capitalised,
liquid banking systems leave several Frontier economies well placed in the
current global environment. Frontier stocks, particularly in the domestic or
consumer sectors are valued at a fraction of their emerging peers despite
higher growth rates and higher margins.
19 April 2013
Latest information is available by typing www.blackrock.co.uk/brfi on the
internet, "BLRKINDEX" on Reuters, "BLRK" on Bloomberg or "8800" on Topic 3 (ICV
terminal). Neither the contents of the Manager's website nor the contents of
any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Manager's website (or any other
website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.
-0- Apr/19/2013 15:29 GMT
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