Astoria benefits from US market rally


Astoria benefits from US market rally

Published Date: 2017-10-26 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Astoria benefits from US market rally

The investment company's listed equity portfolio has returned 20.6% this year

This year's rally on global equity markets has benefited Astoria, the offshore investment vehicle that listed on the JSE in 2015 and had to contend with a strong rand for most of last year. It says it's well positioned for stronger listed equity in developed markets. It also expects further cash calls from the capital it has ring-fenced for four global private equity firms.

About 17% of Astoria's portfolio sits in fixed income and cash. Although this doesn't provide much yield, it is positive. More than three-quarters of its funds are in listed global equities, including the likes of The Blackstone Group, Admiral Group, Facebook, Home Depot, Apple, Starbucks and a string of other blue-chip companies. Excluding the stake it holds in Echo Polska Properties, Astoria says its listed equity portfolio delivered a return of 10.6% in the nine months to end September. Its net asset value grew by 16% from the end of December to the end of September to $1.16 per share.

Operating costs for the nine months rose 21% to $1.59 million, most of which was management fees of just over $1 million. It's reported headline earnings per share of 15c, from 6c last year and it hasn't declared a dividend.

Astoria says it is also considering its share buyback process subject to regulatory approval. As at the end of September, it had repurchased just over 2.7 million shares for $2.39 million, excluding brokerage.

Its shares gained 0.9% yesterday to close at R12.50.

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