BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust plc (LON:BRFI) has announced its half yearly financial report for the six months ended 31 March 2022:
The Company’s financial statements are presented in US Dollars. The Company’s shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and quoted in British Pound Sterling. The British Pound Sterling amounts for performance returns shown below are presented for convenience. The difference in performance returns measured in US Dollars and British Pound Sterling reflects the change in the value of British Pound Sterling versus the US Dollar over the period.
|As at |
|As at |
|Net assets (US$’000)1||357,167||352,778|
|Net asset value per ordinary share (cents)||188.65||186.33|
|Ordinary share price (mid market)2 (cents)||169.19||165.18|
|British Pound Sterling|
|Net assets (£000)1,2||271,270||261,627|
|Net asset value per ordinary share2 (pence)||143.29||138.19|
|Ordinary share price (mid market) (pence)||128.50||122.50|
|Six months |
31 March 2022
|Year ended |
|Net asset value per share (with dividends reinvested)3||+3.6||+53.0||+85.7|
|Benchmark Index (NR)5,6||+10.7||+27.3||+61.5|
|MSCI Frontier Markets Index (NR)5,6||-7.3||+32.2||+54.6|
|MSCI Emerging Markets Index (NR)6||-8.2||+18.2||+34.2|
|Ordinary share price (with dividends reinvested)3||+4.9||+42.8||+64.1|
|British Pound Sterling|
|Net asset value per share (with dividends reinvested)3||+6.1||+46.7||+119.4|
|Benchmark Index (NR)5,6||+13.3||+22.1||+89.8|
|MSCI Frontier Markets Index (NR)5,6||-5.0||+26.8||+83.1|
|MSCI Emerging Markets Index (NR)6||-6.0||+13.3||+58.9|
|Ordinary share price (with dividends reinvested)3||+7.5||+36.9||+93.5|
1 The change in net assets reflects dividends paid and market movements during the period.
2 Based on an exchange rate of US$1.3166 to £1 at 31 March 2022 and US$1.3484 to £1 at 30 September 2021.
3 Alternative Performance Measure, see Glossary in the half yearly report and financial statements.
4 The Company was incorporated on 15 October 2010 and its shares were admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange on 17 December 2010.
5 With effect from 1 April 2018, the Benchmark Index changed to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index ex Selected Countries + MSCI Frontier Markets Index + MSCI Saudi Arabia Index. Prior to 1 April 2018, the Benchmark Index was the MSCI Frontier Markets Index. The performance returns of the Benchmark Index since inception have been blended to reflect this change.
6 Net return (NR) indices calculate the reinvestment of dividends net of withholding taxes.
Sources: BlackRock and Datastream.
I am pleased to present the Company’s Half Yearly Financial Report for the six months to 31 March 2022.
- NAV total return of 3.6% (in US Dollar terms with dividends reinvested);
- Share price total return of 4.9% (in US Dollar terms with dividends reinvested);
- Share price total return of 7.5% (in British Pound Sterling terms with dividends reinvested);
- Declared interim dividend of 2.75 cents per share; and
- Yield of 4.3% (based on share price at 23 May 2022, interim dividend for 2022 and final dividend for 2021).
PERFORMANCE AND OVERVIEW
During the six months to 31 March 2022, the Company achieved a NAV total return in US Dollars of +3.6%, underperforming its Benchmark Index which returned +10.7%. The Company’s share price total return was +4.9%. To provide further context, the Company’s previous Benchmark Index, the MSCI Frontier Markets Index, returned -7.3% and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index returned -8.2%. The Company’s return for the six months to 31 March 2022 of +3.6% follows a very strong financial year to 30 September 2021 in which the Company returned +53.0% and outperformed the Benchmark Index by 25.7%. As at 23 May 2022, the net asset value per share of the Company has decreased by 7.1% from 188.65 cents per share to 175.31 cents per share. The Company’s Benchmark Index has decreased by 7.8%.
As you will read in the Investment Manager’s Report which follows, Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine has dominated market sentiment in the second half of the period. Although we had no exposure, this contagion negatively impacted our portfolio, in particular in Kazakhstan, and through other Eastern European markets to which we are exposed as investors sought to reduce their exposure to the region. This acted to offset some strong performance generated by our holdings in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, which were somewhat insulated from the effects of the ongoing conflict.
There is no doubt that these events have been powerful drivers of change in the global geopolitical landscape which will have far reaching consequences for many years to come. The uncertainty around supply has resulted in price spikes in global energy and commodities, although this should benefit several of our markets which are net exporters of hard and soft commodities. Your investment managers provide a detailed description of the key contributors and detractors to performance during the period, portfolio activity and their views on the outlook for the second half of the financial year in their report below.
REVENUE RETURN AND DIVIDENDS
The Company’s revenue return per share for the six months ended 31 March 2022 amounted to 2.31 cents (six months ended 31 March 2021: 2.00 cents (restated)).
One of the benefits of the closed-end structure is the ability to use revenue or capital reserves to smooth dividends. As at the date of this report the Company held revenue reserves of US$6,036,000.
The Board recognises that many shareholders value the dividends paid by the Company and is therefore pleased to declare an interim dividend of 2.75 cents per share (2021: 2.75 cents per share) payable on 24 June 2022 to shareholders on the Company’s register on 6 June 2022. The shares will go ex-dividend on 1 June 2022. The final dividend of 4.25 cents per share for the year ended 30 September 2021 was declared on 1 December 2021 and paid to shareholders on 11 February 2022.
The Directors are keen to ensure that the Company’s share price does not trade at a significant discount or premium to the underlying NAV. Accordingly, the Directors monitor the share price and will consider the issue of ordinary shares at a premium or repurchase at a discount to help balance demand and supply in the market if they believe it is in shareholders’ interests to do so. For the period under review, the Company’s ordinary shares traded at an average discount to NAV of 8.4%, but were trading at a discount of 10.3% on a cum-income basis at 31 March 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to discounts widening across the Global Emerging Markets sector. As at 23 May 2022, the discount stood at 6.8%. This level of discount is within the sector average range and therefore the Board has not seen fit to buy back any shares at the present time given the broader macroeconomic backdrop. The Board will continue to monitor the Company’s share rating closely and may use its powers to repurchase the Company’s shares if deemed to be in shareholders’ interests to do so.
The Directors currently have the authority to buy back shares in the market equivalent to 14.99% of the Company’s issued share capital and also to issue new shares equivalent to 10% of the Company’s issued share capital (excluding any shares held in treasury).
No new shares were issued or sold from treasury during the period or up to the date of this report.
ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (ESG)
ESG issues can present both opportunities and risks to long-term investment performance. These ethical and sustainability issues are a key focus of the Board, and your Board is committed to a diligent oversight of the activities of the Investment Manager in these areas. The frontier markets in which the Company can invest are home to almost 3 billion of the world’s population and our portfolio includes investment in power, infrastructure, renewable energy, food and healthcare. We believe that the companies in which the portfolio is invested should operate within a healthy ecosystem of all their stakeholders whether these are shareholders, employees, customers, regulators or suppliers and that this may aid the sustainability of long-term returns. Further information on the Board’s policy with regard to ESG and the Investment Manager’s approach can be found in the Company’s Annual Report for the year ended 30 September 2021 at www.blackrock.com/uk/brfi.
We appreciate how important access to regular information is to our shareholders. To supplement our Company website, we now offer shareholders the ability to sign up to the Trust Matters newsletter which includes information on the Company as well as news, views and insights. Further information on how to sign up is included on the inside cover of this report.
In developed markets, spiking energy prices, coupled with supply chain constraints, have driven inflation to levels not seen in decades. By contrast, many of the countries in our investment universe have inflation rates well below their 10-year average and interest rates at more normal levels. In addition, frontier market countries have generally lagged the broader COVID-19 recovery and the resurgence of more normal economic activity seen in the developed markets and, therefore, our portfolio managers believe they are well placed to generate good performance as we move through the second half of our financial year.
As was the case when we launched the Company in 2010, the frontier markets remain under researched and inefficient. This provides real opportunity for our Investment Manager which has extensive resources and the local knowledge required to unearth the hidden gems on offer. In addition, the frontier markets are trading at very attractive valuations, both relative to historic levels and versus the developed markets.
In summary, we believe frontier markets will continue to be driven primarily by local factors and domestic policy and this aspect continues to offer significant diversification benefits in these ever more challenging times. Our portfolio managers remain emboldened by the current opportunity set available and your Board shares this enthusiasm for this exciting and dynamic asset class.
25 May 2022
INVESTMENT MANAGER’S REPORT
Despite tumultuous political events globally, the net asset value (NAV) of the Company increased by 3.6% in US Dollar terms and 6.1% in British Pound Sterling terms over the last six months (all percentages with dividends reinvested). During the period, it was devastating to see the start of an unprecedented war in Ukraine. We also saw a new COVID-19 variant cause serious worldwide concern, surging global inflation, ongoing conflict in the Middle East and an attempted coup in Kazakhstan. While it is natural to focus on the many challenges that have beset markets globally during the first half of our financial year, and indeed our report will discuss these issues, we have found many resilient companies with strong operating trends to invest in within our investment universe.
Post COVID-19 reopening
The fourth quarter of 2021 started with a semblance of “normality” resuming, yet it was quickly overshadowed by the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. As more data emerged, it became clear that although more transmissible, Omicron was less severe and certainly less fatal than previous COVID-19 variants, largely since populations were inoculated and healthcare systems were better prepared. Vaccination rates in most of the countries we invest in have continued to tick up, which, coupled with natural immunity from past infections, bodes well for a long-overdue pickup in economic activity within our Frontier Markets universe.
January 2022 started with an unexpected eruption of violent coordinated protests in Almaty and elsewhere in Kazakhstan, following large fuel price hikes. In response, Kazakh security forces, with the backing of Russian troops, returned the country to order. The government then reshuffled several key political appointees in an attempt to appease public ire, and stocks bounced off their lows, which had seen some of our significant holdings fall 40% in a matter of days. Unfortunately for the world, this was a precursor to a much more severe conflict. Beyond the unthinkable human tragedy, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has the potential to drive far-reaching changes to global commodity supply chains. The blockade of Ukraine’s ports, together with the coordinated sanction effort from the West, particularly the freezing of Russian companies and their assets, has resulted in significant disruptions to regional exports, causing price spikes across the commodity complex.
Middle East stability
While sadly many globally will be negatively impacted by these price changes, frontier countries with significant exports of oil in the Middle East or of soft commodities in ASEAN and Latin America could prove more resilient. For 2022, the Gulf Cooperation Council region is currently on track to report the highest current account and fiscal account surpluses for 8 years. The irony of a region, that has seen so much conflict for the last 70 years, being considered a relative safe haven for investment, is not lost on us. However, as long-term investors, we look for the anomaly and the unexpected in order to generate returns. The emergence of Dubai as a truly global financial centre, and workplace of choice for those in creative industries and crypto enthusiasts alike, was not predicted pre-COVID-19, hence asset prices there have done well.
Supply constraints and not-so-transitory inflation
Even prior to the Russian invasion, we had seen consistent signs of inflation, particularly in the West following a long period of fiscal largesse and behind-the-curve monetary policy. The Russia/Ukraine crisis risks turning that persistent inflation into a full-scale global supply shock. The developed world is seeing levels of inflation that are the highest in your fund managers’ lifetimes, with countries such as the United States of America and United Kingdom seeing prices rising by numbers that previously would only have been seen by countries deemed to be ‘uninvestible’ to mainstream investors. However, while German wholesale prices are up 23% year-on-year, the biggest move since the data series began in 1968, European interest rates remain at zero, a record low. The contrast to frontier markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, where inflation is currently below the 10-year average, and interest rates are at normal levels, is very notable.
While speaking of inflation and the fact that most of our universe is at present much better placed than the western world, it would be remiss not to mention Turkey, where the central bank has continued to lower interest rates despite consistently high inflation rates, most recently hitting a 20-year high of 61%. The country’s deeply negative real interest rates have put huge pressure on the Turkish lira. We believe this unorthodox policy is unlikely to be effective in restoring confidence in either the currency or the economy. We currently have no exposure to the market. However, we can envisage a scenario where the outlook over the next 18-24 months could look significantly better.
During the last six months we were once again able to travel to meet our portfolio companies. Our travels took us to countries including Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uzbekistan. Our broad conclusions from these trips were that our companies have, in general, used the desperately unpleasant pandemic period to strengthen their market positions, improve their product portfolios and refine their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) credentials. We anticipate that the next six months will see us travel to the remainder of our portfolio countries, and to a few jurisdictions to which we currently have no exposure but look interesting on a medium-term view.
In recent months, we have seen a reimposition of COVID lock-downs across China impact global supply chains. Post the imposition of US tariffs a few years ago, manufacturing for a variety of industries had slowly started to relocate out of China. We see the current environment as giving continued impetus to this trend and expect countries across South-East Asia and Eastern Europe to benefit.
In the six months to 31 March 2022, the Company’s NAV returned 3.6% (on a US Dollar basis with dividends reinvested) versus its Benchmark Index (the MSCI Emerging Markets Index ex Selected Countries + MSCI Frontier Markets + MSCI Saudi Arabia Index) which returned 10.7%. Over this time period, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell by 8.2% and MSCI Frontier Markets Index fell by 7.3%. Since inception, the Company’s NAV returned 85.7%, compared to 61.5% return on its Benchmark Index. For reference, the MSCI Frontier Markets Index and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index returned 54.6% and 34.2% respectively (all percentages in US Dollar terms with dividends reinvested).
The relative performance of the Company compared to its Benchmark Index suffered largely in late February and March 2022 as many investors aggressively reduced their exposure to Eastern Europe. Our portfolio was also overweight to the region given the positive outlook prior to the invasion. The biggest detractor was Kazakhstan which was impacted first in a selloff triggered by the domestic unrest mentioned above, and then made worse by contagion from the Russia-Ukraine geo-political conflict. The UK listed Ukrainian iron ore producer, Ferrexpo (-48%) also hurt performance. Our positioning in Financials across Eastern Europe came under pressure as the prospects of economic acceleration and subsequent loan growth dimmed. This included Austrian listed banking group Raiffeisen Bank International (-54%) which has around 18% of its assets and 30% of its profits from Russia, as well as Hungarian bank OTP Bank (-37%). However, as investors gradually re-assessed the real long-term impact of Russia’s actions, in late March and April 2022, many companies in Eastern Europe saw a sharp bounce, with Kazakh fintech JSC Kaspi up by 90% between mid-March and at the time of writing in mid-April.
Moving to the contributors during the period, stock selection in UAE was the biggest contributor to performance, notably Fertiglobe (+105%), UAE’s biggest nitrogen fertilizer producer which has benefited from the huge spike in global urea prices on the back of high European gas prices. UAE airline, Air Arabia (+25%), was another strong performer as the post COVID-19 recovery happened in earnest. Saudi Hospital operator, National Medical Care, (+33%) rose after reporting a very strong recovery in earnings for the final quarter of the year, up 67% compared to the final quarter of 2020. Greek renewable energy company, Terna Energy (+41%), was another contributor as the energy transition continues. Peruvian lender, Credicorp, (+55%) was another notable performer after seeing a significant recovery in earnings as mobility restrictions were eased in the country. Earnings for the final quarter of the year were up more than 60% on the previous year.
In terms of broad positioning, we have not altered the portfolio significantly. We have continued to increase our exposure to South-East Asia on expectations of a pickup in activity and mobility as well as a relaxation of border controls which should drive economic growth. We re-initiated a position in Indonesian consumer conglomerate Astra International and also bought Thai bank Kasikornbank, and Airports of Thailand. We continue to like rate sensitive financials such as PKO Bank Polski in Poland where the economy continues to do well, and inflation surprises mean that the central bank will likely have to continue on its hiking path. We also added to Romanian financials for similar reasons. We have increased exposure to UAE and Qatar, including adding Qatar Gas Transport which we believe will benefit from an expansion in domestic gas production.
We exited Polish financial, KRUK, following very strong performance. We also sold out of Chilean retailer Falabella over disappointing results and a deteriorating consumer outlook. We have also trimmed several positions to book profits, including Peru’s Credicorp, and Egypt’s EFG Hermes Holdings where a recent bid for the company has crystalised some value.
While the current global macro environment does present concerns for western equity markets, we believe investors will find the endogenous growth, low correlation, diversification, and valuations of our universe attractive. While COVID-19 has been a challenging time for these countries, we see strong growth potential across our investment universe in the years ahead.
We continue to monitor the path of inflation and the likelihood of a global growth shock. However, we feel encouraged by the fiscal and monetary discipline shown by several countries in our universe, which contrasts starkly with the largesse seen in developed countries. We continue to see multiple stock specific opportunities in both South-East Asia and the Middle East which are relatively shielded from the current conflict. We are avoiding countries which are prone to severe inflation shocks from commodity market tightness.
Valuations in most of the frontier and emerging markets remain attractive relative to their own history and also relative to the more developed markets. We believe our opportunity set is a compelling universe to generate alpha, and with global investors from both east and west increasingly looking for friendly foreign geographies to place their assets, we sense that the outlook for frontier markets may be brighter than many imagine.
Sam Vecht and Emily Fletcher
BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited
25 May 2022
INTERIM MANAGEMENT REPORT AND RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT
The Chairman’s Statement and the Investment Manager’s Report give details of the important events which have occurred during the period and their impact on the financial statements.
Principal risks and uncertainties
A detailed explanation of the risks relating to the Company can be divided into various areas as follows:
- Investment Performance Risk;
- Income/Dividend Risk;
- Legal and Regulatory Risk;
- Counterparty Risk;
- Operational Risk;
- Political Risk;
- Financial Risk; and
- Market Risk.
The Board reported on the principal risks and uncertainties faced by the Company in the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 September 2021. A detailed explanation can be found in the Strategic Report on pages 39 to 42 and in note 17 on pages 98 to 111 of the Annual Report and Financial Statements which are available on the website maintained by BlackRock at: www.blackrock.com/uk/brfi.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on all aspects of society in recent years. The impact of this significant event on the Company’s financial risk exposure is disclosed in note 12.
The Directors have assessed the impact of market conditions arising from the COVID-19 outbreak on the Company’s ability to meet its investment objective. Based on the latest available information, the Company continues to be managed in line with its investment objective, with no disruption to its operations.
Certain financial markets have fallen towards the end of the financial period due primarily to geo-political tensions arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact of the subsequent range of sanctions, regulations and other measures which impaired normal trading in Russian securities. The Board and the Investment Manager continue to monitor investment performance in line with the Company’s investment objectives, and the operations of the Company and the publication of net asset values are continuing.
In the view of the Board, other than those noted above, there have not been any material changes to the fundamental nature of these risks since the previous report and these principal risks and uncertainties, as summarised, are equally applicable to the remaining six months of the financial year as they were to the six months under review.
The Board remains mindful of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the potential duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its longer term effects on the global economy and the current heightened geopolitical risk. Nevertheless, the Directors, having considered the nature and liquidity of the portfolio, the Company’s investment objective and the Company’s projected income and expenditure, are satisfied that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future and is financially sound. The Board believes that the Company and its key third party service providers have in place appropriate business continuity plans and will be able to maintain service levels through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the above, the Board is satisfied that it is appropriate to continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. The Company has a portfolio of investments which are considered to be readily realisable and is able to meet all of its liabilities from its assets and income generated from them. Ongoing charges (excluding performance fees, finance costs, direct transaction costs, custody transaction charges, VAT recovered, taxation and certain non-recurring items) were approximately 1.36% of average daily net assets for the year ended 30 September 2021.
Related party disclosures and transactions with the AIFM and Investment Manager
BlackRock Fund Managers Limited (BFM) is the Company’s Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) with effect from 2 July 2014. BFM has (with the Company’s consent) delegated certain portfolio and risk management services, and other ancillary services to BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited (BIM (UK)). Both BFM and BIM (UK) are regarded as related parties under the Listing Rules. Details of the management and performance fees payable are set out in note 4 and note 14. The related party transactions with the Directors are set out in note 13.
Directors’ Responsibility Statement
The Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules (DTR) of the UK Listing Authority require the Directors to confirm their responsibilities in relation to the preparation and publication of the Interim Management Report and Financial Statements.
The Directors confirm to the best of their knowledge that:
· the condensed set of financial statements contained within the Half Yearly Financial Report has been prepared in accordance with the UK-adopted International Accounting Standard 34 – Interim Financial Reporting; and
· the Interim Management Report, together with the Chairman’s Statement and Investment Manager’s Report, includes a fair review of the information required by 4.2.7R and 4.2.8R of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.
The Half Yearly Financial Report has been reviewed by the Company’s Auditors.
The Half Yearly Financial Report was approved by the Board on 25 May 2022 and the above Responsibility Statement was signed on its behalf by the Chairman.
FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
25 May 2022
TEN LARGEST INVESTMENTS¹ AS AT 31 MARCH 2022
1 + Emaar Properties (2021: 7th)
Real Estate (United Arab Emirates)
Portfolio value: $16,208,000
Percentage of net assets: 4.5% (2021: 3.1%)
Emaar Properties is a real estate development company located in the UAE. It operates internationally providing both development and property management services. It is diversified across several property types, including commercial and residential, as well as malls and hospitality.
2 – Saudi National Bank2 (2021: 1st)
Financials (Saudi Arabia)
Portfolio value: $15,454,000
Percentage of net assets: 4.3% (2021: 4.8%)
Saudi National Bank is the largest financial institution in Saudi Arabia, created following the merger of National Commercial Bank and Samba Financial Group in April 2021, providing a range of financial services from personal and corporate banking to brokerage and investment banking in Saudi Arabia. It also has international presence in the Middle East, South Asia and Turkey.
3 – Bank Rakyat (2021: 2nd)
Portfolio value: $13,375,000
Percentage of net assets: 3.8% (2021: 3.8%)
Bank Rakyat is one of the largest banks in Indonesia. It specialises in small scale and microfinance style borrowing from and lending to its approximately 30 million retail clients through its over 4,000 branches, units and rural service posts.
4 = FPT2 (2021: 4th)
Information Technology (Vietnam)
Portfolio value: $12,327,000
Percentage of net assets: 3.4% (2021: 3.5%)
FPT is the largest information technology service company in Vietnam with its core business focusing on the provision of information and communications technology related services to both domestic and foreign companies. The company is benefiting, in particular, from the digitisation of domestic companies.
5 + Saudi British Bank2 (2021: 6th)
Financials (Saudi Arabia)
Portfolio value: $11,393,000
Percentage of net assets: 3.2% (2021: 3.2%)
Saudi British Bank is an associate of HSBC Group and the leading international bank in Saudi Arabia. The company has been an active partner in supporting Saudi Arabia’s economic growth and social development by offering an array of corporate, institutional, retail banking and wealth management services since 1978.
6 – Mobile World2 (2021: 3rd)
Consumer Discretionary (Vietnam)
Portfolio value: $11,259,000
Percentage of net assets: 3.2% (2021: 3.8%)
Mobile World is Vietnam’s top mobile phone retailer by revenue and net profit after tax, with 2,200+ stores nationwide. During the pandemic, the company pivoted over 1,000 stores to online point of sales to comply with government lockdown rules.
7 + United International Transport2
Industrials (Saudi Arabia)
Portfolio value: $10,825,000
Percentage of net assets: 3.0% (2021: 2.5%)
United International Transport is a Saudi Arabia based vehicle leasing and rental service company. Their services include domestic and international, short and long-term rentals as well as corporate leasing.
8 + Leejam Sports2 (2021: 13th)
Consumer Discretionary (Saudi Arabia)
Portfolio value: $10,553,000
Percentage of net assets: 3.0% (2021: 2.5%)
Leejam Sports is a sports and fitness centre operator in the Middle East and North Africa region. It operates 75 fitness clubs across 13 cities, most of which are in Saudi Arabia.
9 + CP All (2021: 10th)
Consumer Staples (Thailand)
Portfolio value: $9,887,000
Percentage of net assets: 2.8% (2021: 2.7%)
CP All was initially established to operate convenience stores in Thailand under the “7-Eleven” trademark. The company has now expanded to include bill payment and collection services, manufacturing and sale of convenience store food and bakery products, and more recently, membership-based wholesale services through the Makro brand.
10 + Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa
Portfolio value: $9,275,000
Percentage of net assets: 2.6% (2021: 2.4%)
Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa is one of the largest cement producers in Indonesia, operating 13 factories, with a total annual production of approximately 25 million tonnes of cement.
1 Gross market exposure as a % of net assets.
Percentages in brackets represent the portfolio holding at 30 September 2021.
2 Exposure gained via contracts for difference only.
3 Arrows indicate the change in the relative ranking of the position in the portfolio compared to its ranking as at 30 September 2021.
Portfolio analysis as at 31 March 2022
Country Allocation: Absolute Weights (Gross Market Exposure as a % of Net Assets)1
|United Arab Emirates||10.2|
|Pan Frontier Europe||0.3|
Country allocation relative to the Benchmark Index (%) 1
|United Arab Emirates||1.9|
|Pan Frontier Europe||0.3|
Sector allocation: Absolute weights (Gross market exposure as a % of net assets) 1
Sector allocation relative to the Benchmark Index (%) 1
1 Includes exposure gained through equity positions and long and short CFD positions.
Sources: BlackRock and Datastream.
Investments as at 31 March 2022
|Gross market |
as a % of
|Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa||Indonesia||Materials||9,275||2.6|
|Astra International||Indonesia||Consumer Discretionary||8,945||2.5|
|Mitra Adiperkasa||Indonesia||Consumer Discretionary||6,528||1.8|
|AKR Corporindo TBK||Indonesia||Energy||5,753||1.6|
|Pakuwon Jati||Indonesia||Real Estate||3,903||1.1|
|Emaar Properties||United Arab Emirates||Real Estate||16,208||4.5|
|Fertiglobe||United Arab Emirates||Materials||9,216||2.6|
|Air Arabia||United Arab Emirates||Industrials||6,733||1.9|
|CP All||Thailand||Consumer Staples||9,887||2.8|
|Airports Of Thailand||Thailand||Industrials||6,853||1.9|
|Bangkok Dusit Medical Services||Thailand||Health Care||6,000||1.7|
|National Bank of Greece||Greece||Financials||5,908||1.7|
|Hellenic Telecom Organisation||Greece||Communication Services||4,697||1.3|
|Titan Cement International||Greece||Materials||2,136||0.6|
|International Container Terminal Services||Philippines||Industrials||5,510||1.5|
|Bloomberry Resorts||Philippines||Consumer Discretionary||4,578||1.3|
|Jollibee Foods||Philippines||Consumer Discretionary||3,277||0.9|
|Qatar Gas Transport||Qatar||Energy||5,687||1.6|
|Qatar National Bank||Qatar||Financials||5,360||1.5|
|Halyk Savings Bank||Kazakhstan||Financials||4,078||1.1|
|Eastern Company||Egypt||Consumer Staples||5,495||1.5|
|EFG Hermes Holdings||Egypt||Financials||5,098||1.4|
|Integrated Diagnostics||Egypt||Health Care||1,513||0.4|
|Wizz Air Holdings||Hungary||Industrials||1,729||0.5|
|BRD–Groupe Société Générale||Romania||Financials||4,733||1.3|
|PKO Bank Polski||Poland||Financials||4,676||1.3|
|Guaranty Trust Bank||Nigeria||Financials||1,167||0.3|
|Raiffeisen Bank International||Pan Frontier Europe||Financials||1,135||0.3|
|BlackRock’s Institutional Cash Series plc – US Dollar Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (Cash Fund)||83,297||23.3|
|Total investments (including Cash Fund)||354,120||99.1|
|Gross market |
exposure as a
% of net
|Saudi National Bank||Saudi Arabia||Financials||15,454||4.3|
|Saudi British Bank||Saudi Arabia||Financials||11,393||3.2|
|United International Transport||Saudi Arabia||Industrials||10,825||3.0|
|Leejam Sports||Saudi Arabia||Consumer Discretionary||10,553||3.0|
|Yanbu National Petrochemical||Saudi Arabia||Materials||9,235||2.6|
|National Medical Care||Saudi Arabia||Health Care||7,760||2.2|
|Abdullah Al Othaim Markets||Saudi Arabia||Consumer Staples||7,413||2.1|
|Riyad Bank||Saudi Arabia||Financials||4,770||1.3|
|Saudi Arabian Oil||Saudi Arabia||Energy||3,665||1.0|
|Al Nahdi Medical||Saudi Arabia||Consumer Staples||3,496||1.0|
|Mobile World||Vietnam||Consumer Discretionary||11,259||3.2|
|Vietnam Dairy Products||Vietnam||Consumer Staples||6,055||1.7|
|Vietnam Technological & Commercial||Vietnam||Financials||2,902||0.8|
|National Bank of Greece||Greece||Financials||2,691||0.7|
|Titan Cement International||Greece||Materials||2,417||0.7|
|Total long CFD positions||4,856||126,153||35.3|
|Total short CFD positions||(471)||(8,292)||(2.3)|
|Total CFD portfolio||4,385||117,861||33.0|
FAIR VALUE AND GROSS MARKET EXPOSURE OF INVESTMENTS AS AT 31 MARCH 2022
|Gross market exposure as |
a % of net assets3
|Gross market |
31 March 2022
31 March 2021
30 September 2021
|Total long CFD positions||4,856||126,153||35.3||32.7||35.0|
|Total short CFD positions||(471)||(8,292)||(2.3)||(3.4)||(0.4)|
|Forward currency positions||–||–||0.0||5.4||4.6|
|Total gross exposure||275,208||388,684||108.8||107.7||112.3|
|Cash and cash equivalents||5,820||(107,656)||(30.1)||(33.6)||(35.9)|
|Net other current liabilities||(7,139)||(7,139)||(2.0)||(0.8)||(3.7)|
The Company was geared through the use of long and short CFD positions and gross and net gearing as at 31 March 2022 was 13.5% and 8.8% respectively (31 March 2021: 9.1% and 2.3%; 30 September 2021: 8.5% and 7.6%). Gross and net gearing are Alternative Performance Measures, see Glossary in the half yearly report and financial statements.
1 Fair value is determined as follows:
– Listed investments are valued at bid prices where available, otherwise at latest market traded quoted prices.
– The sum of the fair value column for the CFD contracts totalling US$4,385,000 (fair value gains on long CFDs US$4,856,000 less fair value loss on short CFDs of US$471,000) represents the fair valuation of all the CFD contracts, which is determined based on the difference between the notional transaction price and value of the underlying shares in the contract (in effect the unrealised gains/(losses) on the exposed positions). The cost of purchasing the securities held through long CFD positions directly in the market would have amounted to US$121,297,000 at the time of purchase, and subsequent market movements in prices have resulted in unrealised gains on the long CFD positions of US$4,856,000 resulting in the value of the total market exposure to the underlying securities increasing to US$126,153,000 as at 31 March 2022. The notional price of selling the securities to which exposure was gained via the short CFD positions would have been US$7,821,000 at the time of entering into the contract, and subsequent market movements in prices have resulted in unrealised losses on the short CFD positions of US$471,000 resulting in the value of the market exposure of these investments increasing to US$8,292,000 at 30 September 2021. If the short positions had been closed on 31 March 2022 this would have resulted in an unrealised loss of US$471,000 for the Company.
2 The gross market exposure column for cash and cash equivalents has been adjusted to assume the Company purchased/sold direct holdings rather than exposure being gained through long and short CFDs and forward currency positions.
3 Market exposure in the case of equity investments is the same as fair value. In the case of long and short CFDs it is the market value of the underlying shares to which the portfolio is exposed via the contract. Market exposure in the case of forward currency positions is the value of the receivable portion of the forward currency contracts. There were no open forward currency positions at 31 March 2022.
You can discover more about the BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust at blackrock.com/uk/brfi