Miton UK MicroCap Trust PLC (LON: MINI) have seen their shares spike on Friday afternoon despite the firm giving shareholders a modest update.
Premier Miton was formed in November 2019 from the merger of Premier Asset Management Group plc and Miton Group plc. They manage £11billion on behalf of a wide range of individual investors and institutions.
Shares in Miton UK rallied 5.27% to 51p on Friday. 13/12/19 12:15BST.
The firm said its net asset value per share declined in the first half of its year.
The firm alluded to the strain of Brexit on smaller stocks, with Nanoco Group PLC (LON: NANO) its worst performer. Nanoco is the market leader in the research, development, licensing and large scale manufacture of novel nanomaterials for use in various commercial applications
The slump from Nanoco was due to the fact that Nanoco’s largest prospective customer will not be using its new factory, despite having paid for all the new machinery.
Given the lessened chance of Nanoco generating enough cash funds in the next few years, Miton UK MicroCap sold its stake.
The venture capital trust’s NAV per share as at October 31 was 48.92p per share, down 13% from 56.13p at the end of April.
Gervais Williams and Martin Turner, Miton UK MicroCap’s investment managers, said: “Brexit anxiety subdued smallcap buyers, and hence the FTSE Smallcap Index excluding investment companies fell 5.9% and the AIM All-Share Index fell 8.2%. Generally, microcap share prices fell somewhat further, in part because their market liquidity is more limited as a result, the NAV of the trust fell 13% over the six months to October.”
Chair Andy Pomfret said: “As global growth falls back to pre-globalisation norms, we believe that a quoted microcap approach is advantageous. When economic conditions are challenging, the management agility that many microcaps demonstrate is important. Importantly, since acquisitions or mergers can turn out to be transformational, microcaps have a history of delivering much greater returns than those of the mainstream indices.
“In summary, the growth prospects for the UK economy may be no better than others. Importantly and uniquely, the UK stock market contrasts with others in that it has retained a vibrant universe of quoted microcaps over the period of globalisation. In a slow-growth world, the trust’s microcap strategy is particularly well-placed to deliver premium returns. Furthermore, since we believe that UK microcaps themselves are overdue a period of major performance catch-up, we consider that the Trust has the potential for strong prospects over both the short and the longer term.”
The firm announced the appointment of both an interim chief executive and a new deputy chair. Chief Financial Officer Ross Jerrard has been made interim CEO, following the departure of Andrew Pardey.
Centamin also announced the appointment of Jim Rutherford as a non executive director. e will then become deputy non-executive chair after 2020’s annual general meeting, when incumbent Gordon Edward Haslam departs.