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Neil Woodford's shrewd investment trust picks revealed

by James Phillipps on Oct 30, 2009 at 13:55

Neil Woodford's shrewd investment trust picks revealed

Invesco Perpetual’s Neil Woodford may derive most of his performance from his strategic bets on FTSE 100 companies, but he is not averse to some shrewd investment trust buying too.

His fund’s latest annual results, which show us the holdings of his £8 billion Invesco Perpetual High Income fund, up until the end of June, reveal bets on such esoteric areas such as property in Macau, shareholder activism, Russian warehouses and law suits.

These investments through Macau Property Opportunities, Crystal Amber, Raven Russia and Juridica Investments look to be ongoing bets according to the latest shareholder information.

So what has attracted him to these areas?

Property in Macau

There are two listed funds in London which invest in property in Macau and Woodford has invested in both; Macau Property Opportunities and Speymill Macau Property.

If Macau Property Opportunities’ net asset value is to be believed as an accurate measure of the value of its underlying property holdings then it has proved remarkably resilient. Over the past three years it is up 46.7% in NAV terms. Over one year it is flat with an NAV return of 0%.

Nonetheless, the trust stands on a discount of 33.2% and that fell as low as 65% last year after the news that major shareholder GLG’s hedge fund star Greg Coffey was quitting the firm caused a rash of redemptions, which forced it to sell off a big chunk of its holding quickly.

Midas Capital’s fund of trusts manager Nick Greenwood took this opportunity to buy a 12% stake in the stock. He says: ‘We acquired the stock at a knock down price. There is a significant amount of fiscal easing being pumped into China and a lot will end up in Macau. Visiting restrictions from the mainland are being lifted and it looks very attractive on a long-term view.’

With a market cap of some £98.96 million and gross assets of £199.6 million appears a highly geared play on this niche market, but factor in the historic nature of the NAV, the strong recent run Macau property has had plus the weak pound and it looks far less risky.

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  • Invesco Perpetual Income Inc
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  • Invesco Perpetual High Income Inc
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  • Macau Property Opportunities F (MPO)
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  • Crystal Amber Fund Ltd (CRS)
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  • Raven Russia Ltd (RUS)
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  • Juridica Investments Ltd (JIL)
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  • Speymill Macau Property Compan (MCAU)
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  • JJB Sports PLC (JJB)
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  • Neil Woodford
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  • Nick Greenwood
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