Why Is Astoria Such a Cinderella? THE SHARE TO WATCH

Cape Times (South Africa), April 9, 2018 | Go to article overview

Why Is Astoria Such a Cinderella? THE SHARE TO WATCH


ON FRIDAY Astoria published its estimated net asset value (NAV) per share for the quarter ended March 31, 2018, at $1.20 (R14.42) per share. Astoria is a global investment company registered in Mauritius, which inward listed on the JSE in November 2015, and reports in dollars.

Astoria listed amid the Nenegate turmoil. Initially, there was tremendous interest and the share traded at a premium to the underlying value.

As the rand started recovering, interest waned, and suddenly the investment community found all kinds of excuses to withdraw their investment. It ranged from criticism about their management fees to shares issued to the directors. The stock kept on dwindling downwards from its high over R18 to below R10.

As I wrote previously, the most crucial aspect of an investment trust is the abilities of the persons deciding on the investments.

Astoria has an impressive investment team which is highly regarded in the investment community, a group of individuals with significant experience and successful track records in global equities and fund management.

The NAV in dollar terms is now at an all-time high, moving up slowly, but surely.

In September 2016 the NAV was$1.03, and in 2017 it grew consistently: in March it was $1.06, June up to $1.12 and September $1.16. The current NAV translates to a rand value of A[+ or -]R14.40, which means that the discount at which you can now buy Astoria assets is 27 percent.

Rand hedge

Astoria is an excellent rand hedge, since all their assets are 100 percent offshore, and you can invest in the world's best businesses through one JSE-listed share, which will be difficult to replicate by buying directly into the underlying investment. Astoria invests 60 percent of their portfolio in listed shares, and well-known companies like Starbucks, Apple, Facebook, FedEx, MasterCard and Johnson & Johnson form part of the collection.

They invest 20 percent in private equity and 20 percent in private funds.

Clearly, this big bargain doesn't go unnoticed. Three weeks ago it was announced on Sens that Livingstone Investments now holds 28.11 percent of Astoria's issued shares. …

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