Liontrust Global Dividend Fund

July 2021 review

The Liontrust Global Dividend Fund returned -0.6% in July. The MSCI World Index comparator benchmark returned 1.1% and the average return in the IA Global Equity Income sector, also a comparator benchmark, was 0.5%.

Google’s parent Alphabet (+9.6%) flexed its digital dominance by posting its highest ever sales and profit quarter behind strong demand for online advertising from businesses vying for customers across reopened economies. The robust results showcased how Google has emerged stronger from a Covid-19 pandemic that accelerated e-commerce purchases, online food orders and streaming video consumption. The burst in digital activity led companies to pour marketing dollars into ads across Google search, Maps and YouTube, underscoring the pre-eminence of its products.

Costco (+8.1%) is another example of a Covid winner who is winning share of cost-conscious consumers. It reported an increase in sales of 17% yoy for the month of June. As a reminder, Costco operates an international chain of membership warehouses, that carry quality, brand-name merchandise at substantially lower prices than competitors.

 

As a consumer you can have confidence that, at Costco, you get the best price. By paying a $60 annual fee, Gold Star members gives you access to Costco warehouses where you enjoy unmatched value for money. It’s a business model that pools buyers together alongside an efficient supply chain to drive prices lower and keep them there, clearly a part of the customer proposition consumers are excited about.

 

A company we have held in the Fund for over three years is Constellation Software (+4.9%). The company is a Canadian software conglomerate that acquires and holds vertical market software (VMS) companies. Rarely selling, the company is a perpetual owner of over 500+ VMS companies ranging from library software to marina management.

Mark Leonard started constellation with $25m in 1995 raised from investors and is recognised as one of the best capital allocators and compounders of capital over the last two decades as Constellation’s market cap hit $31bn earlier this year. In fact, since it went public in 2006, it has reliably compounded returns at 30%+ a year and we don’t expect the company to slow down.

The Chinese escalation in regulatory pressure on Chinese educational sector and, more broadly on China’s technology sector, hampered the stock prices of Tencent (-18.6%) and Alibaba (-14.7%). After years of light regulation and a laissez-faire style checks and balances, the Chinese government is developing a framework for the next stage of growth across key areas of the economy. Broadly, we see this as Chinese regulators beginning to catch-up with Western policies around data privacy, competition law and possibly financial standards, though there is a little clarity at this stage. 

So, while holding these companies in the Fund has been a drag on performance, unlike the educational sector – the companies we invest in provide significant benefits to consumers and the government so we see this development as a temporary headwind (as seen at times during the past five years) that will reinforce the power and importance of these companies longer term.

Brookfield Infrastructure is one of the world’s largest infrastructure investors, owning and operating assets across the utilities, transport, energy, and data infrastructure sectors. This is one of the few pure play, publicly-traded global infrastructure entities available today.

One example of the assets Brookfield owns is Enwave, which provides large-scale heating and cooling services to a variety of customers through its network of underground pipelines across North America to utilise highly efficient technologies to power its centralised plants. Common across all the companies’ investments, the business is scalable that benefits from predictable, inflation-lined cash flows, and over time, Brookfield has grown it into a large-scale energy utility. 

Positive contributors included:

Alphabet (+9.6%), Costco (+8.1%), Intuit (+7.5%), Adobe (+5.5%) & Constellation Software (+4.9%).

Negative contributors included:

Tencent (-18.6%). Alibaba (-14.7%), Brookfield Infrastructure (-14.7%), Ping An (-11.0%) & Amadeus (-7.5%).

Discrete years' performance (%), to previous quarter-end:

 

Jun-21

Jun-20

Jun-19

Jun-18

Jun-17

Liontrust Global Dividend

26.5

9.9

17.2

8.8

13.3

MSCI World

24.4

5.9

10.3

9.3

21.6

IA Global Equity Income

21.2

-2.6

8.4

3.6

19.2

Quartile

1

1

1

1

4


Source: FE Analytics as at 30.06.21, C Accumulation share class performance. Quartile performance rankings as 30.06.21, generated on 07.07.21

For a comprehensive list of common financial words and terms, see our glossary here.

  

Key Risks

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Do remember that the value of an investment and the income generated from them can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed, therefore, you may not get back the amount originally invested and potentially risk total loss of capital. Investment in funds managed by the Global Equity (GE) team may involve investment in smaller companies - these stocks may be less liquid and the price swings greater than those in, for example, larger companies. Investment in funds managed by the GE team may involve foreign currencies and may be subject to fluctuations in value due to movements in exchange rates. The team may invest in emerging markets/soft currencies or in financial derivative instruments, both of which may have the effect of increasing volatility. Some of the funds managed by the GE team hold a concentrated portfolio of stocks, meaning that if the price of one of these stocks should move significantly, this may have a notable effect on the value of that portfolio.

Disclaimer

The information and opinions provided should not be construed as advice for investment in any product or security mentioned, an offer to buy or sell units/shares of Funds mentioned, or a solicitation to purchase securities in any company or investment product. Always research your own investments and (if you are not a professional or a financial adviser) consult suitability with a regulated financial adviser before investing.

Thursday, August 19, 2021, 9:57 AM