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Securities Trust of Scotland

Executive interview – Securities Trust of Scotland

Edison TV: | Investment trusts | 26 Feb 2019

Securities Trust of Scotland (LSE:STS) was launched in 2005, and aims to provide rising income and long-term capital growth through a portfolio of global equities. In May 2016, Mark Whitehead was appointed as fund manager and the Trust adopted an unconstrained mandate from 1 June 2016, measuring performance versus the rolling three-year median return of open- and closed-ended peers. The investment approach is fundamental, with a rigorous approach to build a relatively concentrated portfolio of 35-55 high-conviction stocks.

Securities Trust of Scotland

High-conviction global equity income portfolio

Review | Investment trusts | 26 Feb 2019

Securities Trust of Scotland (STS) aims to achieve long-term income and capital growth through a fundamental approach to global equity investment. The manager, Mark Whitehead, is not constrained by index considerations and focuses on finding 35–55 high-quality companies with sustainable business models and financial resilience, in which to invest for a three- to five-year horizon. He also utilises the trust’s ability to employ options strategies in a controlled manner to generate additional income. STS’s board adopts a progressive dividend policy and, over the past three years, the annual dividend has increased by 24%. It has also recently refreshed the trust’s marketing strategy, and appointed a new independent director, Sarah Harvey, who has considerable expertise in this area.

Secure Trust Bank

Reassuring update

Update | Financials | 18 Jan 2019

Secure Trust Bank’s (STB’s) pre-close trading update was encouraging, indicating it expects to deliver results in line with management’s and the market’s expectations. The bank has proposed a stop on new mortgage origination, unhappy with current price pressure and loan to value metrics, but does not expect this to have a material impact on 2018 and 2019 numbers. The bank sees itself entering 2019 with positive business momentum and robust capital and is well placed to continue its selected growth strategy despite the current political uncertainty.

Aberdeen Asian Income Fund

Bitesize briefing – Aberdeen Asian Income Fund

Edison TV: | Investment trusts | 20 Dec 2018

Aberdeen Asian Income Fund invests across Asia in quality companies offering attractive yields and the potential for capital and income growth. It may also hold a small number of fixed income securities. In this video, investment companies analyst Sarah Godfrey presents an overview of Aberdeen Asian Income Fund, covering its investment process, income focus, and the manager’s investment themes. She also looks at the trust’s performance record and discusses the factors contributing to its current discount to net asset value, which is wider than those of its close peers.

BioPharma Credit

Oversubscribed offering fuels further growth

Review | Investment trusts | 06 Nov 2018

BioPharma Credit (BPCR) provides access to a diverse portfolio of debt instruments for life science companies, consisting mainly of senior secured loans at present. Structural changes in the industry and high M&A activity constitute positive drivers of BPCR’s new debt investments. Despite increased life sciences equity and convertible bonds issues, the trust has invested c US$640m so far this year (and has outstanding commitments of US$140.5–160.5m). The trust has recently completed a private placement, with US$305m of final gross proceeds (after being upsized to US$200m from US$150m). Post the Amicus Therapeutics deal and advancing the second tranche of the Tesaro loan, BPCR visibly increased its exposure to floating-rate loans to c 62%.

Secure Trust Bank

Positive trading update

Update | Financials | 18 Oct 2018

STB’s Q318 trading update was upbeat. There are signs that the repositioning strategy is working, trading conditions are robust and it is on track to deliver guided earnings. The Tier 2 capital issue during the period added 268bp to capital, further positioning STB for future growth. Our estimates are unchanged (EPS growth 32% FY18). The shares now trade at PNAV of 1.2x, which compares favourably with our forecast ROTE.

Securities Trust of Scotland

Focused on global growth and quality stocks

Review | Investment trusts | 26 Sep 2018

Securities Trust of Scotland (STS) aims to provide long-term growth in income and capital through investing in global equities. The current manager, Mark Whitehead, was appointed in May 2016 and adopted an unconstrained, bottom-up approach to identify high-quality companies that can be long-term structural winners. The portfolio holds a relatively concentrated number of high-conviction stocks, which the manager believes gives the portfolio both defensive characteristics, as well as delivering sustainable dividend growth. The board has a progressive dividend policy. In August 2018, it announced a refresh of the trust’s marketing strategy, materially increasing its budget, and the appointment of a new non-executive director with extensive marketing expertise.

Secure Trust Bank

Tangible evidence of repositioning

Outlook | Financials | 15 Aug 2018

H118 results show Secure Trust Bank (STB) is making good progress in shifting its loan mix into lower risk segments and where pricing is more attractive. Despite being in a transition phase, STB delivered strong momentum in loans (22% YoY) and PBT (+38%). Concerns regarding these asset mix changes and the transition drag on earnings have probably contributed to recent share price weakness and the current valuation suggests there is room for rerating as STB continues to deliver successfully on its strategy.

BioPharma Credit

Leading lender in life sciences

Initiation | Investment trusts | 17 May 2018

BioPharma Credit (BPCR) offers investors access to a diverse portfolio of secured debt instruments for life science companies based on BPCR's pool of investment opportunities. The ongoing specialisation and fragmentation of the drug discovery process is translating into an increased number of market players seeking additional funding backed by sales from approved products and/or royalty streams from out-licensed products. During its IPO in March 2017 and follow-on placings, the trust has so far raised gross proceeds of US$1,080m (of which US$339m is in seed assets) and already deployed US$690m in four large deals. It also has outstanding potential commitments of up to US$350m.

Secure Trust Bank

Asset growth set to flow through to earnings

Update | Financials | 12 Apr 2018

FY17 was a further year of change for Secure Trust Bank (STB) as management completed the shift away from unsecured consumer loans and reduced the risk profile in motor finance. This restricted near-term profits but the pace of loan book growth has remained strong and looks set to feed into substantial earnings growth as the cost of risk subsides, more than offsetting the lower returns earned on lower risk lending. The shares have begun to respond to this prospect following the results, but the valuation suggests further upside.

Securities Trust of Scotland

Investing globally for sustainable dividend growth

Review | Investment trusts | 28 Feb 2018

Securities Trust of Scotland (STS) aims to generate rising income and long-term capital growth through investment in quality companies across the globe, with sustainable dividends supported by robust earnings growth. STS appointed a new lead manager in May 2016 and adopted an unconstrained investment approach, allowing the portfolio to reflect the manager’s highest-conviction stock picks in a relatively concentrated portfolio of 35-55 holdings. STS’s performance has since been positive relative to its new peer-based benchmark, while it has a comparable dividend yield of 3.5%, following an increased payout from FY16. It is one of two trusts in the peer group to trade on a discount to cum-income NAV, providing scope for the discount to continue to narrow.

Secure Trust Bank

Controlled growth

Update | Financials | 23 Jan 2018

Secure Trust Bank (STB) remains on track with both its shift towards a lower risk loan book and near-term trading. The move to lower risk assets has trimmed returns, but loan book growth continues apace and the benefits in terms of revenue and impairments should become clear in FY18 and FY19, years in which we expect earnings growth of over 30%.