Midas Clashes with Board of Charter European

CEF TIMES October 12-18: Charter European Trust is to hold an EGM at which shareholders can vote on the removal of the board and fund liquidation plans

Szymon Idzikowski 19 October, 2011 | 2:27PM
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Cazenove Absolute Equity (CAEL): BNP Paribas Arbitrage has sold almost 4 million shares in the hedge fund over the last week, in a move that reduced its stake to 12.61%. Conversely, Weiss Asset Management has topped up its account by over 1 million shares to raise its stake to more than 11%.

Charter European Trust (CPE): The board of directors has posted a circular to shareholders giving notice of an EGM to be held on November 8. The meeting has been requested by Midas, the largest fund’s shareholder, which wishes to change the company’s arrangements regarding voting rights on the Alliance Trust Saving Scheme and also wants to remove the current board of directors. Shareholders will also vote on plans to liquidate the fund ahead of the March 2014 wind-up date with the option to realise their investment in cash and/or to roll over to another fund. There are two rollover options: Jupiter European Fund has been proposed by the board; Manchester & London has been proposed by—and is managed by—Midas. Shareholders opting for a rollover option should note that both funds have very different mandates. Both Charter European and Jupiter European invest across the Europe, with some exposure to the U.K., while Manchester & London is a U.K. equity fund.

City Natural Resources (CYN): Ian Francis has replaced Merfyn Roberts as co-manager of the fund. Roberts has been at the helm for only a year, a very short tenure. Francis has been with New City Investment Managers since 2007 and is lead fund manager of New City High Yield Fund (NCYF). He joins Will Smith, who has been co-managing City Natural Resources since December 2009.

Electra Private Equity (ELTA): The company has increased the size of its loan from £185 million to £195 million and extended its term to June 2016. The fund is currently 142% geared.

Eurovestech (EVT): Shareholders of the fund have voted in favour of a return of capital. Each shareholder will receive a D share per ordinary share held on October 17. Unless they accept the D share class tender offer made by the company’s stockbroker, shareholders will receive the D share dividend. Following the dividend payment, D shares will become deferred shares with very limited rights. Both tender and dividend options will pay shareholders 4 pence per share.

GS Dynamic Opportunities GBP (GSDO): Following consultation with shareholders, the hedge fund is proposing a managed wind-down of its portfolio and the return of capital to shareholders. The fund has gained 7.8% since launch in July 2006, on a NAV basis, and currently manages £127 million.

Infrastructure India (IIP): Macquarie Capital has been appointed as joint corporate broker of the company and will work alongside Smith & Williamson Corporate Finance and Singer Capital Markets, who have been servicing Infrastructure India since mid 2008.

Invista European Real Estate (IERE): Shareholders of the fund have voted in favour of a fund objective change to enable it to realise its portfolio and return capital to shareholders. The fund was launched in December 2006.

Matrix European Real Estate (MERE): The fund manager and investment adviser, Matrix Property, has given a termination notice for provided services. It has been managing the fund since June 2007 and,according to the terms of agreement, it is obligated to remain at the helm until October 2012.

Max Property (MAX): Blackrock UK Absolute Alpha has decreased its stake by 1.4% to 4.8% in the direct property fund. Max Property currently trades at a hefty discount of over 18%, compared with its 12-month average of a premium of 0.5%.

Prosperity Voskhod (PVF): Henderson Global Investors sold over 8 millions shares to take its stake to 7.5%. The move has not changed its position as the fourth biggest shareholder of the fund.

Utilico Emerging Markets (UEM): The fund was delisted from AIM and listed on the LSE's main market on October 14. It retained the ticker UEM and received an ISIN and SEDOL of B0DQY35 and BMG931151069, respectively.

Vinaland (VNL): The board of the property specialist fund has announced plans to introduce a share buyback programme starting from November. The fund currently trades at a hefty discount of almost 50% to its NAV, compared with its 12-month average of 37%.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Szymon Idzikowski

Szymon Idzikowski  is a closed-end fund analyst with Morningstar.

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