The Aberdeen Preferred Income split-capital trust has been placed in administration and shares in Ex...
The Aberdeen Preferred Income split-capital trust has been placed in administration and shares in Exeter's Dartmoor investment trust have been suspended while the company clarifies its financial position.
The £37.8m Dartmoor trust, which invested primarily in split-cap shares, has returned -99.8% over the 12 months to 16 September. The board of the £60.3m Aberdeen Preferred Income split-capital trust last week appointed Ernst & Young LLP as administrators after suspending dividends in March when its NAV fell below levels required by the trust's lenders.
The portfolio was invested in convertible preference shares, preference shares and income shares of other investment trusts, compounding its exposure to a falling market. Shares in the fund have fallen by more than 95% since the start of the year. Despite repaying around £150m in debt over the past nine months, continuing weakness in the trust's underlying portfolio meant administration was unavoidable.
Piers Curry, head of investment trusts at Aberdeen, said: 'There are £40m pounds of assets but with £39m worth of debt still remaining, the speed at which it was able to repay the debt relative to the falling asset base has ultimately not been resolved.'
Eight of Aberdeen's 19 investment trusts are in financial distress, according to the group.
The increase in minimum AE contributions has had little impact on opt-out rates - with cessations after April increasing by less than two percentage points, data from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) shows.
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