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JPMorgan Global Core Real Assets’ shares have moved from a premium to a discount to the value of its assets
Thursday 01 Jul 2021 Author: Ian Conway

Considering the amount of discussion about investors’ need for some inflation protection for their portfolios, it’s somewhat surprising to see a real assets investment trust trading at a sizeable discount to net asset value.

As well as sitting at an 8% discount to NAV, compared with a premium of 15% at the start of the year, shares in JP Morgan Core Real Assets (JARA) are trading at a 12-month low, whereas other ‘flexible’ trusts such as Capital Gearing (CGT) and Personal Assets (PNL) are trading close to 12-month highs.

Don’t be put off by the 26% share price decline over the past year. The trust has the right qualities to shine in the current environment, and the market will hopefully cotton on to its potential soon.

Manager Phil Waller puts the trust’s share price performance down to headwinds from the strength of sterling but given currency moves are transitory this seems like a big anomaly.

JPMorgan Global Core Real Assets invests in high quality real assets in high quality locations, with a focus on developed economies, what it describes as ‘moderate’ leverage and minimal development risk.

Just over half of the portfolio is invested in real estate, while a quarter is in infrastructure and a fifth is invested in transportation assets, which all generate returns that are uncorrelated with equities and bonds.

In each field, the trust looks for assets with a stable, regulated income stream and some inflation linkage. It has the support of JPMorgan’s existing expertise in real assets where it manages $75 billion.

The trust’s 700 investments are spread globally, with half in the US, just under a third in the Asia-Pacific region and a fifth in Europe and the UK, which adds another level of diversification.

In the real estate market, as well as prime residential and commercial property the trust invests in public companies operating in sectors like warehousing and logistics.

In infrastructure, the trust owns long-term power generation assets as well as regulated utilities which operate the assets, while in transportation it owns actual ships with long-term lease contracts which generate a steady stream of income as well as other assets.

JPMorgan Global Core Real Assets has a target return of between 7% and 9% a year net of fees and expenses once fully invested, which is almost the case as cash is just £8 million.

Of that return, between 4% and 6% is expected to come from the dividend and the rest from capital appreciation. It has a 0.36% ongoing charge.

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