Symphony International Holdings Limited (Symphony) is a closed-end fund that trades on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. According to their website, the fund invests in companies in particular high growth sectors – healthcare, hospitality, lifestyle and branded real estate – that stand to benefit from the rising disposable incomes of Asia’s increasing, and increasingly aspirational, population. The team is led by Anil Thadani, who set up one of Asia’s first private equity businesses and has been investing in the region for 30+ years.
Symphony recently published their shareholder update for the first quarter, which you can read here.
Some highlights below:
- NAV per share increased by 4.9% from December 31, 2016. The increase was primarily due to an appreciation in Asian currencies and an increase in the value of their Minor International stake. The shares continue to trade at a steep discount to NAV (~33%).
- To help narrow the discount, Symphony announced a share buyback program during the quarter with an intention to acquire at least 10% of its shares in issue on annual basis.
- By the end of 1Q17, Symphony had bought back 11m shares or ~2.1% of the shares outstanding as at December 31, 2016.
- Symphony’s portfolio activity in 1Q17 included:
- A partial exit of its investment in SGX-listed Parkway Life REIT with the sale of 17.8m units. The fair value of their remaining stake in the company now stands at US$35.1m vs. US$60.5m at December 31, 2016.
- An assignment agreement to take up part of a bridge loan related to their investment in the Christian Liaigre Group, a luxury furniture brand.
- A JV agreement to build and operate the Wellington College International Bangkok, a K-12 co-educational institution that will cater to ~1,500 students when fully completed.