BY BERTRAND FAURE
February was again a very volatile month for European financial markets. After a dreadful start through to 11th February, which lowered year to date performance to -16.9% (-11.2% for the month to date at that point), the Fund’s benchmark recovered strongly with a +10.2% rebound. Its performance was still negative at month end posting a -2.21% return for the month. On 29th February, year to date performance stands at -9.39% for the Fund’s benchmark index.
In that context, the Fund managed to limit its decline, posting a -0.46% return in February and outperforming its benchmark by 1.74%. SLM Solutions was the most significant monthly contributor to performance, followed by Aubay and Tarkett. At the other end of the spectrum, Mersen, Kendrion and Fermentalg were the three main detractors. The Fund invested in a new position during the month: Cancom in Germany.
These turbulent times are definitely stressful but the absence of discrimination has always been a source of interesting opportunities. The recent market downturn, initiated in December 2015, has enabled the Fund to add six new positions over the past three months. The Investment Adviser is paying close attention to these market movements and continuously screening the small and mid-caps universe in search of unwarranted and unjustified downward movements that could potentially create appealing entry levels.
The views and statements contained herein are those of Pascal Investment Advisers SA in their capacity as Investment Adviser to the Fund as of 14/03/16 and are based on internal research and modelling.