15th Sep 2023 12:22
(Alliance News) - AVI Japan Opportunity Trust PLC on Friday said its net asset value increased since last year and that it swung to a profit in its latest half amid an "increasingly bullish" market.
The London-based investment firm, which backs over-capitalised small-cap Japanese equities, said its NAV per share at June 30 was 119.01 pence, up from 108.39p at the same time one year prior.
The stock was down 0.1% at 116.43p in London on Friday.
AVI Japan also delivered a positive 4.95% NAV total return for the first half of 2023, following its negative 9.74% return the year before. This outperformed the MSCI Japan Small Cap Index, which delivered a negative 0.36% return this year and negative 8.22% in 2022.
Pretax profit was GBP8.1 million, compared with a GBP15.6 million loss last year. Investment income slightly increased to GBP2.7 million from GBP2.3 million, and total earnings per share reached 5.57p following an 11.61p loss.
AVI Japan also declared an interim dividend of 0.85p, up from 0.75p the previous year.
Chair Norman Crighton said that the "hostile" environment for global markets thanks to inflation, potentially stagnant growth and the Ukraine conflict has not yet subsided. However, "the market's attention has turned to Japan, growing increasingly bullish in recent months.
"The combination of a strong economy, low inflation, corporate governance improvements and a late re-opening from Covid has generated optimism for Japanese equities," he added.
Looking ahead, he continued: "Japan has demonstrated it can produce strong returns on investments in 2023, and with the continued macroeconomic tailwinds, and potential for increased foreign allocation, it is an exciting time to be finding new opportunities in the region."
By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter
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