J.P.Morgan Indian Investment Trust Half-Year Report

JPMORGAN INDIAN INVESTMENT TRUST PLC

UNAUDITED HALF YEAR RESULTS FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31ST MARCH 2024

Legal Entity Identifier: 549300OHW8R1C2WBYK02

Information disclosed in accordance with DTR 4.2.2

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

I became Chairman of the Company following the conclusion of the AGM in February 2024, having joined the Board in 2020. I took over from Rosemary Morgan who had been a Director of the Company since 2013 and Chairman since 2020. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Board to thank Rosemary for her leadership and wise counsel in her time first as a Director and then as Chairman of the Company.

Performance

During the six months period ended 31st March 2024, it has been pleasing to see the MSCI India Index increasing by 14.7% and outperforming both the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and the MSCI China Index. This has come about notwithstanding the ongoing worldwide geopolitical conflicts and tensions. The Company produced a total return on net assets of 6.2% in the period although this, disappointingly, underperformed its benchmark by 8.5%. In broad terms this underperformance is attributable to lower quality sectors of the market doing well, whereas your Portfolio Managers have favoured higher quality corporate names, a number of whose share prices have disappointed. In addition, some areas of the market are now experiencing high valuations which have precluded your Portfolio Managers from participating to any meaningful extent. In their report on pages 13 to 17 of the Half Year Report, the Portfolio Managers provide a detailed and frank commentary on this performance. They also discuss portfolio activity and their outlook for the Indian market.

Discount and Share Repurchases

The Company’s discount to NAV at which the Company’s shares trade marginally widened from 19.3% at the previous financial year end to 19.6% at the half year end.

The Board constantly weighs the merits of buying back shares, in line with the Company’s share buyback policy, to manage the absolute level and volatility of the discount. The Company repurchased 2,012,975 shares into Treasury during the reporting period, equating to 2% of the Company’s share capital. Since the half year end, a further 827,781 shares have been bought back for holding in Treasury.

Continuation Vote and Conditional Tender Offer

As stipulated by the Company’s Articles of Association, at the AGM held on 13th February 2024, the resolution to continue the Company as an investment trust for a further five years was put to shareholders and duly passed with 96.2% of votes cast in favour.

Shareholders are reminded that a tender offer will be made to shareholders for up to 25% of the Company’s outstanding share capital (excluding shares held in Treasury) at NAV less costs if, over the five years from 1st October 2020, the Company’s NAV total return in sterling on a cum income basis does not exceed the total return of the benchmark index plus 0.5% per annum over the five-year period on a cumulative basis. If the tender offer is triggered, it will be subject to shareholder approval at the relevant time.

The Company is required to pay capital gains tax on long-term and short-term capital gains at the headline current rates of 10% and 15%, respectively, plus associated surcharges of approximately 1-1.5%, which the Company’s benchmark does not take into account. Therefore, for the avoidance of doubt, in order to ensure that the terms of the conditional tender offer correctly reflect the Investment Manager’s performance in calculating whether the tender offer has been triggered, the NAV per share will be adjusted to add back all such taxes paid or accrued. For the benefit of the Company’s shareholders, the Company publishes on a monthly basis through a Regulatory Information Service platform the Company’s unaudited adjusted NAV per share. The NAV performance since 1st October 2020 without the impact of capital gains tax stood at 71% as at 31st March 2024, compared to 84% for the Benchmark.

Stay Informed

The Company delivers email updates on its progress with regular news and views, as well as the latest performance. If you have not already signed up to receive these communications and you wish to do so you can opt in via https://tinyurl.com/d95jkrzx or by scanning the QR code in the Half Year Report. Shareholders are also encouraged to visit the Company’s website at www.jpmindian.co.uk which contains detailed information on the Company’s performance, monthly commentaries as well as interviews and recordings with the Portfolio Managers.

Board

As announced in February 2024, I am pleased to report that following an external recruitment search process, Charlotta Ginman will be appointed to the Board with effect from 1st August 2024. Charlotta is a qualified Chartered Accountant and an experienced Non-executive Director. My fellow Directors and I are delighted that Charlotta has agreed to join the Board and look forward to welcoming her in the coming months. It is intended that Charlotta will take on the Chairmanship of the Audit and Risk Committee from Jasper Judd who is retiring at the conclusion of the Company’s AGM in 2025.

Furthermore, at the conclusion of the Company’s AGM held on 13th February 2024, Vanessa Donegan took over the role of Senior Independent Director from me.

Portfolio Manager Personnel Changes

The Board was informed that Ayaz Ebrahim, one of the Company’s Portfolio Managers, would be stepping down as Portfolio Manager to the Company with effect from 1st April 2024 due to taking up a new position within JPMorgan Asset Management as CEO of JPMAM Singapore and South East Asia. Amit Mehta and Sandip Patodia, who have been the Company’s joint Portfolio Managers since 30th September 2022, will continue to manage the assets of the Company.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Ayaz for his contribution to the management of the Company’s portfolio.

Outlook

With the Indian general election concluded, the largest electorate in the world seems to have voted for a continuation of the economic policies that have brought to so many of them an improvement in their living standards and taken India to the position of the fifth largest economy in the world. Nonetheless, seasoned investors will know that there is seldom a close correlation between a country’s headline economic growth and the performance of its stock market. Successful investors need to identify companies that are well positioned and sensibly managed to take advantage of the opportunities on offer in India. This requires a disciplined investment process, one that analyses the fundamentals of the corporate to assess its prospects and yet is patient enough to invest for a sustainable and reasonable return over the medium and long term.

Whilst your Portfolio Managers have succeeded in providing a positive return for shareholders in recent years, they have also been quite open in explaining the reasons for the underperformance of the portfolio in comparison to the Indian market as a whole. In particular, given the recent strong gains made in certain parts of the market, they have not wanted to overpay for any of their positions. Whilst this focus on valuations is to be welcomed, it is still the case that on behalf of you, the shareholder, the Board will continue to assess the success or otherwise of the Portfolio Managers’ investment process in realising the many positive opportunities of investing in the Indian stock market.

Jeremy Whitley

Chairman

Back to All News All Market News

Sign up for our Stock News Highlights

Delivered to your inbox every Friday