JPMorgan Russian Raises Dividends, Reports

Russia-focused British investment trust JPMorgan Russian Securities on Monday upped its annual dividend and reported net asset value rise in the first 10 months of 2019, Morningstar reports.

In the year to October 31, the trust’s net assets rose by 19% year-on-year to $468.6 million. Net asset value per share climbed 26% higher to $10.18, the company said in a statement.

Total return on the company’s net assets came in at 32%, RTS Index benchmark which rose by 33%. Total return to shareholders beat the benchmark, however, coming in at 45%, JPMorgan Russian said.

“The outperformance was attributable to the significant narrowing of the discount at which the company’s shares trade relative to its net asset value,” the trust explained.

The company raised its full-year dividend by 35% to 35.0p (46¢) per share from 26.0p last year.

“The Russian economy grew although at a slower rate than the previous year and oil prices, which are a key factor in the performance of the Russian economy, were lower than the previous year. Consumer demand remained subdued and stocks reliant on the domestic market performed less well than exporters,” the trust said.

Brent oil prices, which JPMorgan Russian said is “pivotal” to Russia’s economy, averaged $56 a barrel during the period, down 14% from $65 a barrel from the same period last year.

JPMorgan Russian was trading 1.1% higher at 800.50 pence ($10.44) in London on Monday afternoon.

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