Ivory may cut trusts' discounts

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The Independent Online
IVORY & SIME, the fund manager, is considering extending the idea behind its recent investment trust launch to narrow the share price discount of some of its other trusts, writes Paul Durman.

The Isis trust, which took a disappointing pounds 26.6m, enhanced its asset value by selling the right to its dividend income to institutional shareholders by way of a special class of shares. Isis has monthly income and savings plans which, it is hoped, will work together to prevent Isis shares trading at a substantial discount.

Allan Munro, Ivory & Sime's managing director, said at least six non-executive directors of the group's other investment trusts wanted to know whether a similar structure could be used to narrow discounts on their trusts, and Ivory & Sime was considering the possibilities.

The fund manager reported an 8 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to pounds 4.9m. Earnings per share jumped by 19 per cent to 10.75p, thanks to a buy-in of shares last year.

Funds under management rose by 12.7 per cent to pounds 3.3bn, despite client losses of about pounds 150m. A final dividend of 4.75p increases the total by 13 per cent to 6.5p a share.