Fortress Fund Managers are touting the performance of their Caribbean Growth Fund over the last quarter despite turbulence in the marketplace.
In its latest release, Fortress, the island’s largest mutual fund operator said: “The fiscal year-end for our funds is September 30 and, as luck would have it, the year just ended was the second best on record for the flagship Fortress Caribbean Growth Fund since it started nearly 25 years ago. In case you were wondering, the best year was +42 per cent in 1997.”
The performance was registered even as Fortress told investors the financial markets were confronted with “headwinds such as worldwide supply chain disruptions, higher inflation and expected tightening of global monetary policy”.
Despite this, the locally-managed financial services company, reported that markets benefited from the “engines of continued growth and improved profitability in many companies and countries around the world”, as well as from “exceptionally low interest rates”.
The Fund, which is chaired by businessman Sir Geoffrey Cave, went on to remark that in many ways, financial markets had “long moved on from the kind of singular focus on the pandemic that still prevails in everyday life”.
On the performance of the Caribbean Growth Fund, one of three funds Fortress manages, was up 25.3 per cent over last year.
The company reported net asset value (NAV) per share as of October 1, was $7.13 and net assets of the Fund stood at $594 million, up from $468 million over last year.
According to data from Fortress, 70 per cent of its portfolio are mainly in international equities.
The company reported: “The performance in most Caribbean stock markets broadly reflects the current underlying economic fundamentals, though regional growth is expected to improve in 2022 driven by improved tourism activity and an increase in energy prices in the context of Trinidad.”
The Fund managers commented that better economic activity would “eventually be reflected in equity prices” in the region, however, there remained considerable uncertainty as to when this improvement would likely occur.
Fortress had one exception to that general assessment of the region, and it was Guyana where that country is building out a substantial oil and gas industry. GDP growth next year for Guyana is expected to be 49 per cent as energy operations expand.
It was revealed that with disruptions to supply chains, rising input costs and energy shortages in China, Fortress’ Fund’s global investments were down marginally during the quarter, offset partially by its select biotech holdings which registered substantial gains.
It added: “The Fund’s holdings in high-quality, well-valued stocks across a range of industries in the Caribbean and around the world continue to see good profitability and earnings growth.
We think the prospects for these investments remain excellent, even as other parts of the market may face resistance in the coming months from high valuations, reduced growth, an uncertain path on the pandemic, and less fiscal and monetary policy support.” (IMC1)