Miton UK MicroCap plc: Outlook for H2 2022

Gervais Williams

Miton UK MicroCap Trust plc

This update should not be taken as advice. If you are unsure about any of the content please contact your financial adviser. Please remember that the value of stock market investments will fluctuate and investors may not get back the original amount invested. To assist, where appropriate, a glossary explaining some of the terms used has been provided at the end of this update.

Generally, the decades of globalisation were marked by abundant ‘supply’ of goods and services, often from low-cost economies. Whenever the economy slowed, central banks just injected extra ‘demand’, given that there was ample headroom in ‘supply’. During the 2008 financial crisis for example, the Bank of England was able to cut interest rates from 5.75% to 0.5% to engineer a recovery. Since 2008, the Bank of England has kept the economy going by adding yet more ‘demand’ using quantitative easing whenever necessary. All this has worked out well for investors, because ‘demand’ has been more than satisfied by ‘supply’, so inflation never took off.

An anxiety about our reliance on long-distance supply routes eventually initiated a change of trend. The logistical problems during the global pandemic further amplified these concerns. When Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, the application of sanctions underlined the risk of relying on remote suppliers yet further. Meanwhile, central banks injected yet more ‘demand’ during the pandemic to keep businesses from failing. The net effect is that ‘demand’ now exceeds ‘supply’, and inflation has returned. Insufficient ‘supply’ is a nightmare for central banks, as inflation forces them to suppress ‘demand’ to bring it into balance with ‘supply’, via a recession caused by increased interest rates.

During the first half of 2022, as the gravity of these implications became evident, the valuations of many fixed interest products (bonds) and equities (company shares) began to fall away. Going forward, as ‘demand’ declines, we now expect companies to begin running short of sales, with potential price wars as they seek to hang onto customers – economic recessions are normally associated with weakness in both company sales and profit margins. Cash-flow negative businesses are particularly vulnerable at such times, as any shortfall in sales and margins shortens the time before they run out of cash. Alongside, high indebted businesses also risk insolvency due to rising interest rates and falling profits.

Interestingly, companies listed for public purchase may have the advantage during recessions especially if they are already generating surplus cash. By acquiring viable but formerly over-indebted businesses, debt-free, at knock-down prices from the receiver, they can boost their future cash surpluses. Sometimes these kinds of deals can deliver ‘transformational’ uplifts for smaller companies.

The bottom line is that the UK’s heritage of inflation over the last century means that the UK stock market is distinctive in having a vibrant universe of companies, ranging to the very smallest in size. The key point is that immature businesses can sometimes sustain growth even when the global economy is in recession. Furthermore, as noted above, smaller companies can sometimes generate transformative returns on top by acquiring businesses from the receiver.

With global interest rates rising, we believe that economic conditions will become tougher. But alongside we also believe that these economic trends could favour the Miton UK MicroCap Trust. Indeed, with the unsettled economic and market trends, we believe there are likely to be few assets that perform as well as UK smaller companies. Furthermore, given that so few institutions invest in UK smaller companies, we believe that the new trend might be reflected in renewed investment in this area and outperformance that could surprise in terms of its scale and duration.

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Risks

All types of investment carry a degree of risk.  It is possible you could lose some, or all, of the money you invest. The level of risk varies depending on the type of investment.

The performance information presented in this insight note relates to the past. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

Typically, you are less likely to lose money over the long term from an investment that is considered low risk, although potential returns may also be lower. Investments considered higher risk typically offer greater opportunities for better long-term returns, though the risk of losing money is also likely to be higher.

When you invest, it is important that you understand the risk to your money and are comfortable with that level of risk. If you are unsure, we would recommend that you consult a financial adviser.

The value of your investment might not keep up with any rise in the cost of living.

You could lose money if financial markets fall.

The performance of the trust will be affected by investment decisions made by the fund manager.

Investment in smaller companies is typically higher risk than investment in larger companies. Shares in smaller companies can experience greater levels of volatility.

Future forecasts are not reliable indicators of future returns.

Glossary

Assets

Different groups of investments such as company shares, bonds, commodities or property.

Bonds (or fixed income)

Types of investments that allow investors to loan money to governments and companies, usually in return for a regular fixed level of interest until the bond’s maturity date, plus the return of the original value of the bond at the maturity date. The price of bonds will vary and the investment terms of bonds will also vary.

Equities

Another name for shares (or stock) in a company.

Quantitative easing (QE)

A monetary policy whereby a central bank purchases predetermined amounts of government bonds or other financial assets in order to inject money into the economy to expand economic activity. It has the opposite effect to quantitative tightening.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

The views expressed in this document should not be taken as a recommendation, advice or forecast. We are unable to give financial advice. If you are unsure about the content contained within/suitability of the funds or trusts mentioned, please speak to a financial adviser.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this document, we regret that we cannot accept responsibility for any omissions or errors. The information given and opinions expressed are subject to change and should not be interpreted as investment advice. Reference to any particular stock or fund does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell the stock or fund. Persons who do not have professional experience in matters relating to investments should not rely on the content of this document.

All data is sourced to Premier Miton unless otherwise stated.

For your protection, calls may be monitored and recorded for training and quality assurance purposes.

A free, English language copy of the trust’s full Prospectus, the Key Information Document and Pre-investment Disclosure Document are available on the Premier Miton website, or you can request copies by calling us on 01483 306090.

Financial Promotion issued by Premier Miton Investors. Premier Portfolio Managers Limited is registered in England no. 01235867. Premier Fund Managers Limited is registered in England no. 02274227. Both companies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are members of the ‘Premier Miton Investors’ marketing group and subsidiaries of Premier Miton Group plc (registered in England no. 06306664). Registered office: Eastgate Court, High Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3DE.

007619/210922

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Disclaimer

This section of the website and the content it contains is for retail clients only and by persons who are resident in the United Kingdom [who are not US persons]. Professional advisers should refer to the Professional Advisers site.

The content of the pages of this website is for your general information only. It, and the products and services described within it, are subject to change without notice. We shall not be liable to you, or any third party, for any amendment, modification, suspension or discontinuance of any product or service described on our website. Neither we, nor any third parties, provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or appropriateness of the information and materials made available on this website.

You acknowledge that such information may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law. Your use of any information or materials is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable.

The information contained on this website does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell or purchase shares in the funds or portfolios or to provide you with other products or services. Any application or investment must only be made on the basis of the relevant documentation of the investment, such as, for example, terms and conditions. The information on this website does not constitute any investment, tax, legal or other advice. Persons who do not have professional experience in matters relating to investments should always consult with an independent financial adviser before making an investment decision. Any opinion expressed on individual funds, services or products represent the views of the individual at the time of preparation and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation to buy or sell or otherwise trade all or any of the investments that may be referred to.

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This section of the website and the content it contains is for professional financial advisers only and should not be relied upon, or circulated to, retail clients. Retail clients should refer to the Private Investor's site.

The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only. It, and the products and services described within it, are subject to change without notice. We shall not be liable to you, or any third party, for any amendment, modification, suspension or discontinuance of any product or service described on our website. Neither we, nor any third parties, provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or appropriateness of the information and materials made available on this website.

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The information contained on this website does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares in the funds or portfolio or to provide you with other products or services. Any application or investment must only be made on the basis of the relevant documentation of the investment, such as, for example, terms and conditions. The information on this website does not constitute any investment, tax, legal or other advice. Persons who do not have professional experience in matters relating to investments should always consult with an independent financial adviser before making an investment decision. Any opinion expressed on individual funds, services or products, represent the views of the individual at the time of preparation and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation to buy or sell or otherwise trade all or any of the investments that may be referred to.

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