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Volta Finance Limited (VTA / VTAS) – October 2021 monthly report
NOT FOR RELEASE, DISTRIBUTION, OR PUBLICATION, IN WHOLE OR PART, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES
Guernsey, 12 November 2021
AXA IM has published the Volta Finance Limited (the “Company” or “Volta Finance” or “Volta”) monthly report for October. The full report is attached to this release and will be available on Volta’s website shortly (www.voltafinance.com).
PERFORMANCE and PORTFOLIO ACTIVITY
October’s performance was positive at 1.2%. The year-to-date total return of the Company is 16.4%.
This good performance was mainly driven by the high volume of cash flows we received from our assets in October. Turning to the details, the monthly asset class performances** were: +0.8% for Bank Balance Sheet transactions, +1.8% for CLO equity tranches; +1.0% for CLO debt; -0.2% for Cash Corporate Credit and ABS (together representing 3.0% of NAV).
As usual, October is a relatively high volume month in terms of interest and coupons with the equivalent of €8.5m being received. On a 6-month rolling basis to the end of October, Volta received the equivalent of €26.4m. This was a new high for Volta, representing a 19.7% annualised cash flow yield, based on the end of the month NAV.
With ongoing cash flows continuing at a pace close to or higher than 20% (annualised), Volta's strategy is providing a performance that is very different from other double-digit performing assets like common equities. Our performance is mainly dependent on the current and ongoing cashflows rather than a multiple-like PE ratio that may be affected by an upward revision in the level of yields.
Regarding Volta's current main exposure, our performance is firstly dependent on default rates in loan markets. In this respect, we were expecting some improvement after the stress of the Covid Crisis. It is fair to say that the decline in the rates was faster than expected. At the end of October, the 12-month default rate was at 0.2% for US loans and 0.8% for European loans. Companies can more easily refinance their debt and M&A activity is frequently providing an exit strategy to some of the stocks that suffered the most from the Covid crisis. Whatever the exit strategy being pursued so far, many loans found a way to refinance and the maturity wall is being extended towards 2027-2028, reducing significantly the probability of default for the coming few years. The conclusion of this is that we are very constructive at least for 2022 and 2023. At some point, we expect to see the default rate slightly higher but considering the pace at which loans are refinancing, it is difficult to imagine default rates being significantly above 1.5% in the next two years. We are back to a classic post-crisis situation: billions that have been made available in the economic/financial systems are providing prolonged support to the type of assets we are investing in.
In October, Volta crystallized an opportunity that we locked in several months ago. We led the pricing of a European CLO in Q3 2020 and obtained the right to require the issuance of a B tranche on this deal at 95% of par. This tranche has been issued and purchased by Volta in October while we are almost certain this CLO will be reset (and the B tranche being called at par) in December with a settlement in January 2022, the next payment date for this CLO. In addition, we purchased two BB tranches in CLO, one European equity tranche, and are still working on opening a new US CLO warehouse to benefit from the large supply in the US loan market (which is preventing loan spread tightening).
As at the end of October Volta held about €3m of cash available for re-investment.
As at the end of October 2021, Volta’s NAV was €268.0m or €7.33 per share.
*It should be noted that approximately 8.0% of Volta’s GAV comprises investments for which the relevant NAVs as at the month-end date are normally available only after Volta’s NAV has already been published. Volta’s policy is to publish its NAV on as timely a basis as possible to provide shareholders with Volta’s appropriately up-to-date NAV information. Consequently, such investments are valued using the most recently available NAV for each fund or quoted price for such subordinated notes. The most recently available fund NAV or quoted price was 1.7% as at 30 September 2021, 5.5% as at 31 July 2021, and 0.8% as at 30 June 2021.
** “performances” of asset classes are calculated as the Dietz-performance of the assets in each bucket, taking into account the Mark-to-Market of the assets at period ends, payments received from the assets over the period, and ignoring changes in cross-currency rates. Nevertheless, some residual currency effects could impact the aggregate value of the portfolio when aggregating each bucket.
For the Investment Manager
AXA Investment Managers Paris
+33 (0) 1 44 45 84 47
Company Secretary and Administrator
BNP Paribas Securities Services S.C.A, Guernsey Branch
+44 (0) 1481 750 853
Cenkos Securities plc
+44 (0) 20 7397 8900
ABOUT VOLTA FINANCE LIMITED
Volta Finance Limited is incorporated in Guernsey under The Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 (as amended) and listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the London Stock Exchange's Main Market for listed securities. Volta’s home member state for the purposes of the EU Transparency Directive is the Netherlands. As such, Volta is subject to regulation and supervision by the AFM, being the regulator for financial markets in the Netherlands.
Volta’s investment objectives are to preserve capital across the credit cycle and to provide a stable stream of income to its shareholders through dividends. Volta seeks to attain its investment objectives predominantly through diversified investments in structured finance assets. The assets that the Company may invest in either directly or indirectly include, but are not limited to: corporate credits; sovereign and quasi-sovereign debt; residential mortgage loans; and, automobile loans. The Company’s approach to investment is through vehicles and arrangements that essentially provide leveraged exposure to portfolios of such underlying assets. The Company has appointed AXA Investment Managers Paris an investment management company with a division specialised in structured credit, for the investment management of all its assets.
ABOUT AXA INVESTMENT MANAGERS
AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is a multi-expert asset management company within the AXA Group, a global leader in financial protection and wealth management. AXA IM is one of the largest European-based asset managers with 767 investment professionals and €866 billion in assets under management as of the end of June 2021.
This press release is published by AXA Investment Managers Paris (“AXA IM”), in its capacity as alternative investment fund manager (within the meaning of Directive 2011/61/EU, the “AIFM Directive”) of Volta Finance Limited (the "Volta Finance") whose portfolio is managed by AXA IM.
This press release is for information only and does not constitute an invitation or inducement to acquire shares in Volta Finance. Its circulation may be prohibited in certain jurisdictions and no recipient may circulate copies of this document in breach of such limitations or restrictions. This document is not an offer for sale of the securities referred to herein in the United States or to persons who are “U.S. persons” for purposes of Regulation S under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or otherwise in circumstances where such offer would be restricted by applicable law. Such securities may not be sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration from the Securities Act. Volta Finance does not intend to register any portion of the offer of such securities in the United States or to conduct a public offering of such securities in the United States.
This communication is only being distributed to and is only directed at (i) persons who are outside the United Kingdom or (ii) investment professionals falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the “Order”) or (iii) high net worth companies, and other persons to whom it may lawfully be communicated, falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order (all such persons together being referred to as “relevant persons”). The securities referred to herein are only available to, and any invitation, offer or agreement to subscribe, purchase or otherwise acquire such securities will be engaged in only with, relevant persons. Any person who is not a relevant person should not act or rely on this document or any of its contents. Past performance cannot be relied on as a guide to future performance.
This press release contains statements that are, or may deemed to be, "forward-looking statements". These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms "believes", "anticipated", "expects", "intends", "is/are expected", "may", "will" or "should". They include the statements regarding the level of the dividend, the current market context and its impact on the long-term return of Volta Finance's investments. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Volta Finance's actual results, portfolio composition and performance may differ materially from the impression created by the forward-looking statements. AXA IM does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements.
Any target information is based on certain assumptions as to future events which may not prove to be realised. Due to the uncertainty surrounding these future events, the targets are not intended to be and should not be regarded as profits or earnings or any other type of forecasts. There can be no assurance that any of these targets will be achieved. In addition, no assurance can be given that the investment objective will be achieved.
The figures provided that relate to past months or years and past performance cannot be relied on as a guide to future performance or construed as a reliable indicator as to future performance. Throughout this review, the citation of specific trades or strategies is intended to illustrate some of the investment methodologies and philosophies of Volta Finance, as implemented by AXA IM. The historical success or AXA IM’s belief in the future success, of any of these trades or strategies is not indicative of, and has no bearing on, future results.
The valuation of financial assets can vary significantly from the prices that the AXA IM could obtain if it sought to liquidate the positions on behalf of the Volta Finance due to market conditions and general economic environment. Such valuations do not constitute a fairness or similar opinion and should not be regarded as such.
Editor: AXA INVESTMENT MANAGERS PARIS, a company incorporated under the laws of France, having its registered office located at Tour Majunga, 6, Place de la Pyramide - 92800 Puteaux. AXA IMP is authorized by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers under registration number GP92008 as an alternative investment fund manager within the meaning of the AIFM Directive.