Data as at: 13/05/2022

Gearing

Gearing policy

The Board is responsible for all aspects of the Company’s affairs, including the setting of parameters for the monitoring of the investment strategy and the review of investment performance and policy. It also has responsibility for overseeing all strategic policy issues, namely dividend, gearing, share issuance and buybacks, share price and discount/premium monitoring, corporate governance matters and engagement with all of the Company’s stakeholders.

Borrowing limits

The Board continues to monitor the level of gearing and currently considers gearing of up to 20% to be appropriate.

Ways in which investment companies can magnify income and capital returns, but which can also magnify losses.

At its simplest, gearing means borrowing money to buy more assets in the hope the company makes enough profit to pay back the debt and interest and leave something extra for shareholders.

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how gearing works table

However, if the investment portfolio doesn’t perform well, gearing can increase losses. The more an investment company gears, the higher the risk.

Investment companies can usually borrow at lower rates of interest than you’d get as an individual. They also have flexible ways to borrow – for example they might get an ordinary bank loan or, for split capital investment companies, issue different classes of share.

Not all investment companies use gearing, and most use relatively low levels of gearing.

An indication of the maximum and minimum levels that the company would expect to be geared in normal market conditions.

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