Data as at: 01/07/2022

Gearing

Gearing policy

Liquidity and long-term borrowings are managed with the aim of improving returns to shareholders. The policy on gearing is to adopt a level of gearing that balances risk with the objective of increasing the return to shareholders, in pursuit of its investment objective.

Borrowing limits

To mitigate this risk, all borrowings require the prior approval of the Board and gearing levels are kept under close review by the Board. The Board applies a ceiling on effective gearing of 50%. While effective gearing will be employed in a typical range of 10% net cash to 20% gearing, the Board retains the ability to reduce equity exposure so that net cash is above 10% if deemed 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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