Pareturn Columbus European Equity class I is down -2.37% in September 2023.
The month of September has been a complicated month for the stock markets, dragged down by the behavior of the fixed income markets. The MSCI Midcap index is down -3.00% in September and almost -4% in the last quarter, largely driven by difficulties in controlling inflation and fear of a longer period of high rates.
Since its creation in June 2008, Columbus has obtained a return of 126%, far exceeding European equity benchmarks.
Despite external headwinds, it is interesting to note that relative valuations of European smallcaps are already pricing in tough macro developments and a higher rate environment in the last decade.
The interest rate environment and inflation dynamics are conditioning the market, and it is foreseeable that it will continue to do so. So far, the global economy has been resilient in the face of a sharp rise in rates. The consensus expects the economy to slow down in 2024 and begin a period of rate cuts that may be favorable for bond and equity valuations. However, the risk of a harsh macro adjustment and persistent inflation remains present. In this environment, Columbus’ portfolio is well positioned with high-margin companies and relatively healthy balance sheets.
Regarding the Columbus portfolio, during the month of September, the positive performance of companies with good growth expectations stands out, such as Computacenter (+16% in the month) and Trainline (+20%) and Elecnor (+8.5%). Both Computacenter and Trainline reported quarterly results that positively surprised the market.
On the negative side, Ariston dropped 15% when the structure of the subsidies that the Italian government offers for the replacement of water heaters was modified. We believe that this sharp decline is excessive and do not reflect the good performance of the company after the purchase of the German company Centrotec Climate Systems in Germany last year.
Since May 2023, Spanish investors have been able to access the Columbus strategy through the Spanish GVC Columbus European Equities FI fund. The Fund can be purchased through the AllFunds, Inversis and Fundsettle platforms. Columbus has a Master-Feeder structure: The Pareturn GVC Gaesco Columbus European Equity Fund in Luxembourg (master) and the GVC Columbus European Equties FI fund (subordinate). The Luxembourg vehicle offers institutional share classes denominated in euros and sterling and retail in euros and can be purchased by international investors.