NOT FOR RELEASE, DISTRIBUTION OR PUBLICATION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES
Guernsey, 17 January 2012 – Volta Finance Limited (the “Company” or “Volta Finance” or “Volta”) has published its monthly report. The full report is attached to this release and is available on Volta Finance Limited’s financial website (www.voltafinance.com).
Gross Asset Value
At the end of December 2011, the Gross Asset Value (the ”GAV”) of Volta Finance Limited (the ”Company”, “Volta Finance” or “Volta”) was EUR139.1m or EUR4.51 per share, an increase of EUR0.10 per share from EUR4.41 GAV per share at the end of November 2011. The end of December GAV did not take into account the dividend payment which took place the 16th of January.
The 2011 annual performance of Volta’s assets, including the April dividend payment and according to the GAV, is a positive 10.3%.
The December mark-to-market variations* of Volta Finance’s asset classes have been: +26.4% for ABS investments, +0.1% for mezzanine of CDO investments, -0.5% for residuals of CDO investments and +1.0% for Corporate Credit investments. The GAV increase in December was in line with slightly positive credit markets in December.
Volta’s assets generated the equivalent of EUR2.4m of cash flows in December 2011 (non-Euro amounts converted to Euro using end-of-month cross currency rates and excluding principal payments from debt assets) bringing the total cash generated during the last six months to EUR14.7m. This amount can be compared with EUR11.8m for the previous six-month period ended in June 2011 (the most recent period which is comparable considering the seasonality of payments).
In December, no asset was sold or bought by the Company.
At the end of December, Volta held EUR6.7m in cash, including EUR1m posted in respect of the currency hedge. Considering the pace at which cash flows are generated and the necessity to keep cash available for the next dividend payment, Volta could be considered as fully invested.
In December, credit spreads tightened modestly in Europe and in the US reflecting the remaining uncertainties regarding Europe capability to settle a comprehensive package to face the Euro sovereign debt crisis. The spread of the 5y European iTraxx index and of the 5y iTraxx European Crossover Index (series 16) decreased, respectively, from 185 and 759 bps at the end of November to 173 and 755 bps at the end of December. During the same period, credit spreads in the US, as illustrated by the 5y CDX main index (series 17), went from 131 to 120 bps at the end of December 2011. According to the CSFB Leverage Loan Index, the average price for US liquid first lien loans modestly increased from 91.88% to 92.19% at the end of December.**
Overall, the tensions that have been present in most markets since March have affected structured finance markets since June. On average, prices are back to the end of 2010 levels or slightly lower. The significantly positive 2011 performance of Volta’s assets mostly reflects the ability of the Company to generate cash flows from its asset base.
VOLTA FINANCE PORTFOLIO
In December, no particular event materially affected the situation of the Corporate Credit holdings. However, it should be remembered that the first-loss positions in Jazz III and ARIA III remain highly sensitive to any credit event that could occur, especially to financial debts considering the significant exposures to bank debt held through these positions.
At the end of December, the average price of the assets in this bucket increased from 39.6% to 40.2% in line with the modest tightening observed in credit markets.
As regards the Company’s investments in residual and mezzanine debt of CDOs, at the end of December, all the 53 positions in residual or mezzanine debt of CDOs are currently paying their coupons. The last one that was unable to do so, Carlyle IX, resumed paying a coupon in December. No particular event materially affected the situation of these positions.
At the end of November the 40 mezzanine debt tranches of CDOs (38 tranches of CLOs, 1 tranche of Emerging Debt CDO and 1 tranche of CDO of ABS), totalling the equivalent of EUR102.9m of principal amount, were valued at an average price of 59% of par; the 12 classic residual tranches of CLOs, totalling the equivalent of EUR54.3m of principal amount, were valued at an average price of 59%; the rest of the bucket, one loan fund, for the equivalent of EUR11.5m of principal amount, was valued at 75% of par.
As regards the Company’s ABS investments, at the end of December, nothing special affected the main position (Promise Mobility) or the other investments in this bucket (6 UK non-conforming residual positions). The very good performance of this bucket in December was due to significant amounts received from the UK non-conforming residual positions.
The Company considers that opportunities could arise in several structured credit sectors in the current market environment. Amongst others, mezzanine tranches of CLOs and of European ABS as well as tranches of Corporate Credit portfolios could be considered for investments. Potential investments could be made depending on the pace at which market opportunities could be seized and cash is available. The recent widening of discount margins has been seized upon by the Company to invest most of the cash available. Depending on market opportunities, the Company may aim at taking advantage of current volatility in prices to sell some assets in order to reinvest the sale proceeds on assets representing, at the time of purchase, what the Company can consider a better opportunity.
* “Mark-to-market variation” is calculated as the Dietz-performance of the assets in each bucket, taking into account the MtM of the assets at month-end, 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.
** Index data source: Markit, Bloomberg.
(Full monthly report in attachment or on www.voltafinance.com)
ABOUT VOLTA FINANCE LIMITED
Volta Finance Limited is incorporated in Guernsey under the Companies (Guernsey) Laws, 1994 to 1996 (as amended) and listed on Euronext Amsterdam. Its investment objectives are to preserve capital and to provide a stable stream of income to its shareholders through dividends. For this purpose, it pursues a multi-asset investment strategy targeting various underlying 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; automobile loans. Volta Finance Limited’s basic approach to its underlying assets is through vehicles and arrangements that provide leveraged exposure to some of those underlying assets.
Volta Finance Limited 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 EUR514 billion in assets under management as of the end of June 2011. AXA IM employs approximately 2,389 people around the world and operates out of 21 countries.
State Street (Guernsey) Limited
+44 (0) 1481 715601
For the Investment Manager
AXA Investment Managers Paris
+33 (0) 1 44 45 84 47
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 press release is not an offer of securities for sale in the United States. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Volta Finance has not registered, and does not intend to register, any portion of any offering of its securities in the United States or to conduct a public offering of any securities in the United States.
This document is being distributed by Volta Finance Limited in the United Kingdom only to investment professionals falling within article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Market Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the “Order”) or high net worth companies and other persons to whom it may lawfully be communicated, falling within article 49(2)(A) to (E) of the Order (“Relevant persons”). The shares are only available to, and any invitation, offer or agreement to subscribe, purchase or otherwise acquire the shares will be engaged 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’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. Volta Finance 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.
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