Astute Capital PLC. wins most innovative product award at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2021

Astute Capital PLC (Astute) is delighted to announce that it has won the ADVFN International Financial Award 2021 for the most innovative product. Astute has been recognised for its innovative approach to creating investment opportunities for its clients, most recently on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange through the use of listed secure asset backed bonds.

The 2021 ADVFN International Financial Awards recognise and celebrate the best of breed products and services from across the financial industry, both nationally and internationally.

Since its launch in 2016, Astute Capital has successfully grown its lending business through raising capital via its publicly listed bond programmes on Euronext Dublin and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The business gives its investors access to above-average, asset-backed returns, facilitated by its expertise in lending to Real Estate. Astute Works with companies that offer solid security but are perhaps restricted by timescales or multi asset security packages which larger banks won’t consider.

“Over the last few years, we have seen our business grow and remain resilient despite the current pandemic”, said Richard Symonds, Managing Director of Astute. “We are delighted to receive this award and it provides further credibility to our business model. We believe in offering attractive investment products as well as being open to grow our loan business”.

Astute Capital has firmly established itself within this niche, allowing it to achieve strong returns supported by a robust security structure and lending policies. The management team is comprised of experienced industry experts. This ensures that strict corporate governance and compliance is maintained at all times. Their structure includes a credit committee with independent members and supported by an entirely independent Risk and Oversight Committee made up of solicitors and compliance advisors.

For more information about Astute Capital and their products please email us or call us on 0800 302 9449.

Alternatively, for more on Astute Capital investments Download Our Brochure

Astute Capital Investments are reserved for High Net Worth or Sophisticated Investors only.

As with all investments your capital is at risk and interest payments are not guaranteed. Your investment is not covered by the financial services compensation scheme (FSCA) and is not regulated by the financial conduct authority (FCA).

The fact that the listed retail bond is asset-backed does not guarantee that all capital will be repaid. This also means that there is a liquidity risk and there is likely to be a delay in repaying your capital should you request it prior to bond maturity.

As with all business sectors, the Global Coronavirus Pandemic has had an impact on the property market. The most notable effect has been the increase in the number of delays caused by lockdown and further exasperated due to the sudden rush of activity caused by the stamp duty incentive. However, these have all worked in our favour and Astute’s business has remained resilient.

The delays and impact of Covid-19 due to banks, surveyors and solicitors working less efficiently, has resulted in increasing the average time taken for a sale of a property from 3 to 5 months.

We have been watching the overall property market very closely and have seen some sectors faring better than others, with retail and office space being hardest hit. However, the residential market has seen increased growth. This has mainly been driven by a significant shortage of UK housing. This in turn, has led to Astute continuing to focus on meeting demand for funding assets that fit within the social housing and help to buy sector. As a result, during the last quarter of 2020 we successfully exited a 5-house development on the Kent coastline redeeming its £527k facility and a 14-apartment development in Leeds redeeming its £2.15m facility.

We continue to see a good level of loan enquiries, but we continue to ensure that our due diligence is robust and that all loans in our portfolio are managed diligently.

Subject to the unforeseen, 2021 looks set to be another strong year for the business and we are quietly optimistic that the property market will return to its pre 2020 state.

For more key statistics on Astute Capitals loan book download our Brochure here.

Alternatively, please email or call us on 0800 009 2988.

Astute Capital Investments are reserved for High Net Worth or Sophisticated Investors only.

As with all investments your capital is at risk and interest payments are not guaranteed. Your investment is not covered by the financial services compensation scheme (FSCA) and is not regulated by the financial conduct authority (FCA).

The fact that the listed retail bond is asset-backed does not guarantee that all capital will be repaid. This also means that there is a liquidity risk and there is likely to be a delay in repaying your capital should you request it prior to bond maturity.

2021 – Gentle Cause For Optimism

Adrian Bloomfield, Chairman, Astute Capital

Without wanting to state the obvious, 2020 was an exceptionally tough year for us all, both on a business and personal level. Whilst Covid-19 has affected everyone either directly or indirectly, and lest we forget the economic uncertainty caused by the Brexit process, I think I can say, that we are all grateful that 2020 is well behind us.

However, despite all the doom and gloom, there is cause for cautious optimism as we look forward to 2021. People are becoming accustomed to a new way of working and with the approval of the vaccines, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In addition, the government managed to get a Brexit agreement over the line – all of which should lift the spirits and enable us to plan for the year ahead.

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

From a business perspective, I think this is going to be an interesting year. 2021, especially the first half, will be a period that separates the wheat from the chaff. Over the past few years there have been several new property or asset backed loan-based businesses emerge. As the impact of the global pandemic kicks in, companies are going to have to take a more cautious approach to building their loan book and not every company is set up to this.

A key attribute that will help businesses survive and indeed prosper over the next 6 to 12 months is going to be a focus on processes. Companies are going to have to do far more due diligence on the projects that they are considering. In addition, those who take an active interest after the loan is made, to help stay on top of their investment will also prosper. Whilst this may make our work more labour intensive and somewhat slow down the pace of growth of businesses like ours, it will also add a layer of comfort and security to our investors who are trusting us with their hard-earned cash.

The UK will remain an attractive market

One of the key strengths of the UK’s economy is that the property market has always been extremely attractive to overseas investors. This has helped to finance projects and create a buoyant environment for developers and property investors alike. And I don’t see this changing.  Recently, with Brexit looming and the short to medium impact of Coronavirus on the commercial property market, many have been warning of a significant drop in both national and international property investment.

I am more optimistic. The property market, despite being based on bricks and mortar is fluid and flexible, and whilst it is true that the commercial and retail markets are currently under pressure, the residential market is still growing. The UK has a significant housing shortage, and the government is continuing to incentivise developers and their investors to build more affordable housing throughout the country.

In addition, the more creative developers will have the opportunity to look at their existing commercial portfolios and be more innovative with how they use their buildings. Some may look to sell them off and others may look to redevelop. In either instance, they will be looking for investors and capital to help, and this is where businesses like ours can prosper.

Cost of lending and interest rates will remain low

Finally, whilst I never say never, it is extremely hard to see the cost of lending and Interest rates rise over the next year. This will hopefully help maintain and support those businesses and individuals who are looking to borrow or re-finance any existing debt.  For those who are looking to invest their capital and make their money work for them, they will have to look beyond traditional high street and other bank saving accounts to get a strong return. In addition, although there is clearly room for growth on the stock exchanges – given that the FTSE has still not recovered to where it was at the end of 2019 – the current volatility of stocks and shares may keep prospective investors away.

Given this, I would expect to see increased interest in more stable investment vehicles such as the Bond markets both in the UK and across Europe. Investors will be able to get a decent return and given the nature of the Bond issuers business, feel like they are also putting back into the UK economy to help it prosper.

In short, I am quietly optimistic about the year ahead. It is not going to be plain sailing, but we will see opportunities for both businesses and investors, and if businesses can focus on their processes, due diligence and looking after their investors properly, 2021 could be a year to remember.

For more information about the bond market or Astute Capital and their products please email us or call us on 0800 009 2988. Alternatively, feel free to create a non-obligatory account and view new investments as and when they become available.

For More On Astute Capital Investments Download Our Brochure

 

Astute Capital Investments are reserved for High Net Worth or Sophisticated Investors only.

As with all investments your capital is at risk and interest payments are not guaranteed. Your investment is not covered by the financial services compensation scheme (FSCA) and is not regulated by the financial conduct authority (FCA).

The fact that the listed retail bond is asset-backed does not guarantee that all capital will be repaid. This also means that there is a liquidity risk and there is likely to be a delay in repaying your capital should you request it prior to bond maturity.

We are living in remarkable times. Challenging, but remarkable. In the midst of the current global Coronavirus pandemic,  along with the lack of clarity and uncertainty around Brexit negotiations, it is virtually impossible to read and predict what is going to happen to the financial markets, let alone your own investments.

This, in turn, has led many investors, both experienced and novice to look at their current investment portfolio and strategy with the view to best optimise their wealth. Traditional stocks and shares are showing greater volatility and interest rates have been cut,  affecting long term savings.

One investment vehicle which has remained popular is bonds. However, even though bonds are generally considered less volatile than stocks, there are still many misconceptions around the risks involved. Some are justifiable and others are not.   It is important to understand the general landscape, including bonds and the rewards they can offer investors.

 

Bonds carry risk – but it is relative

 

No investment is risk free. Regardless of whether you’re conservative or aggressive with your investments, bonds are often considered extremely important for diversification and should be a part of any well-diversified portfolio.

Unlike stock investments that can jump up and down, bonds are primarily designed to pay you a fixed interest no matter what the economic markets are doing, and at this juncture it is important to understand the nature & quality of the bonds you are buying.

Bonds which are tied into interest rates will have a varied return that is dependent on what the current national interest rate is, where that bond is listed and the timeframe for the bond. Alternatively, fixed rate bonds set an agreed annual return over a set period and are subject to the performance of the issuer.

With both fixed and variable bonds, the annual redemption may not be as high as potential stock returns, but on the flip side the risks are less influenced by overall investor/market intent. Only If the issuer becomes insolvent will the investor lose out. So, it is important to understand who that is and what their track record is – a great way to judge is to look at the underlying security, management team and previous track record of paying interest and matured bonds back to investors.

 

 Bonds are boring

 

Another common misconception about bonds is that they are not overly exciting. Whilst it’s almost impossible to know the value of your stocks in the future, bonds ensure the issuer is obligated to pay you the rate and your capital back by the maturity date, otherwise the issuer will be in default.

However, like any good financial product, bonds offer choice, and it is this choice which makes the bond market more exciting than is immediately perceptible. You can choose from super-safe triple A-listed bonds with low returns such as short-term government securities, or you could go for some meatier options like high-grade corporate bonds.  And maybe add on a side dish of mortgage or asset backed securities, high-yield bonds, or even emerging market bonds.

In addition, you can also spread your investments over bonds based on their redemption timeframes. There are 1-year bonds all the way to 30-year bonds, and the yield will vary depending;  this enables you to plan your cashflow more accurately over a longer period of time, balancing it out between annual returns and redemption payments.

 

Bonds are not worth owning if interest rates rise

 

As mentioned earlier, the rate of return that bonds offer is often tied into interest rates. As these move up or down, so will the value of your investment.

Currently there is much speculation about holding bonds – especially government ­­bonds. Due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, UK interest rates are extremely low, and this looks to remain so for the near future. In fact, many believe that we might soon end up with negative interest rates similar to Japan– meaning there is a fear that investors may end up paying the government for owning the bonds!

In addition, when interest rates rise, bond prices tend to fall, although some hold up better than others. However, given the length of time you can hold on to certain bonds, this may not be as bad as you think. A few years ago, Vanguard carried out some research into the performance of bonds against interest rates – specifically if there was a sudden rise from 2.1% to 5.1%

Vanguard found that on the whole bonds would lose around 13% in the first year. Not great. However, because the yield on bonds would now be higher due to the increased interest rate, the breakeven point would be on average just over three years.  Thus, bonds which are held for several years would still potentially make money.

However, fixed asset bonds – based on security backed debt and mortgages are considered by some investors more secure if interest rates rise, as the yield on their loans will also increase -ensuring they are able to meet the fixed return to investors.

In conclusion, during a volatile market with low interest rates certain bonds, offering a fixed yield can be very appealing, regardless of your current position in life. However, each investor needs to understand the product and its risks. However, if you are building or amending a diverse investment portfolio, bonds should have a place within it.

For more information about the bond market or Astute Capital and their products please email us or call us on 0800 009 2988. Alternatively, feel free to create a non-obligatory account and view new investments as and when they become available.

 

For More On Astute Capital Investments Download Our Brochure

 

Astute Capital Investments are reserved for High Net Worth or Sophisticated Investors only.

As with all investments your capital is at risk and interest payments are not guaranteed. Your investment is not covered by the financial services compensation scheme (FSCA) and is not regulated by the financial conduct authority (FCA).

The fact that the listed retail bond is asset-backed does not guarantee that all capital will be repaid. This also means that there is a liquidity risk and there is likely to be a delay in repaying your capital should you request it prior to bond maturity.