MAPF Performance : December 2007

You know, sometimes everything works. 

Malachite Aggressive Preferred Fund has been valued for December, 2007, month-end. The unit value is $9.0070, after giving effect to a dividend distribution of $0.173192. Returns over various periods are:

MAPF Returns to December 31, 2007
One Month +4.50%
Three Months +0.34%
One Year -1.63%
Two Years (annualized) +2.54%
Three Years (annualized) +3.66%
Four Years (annualized) +6.01%
Five Years (annualized) +11.02%
Six Years (annualized) +9.31%

Returns assume reinvestment of dividends, and are shown after expenses but before fees. Past performance is not  a guarantee of future performance. You can lose money investing in Malachite Aggressive Preferred Fund or any other fund. For more information, see the fund’s main page.

The December returns reflect outperformance against CPD (which returned +1.14% on the month) and DPS.UN (estimated at +1.93%).

The quarterly performance includes October’s poor performance, which I have attributed to a move into perpetualDiscount issues that proved to be somewhat early. The move has now been amply rewarded, as volatility in December provided the setting for several profitable trades. The yields available on high quality preferred shares remain elevated, which is reflected in the current estimate of sustainable income.

Calculation of MAPF Sustainable Income Per Unit
Month NAVPU Portfolio
June, 2007 9.3114 5.16% 1.03 0.4665
September 9.1489 5.35% 0.98 0.4995
October 8.8084 5.71% 1.00 0.5030
November 8.7845 6.11% 1.00 0.5357
December, 2007 9.0070 5.53% 0.942 0.5288
NAVPU is shown after quarterly distributions. 

It was something of an interesting month, as early strength crumbled in the face of tax-loss selling; after the December 24 deadline for 2007 settlement passed the market rocketted upwards. Actually, many issues started to bounce back on the 24th – it was December 21 that the selling peaked.

One issuer that appeared to be particularly hard hit by tax loss selling was the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM), which announced on December 19 that:

Following Standard and Poor’s announcement today that it had reduced the credit rating of ACA Financial Guaranty Corp. from “A” to “CCC”, CIBC confirmed that ACA is a hedge counterparty to CIBC in respect of approximately U.S. $3.5 billion of its U.S. subprime real estate exposure.
    It is not known whether ACA will continue as a viable counterparty to CIBC. Although CIBC believes it is premature to predict the outcome, CIBC believes there is a reasonably high probability that it will incur a large charge in its financial results for the First Quarter ending January 31, 2008.

Well, I’m not going to say this news is meaningless to preferred shareholders. Credit Ratings Agencies are annoyed; due, I think, both the loss itself and the revelation that so many eggs were placed in the ACA basket. But. But! The loss will be borne by the common shareholders. That’s what common shareholders are good for, taking the first loss. While this is indeed meaningful to preferred shareholders, the market grossly over-reacted, and MAPF was able to scoop up a good position in two of CM’s perpetual issues – some of which was unwound prior to month end with both a chunky capital gain and a dividend.

There were many other trades, but the CM is the easiest to explain!

I consider 2007 to have been a very successful year for the fund. Although the fund lost 1.63% on the year, it outperformed the benchmark quite handsomely – for those who are seeking a long-term investment in preferred shares due to the various qualities of this asset class, outperformance in a down year is just as good as the same outperformance in an up year.

And down years are rare. Subscribers to Canadian Moneysaver will have seen my exposition of just how bad 2007 was for preferred shareholders (and my attempts to explain why) … cheapskates who don’t subscribe will just have to wait until I republish it after the black-out period is over.

Update, 2008-01-08: The main returns pages have been updated to reflect the BMO-CM 50 index returns: Monthly, Quarterly, Annually to Dec. 31 and Annualized to Dec. 31.

3 Responses to “MAPF Performance : December 2007”

  1. […] PrefBlog Canadian Preferred Shares – Data and Discussion « MAPF Performance : December 2007 […]

  2. […] And I would like to mention that Malachite Aggressive Preferred Fund has been priced for monthend … and achieved a return of 1.28% for the month, vs. an estimated ZERO for the index. I’ll try to post properly about this tomorrow … but those who speculate that I’m rather pleased about this (especially after the superb performance in December) may very well win a kewpie doll. […]

  3. […] After a month’s superb performance – up 4.50% in December –  there is often a pullback. Perhaps some issues were expensive at month-end, for instance, not by enough to trade (or they would have been traded), but by enough so that all holdings were at the top of their range and all had a downward biase for the next time. […]

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