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Peer2Peer Finance News | May 29, 2017

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P2PGI keeps NAV growing through UK asset-backed market

P2PGI keeps NAV growing through UK asset-backed market
Anna Brunetti

P2P GLOBAL Investments (P2PGI) continued to shore up its finances in March, posting a 0.55 per cent increase in net asset value, from 0.38 per cent in February, which brings first-quarter growth to 1.17 per cent.

The P2P investor’s shift away from US and unsecured assets, as well as a share buyback last month, was the main driver of the improvement.

US consumer assets now dropped to 45.1 per cent of the London-listed fund’s portfolio, down from 46 per cent a month earlier and 48.4 per cent at the start of the year.

The firm is targeting a further reduction to 30 per cent of total investment, to boost its focus on UK property and asset-backed products, where it said new origination from partnering with P2P lenders has increased significantly in the last quarter.

“The investment manager will continue shifting the portfolio to secured loans and asset backed structures which should offer a more attractive yield and downside protection all else being equal,” said the company’s monthly update.

“Many of the headwinds affecting the portfolio in 2016 are receding.”

The investment trust, the first to buy exclusively into assets issued by P2P platforms, posted a lacklustre performance last year mainly due to its elevated US exposure.

Since then, its manager MW Eaglewood has come under pressure to overhaul the business strategy, with P2PGI announcing last month that it had “resolved to initiate a review of the company’s investment management arrangements” following discussions with significant shareholders.

To this stage it remains unclear whether such management shift will materialise.

In Tuesday’s update, the company said that, as part of its performance boost plan, it is also looking to invest more into new origination channels in the private debt space, away from a narrow P2P lending-platform remit.

“The term P2P lending, referring to the practice of lending money to individuals through online platforms that match lenders with borrowers, is arguably no longer sufficient to describe this expanding market of private debt origination, as this is far larger than the P2P industry,” it said.