TIDMJAGI

RNS Number : 8298U

JPMorgan Asia Growth & Income PLC

07 December 2021

LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE ANNOUNCEMENT

JPMORGAN ASIA GROWTH & INCOME PLC

FINAL RESULTS FOR THE YEARED 30TH SEPTEMBER 2021

Legal Entity Identifier: 5493006R74BNJSJKCB17

Information disclosed in accordance with the DTR 4.1.3

The Directors of JPMorgan Asia Growth & Income plc announce the Company's results for the year ended 30th September 2021.

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

Performance

I am pleased to report that in the year to 30th September 2021 the Company's net asset value ('NAV') return was +13.7%, compared with a return of +9.7% in sterling terms for the Company's benchmark index, the MSCI All Countries Asia ex Japan Index. The return to shareholders was +3.6% (all figures are on a total return basis), reflecting a disappointing re-rating of the Company's shares, as they moved from a small premium of 0.6%, to a discount of 8.3% over the reporting period.

It was a year of two halves. Shareholders will recall I reported returns of +17.8% and +19.9% for the NAV and share price respectively for the six months ended 31st March 2021. However, during the second half of the Company's reporting year, Chinese growth stocks were particularly volatile, as a raft of regulatory announcements weighed heavily on market sentiment. This resulted in valuation multiples contracting across a range of key industries, including ecommerce, healthcare, property development and education. Consequently the NAV fell 3.5%.

More significantly though, jitters created by the speed of the regulatory crackdown coupled with concerns about global inflation and associated interest rate increases dampening investor enthusiasm for the region and caused the Company's share price to fall 13.6% in the second half.

Full detail of the Company's performance, together with a market review and outlook for 2022, can be found in the Investment Managers' Report below.

Dividend Policy

In the absence of unforeseen circumstances, the Company's dividend policy aims to pay regular, quarterly dividends, each equivalent to 1% of the Company's NAV. Payments are made on the last business day of each financial quarter, being the end of December, March, June and September, and are funded from a combination of revenue and capital reserves. For the year ended 30th September 2021, dividends paid totalled 19.3 pence (2020: 15.8 pence). This is the highest level of dividend paid by the Company since the introduction of its revised dividend policy, which took effect from the beginning of the Company's financial year ended 30th September 2017. It is pleasing that shareholders have been rewarded on both a capital and income basis.

In the Board's view, resetting the dividend quantum each quarter is a prudent way of delivering an income that tracks performance. Dividends are based on a percentage of net assets, so the dividend paid to shareholders will reflect the Company's net assets at each quarter end. Shareholders are reminded that dividends will therefore be subject to market and performance fluctuations.

Premium/Discount and Share Capital Management

Throughout a significant part of the year under review, the Company's shares traded at a premium to NAV, and to satisfy the increased demand for the Company's shares, the Board took the opportunity to issue 3,715,500 shares over the year (comprising the selling of 965,500 shares from treasury stock and the issuance of 2,750,000 new shares under a block listing).

As detailed above, the Company's shares are now trading at a discount and closed the year at 8.3%. Discount widening has been a general theme for Asian focused mandates and for many equity investment trusts in recent months, and in the period from the last few days of September 2021 to date, the Board purchased a total of 102,796 shares. The Board monitors the discount closely and will continue to take action should the Company's discount trend diverge from that experienced by its peers. Pleasingly the discount has narrowed since the end of the review period, and at the time of writing the Company's shares are now trading at a discount of 0.3%.

Gearing

The Company has in place a multi-currency loan facility with Scotiabank. The Investment Managers utilise drawdowns from this loan facility to gear the portfolio during periods when they expect gearing to enhance performance. Over the reporting year and at the time of writing, the Company was not geared.

Environmental, Social and Governance ('ESG') Issues

As detailed in the ESG Report within the Company's Annual Report & Financial Statements for the year ended 30th September 2021 ('2021 Annual Report'), ESG considerations are integral to the Manager's investment process and are core to its stock selection decisions. Please refer to this Report for comprehensive information on this integration.

Board of Directors

The results of this year's Board evaluation process confirmed that all Directors possessed the experience and attributes to support a recommendation to shareholders that they retire and seek re-appointment at the Company's forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

The Company's Articles of Association stipulate that aggregate Directors' fees must not exceed GBP200,000 per annum. Any increase in this maximum aggregate amount requires both Board and shareholder approval. Although there is no increase in Directors' fees this year, to aid the Board's succession planning, the Directors propose that the aggregate maximum in the Company's Articles be increased to GBP250,000 per annum. For full details please refer to the Directors' Remuneration Report within the 2021 Annual Report.

Having served as a Director since September 2013, and chaired the Board since 2017, I will be retiring from the Board at the Company's Annual General Meeting to be held in February 2023. Directors will therefore seek to appoint a new Director at some point in 2022. I am delighted to confirm that Sir Richard Stagg, a Director since July 2018, has been nominated as my successor.

The Manager

Through the remit of the Management Engagement Committee ('MEC') the Board has reviewed the Manager's performance and its fee arrangements with the Company. Based upon its performance record and taking all factors into account, including other services provided to the Company and its shareholders, the MEC and the Board are satisfied that JPMF should continue as the Company's Manager and that its ongoing appointment remains in the best interests of shareholders.

Annual General Meeting ('AGM')

It was a source of regret to me personally, and to the members of the Board, that COVID-19 restrictions prevented the Company's 2021 AGM from being held in the usual format. The Directors were disappointed not to be able to have the usual interaction with shareholders at this forum. However, current indications are that a more familiar format for the AGM will be permissible next year and, to that end, the AGM is scheduled to be held at 11.00 a.m. on Wednesday, 9th February 2022, at 60 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0JP.

We do, of course, strongly advise all shareholders to consider their own personal circumstances before attending the AGM in person. For shareholders who wish to follow the AGM proceedings, but choose not to attend, we will be able to offer you the chance to participate via video conference. Details on how to register, together with access details, can be found on the Company's website: www.jpmasiagrowthandincome.co.uk, or by contacting the Company Secretary at invtrusts.cosec@jpmorgan.com.

As is normal practice, all voting on the resolutions will be conducted on a poll. Due to technological reasons, shareholders viewing the meeting via conferencing software will not be able to vote on the poll and we therefore encourage all shareholders, and particularly those who cannot attend in person, to exercise their votes in advance of the meeting by completing and submitting their form of proxy. Shareholders are encouraged to send any questions to the Board, via the Company Secretary, at the email address above, ahead of the AGM. We will endeavour to answer all relevant questions at the meeting, or via the website, depending on arrangements in place at the time.

Outlook

Nobody can predict with confidence either China's political and social evolution over the next few years or the likely economic impact of continuing tensions between the US and China. Judging from the last 12 months, there are challenges ahead. The Board firmly believes, however, that Asia continues to offer significant opportunities for international investors. These flow in part from long-term structural and social changes and in part from the growing number of well managed companies, running dynamic businesses in exciting areas from technology to healthcare. JPMorgan Asia Growth & Income is an ideal, low-cost way to gain diversified exposure to the best investment ideas, while simultaneously providing shareholders with an attractive income yield of approximately 4%.

Bronwyn Curtis OBE

Chairman

7th December 2021

INVESTMENT MANAGERS' REPORT

Introduction

In this report, we consider the Company's investment performance for the year to 30th September 2021. We review the complex market backdrop for the period and examine the key stock and sector stories that impacted relative performance. Finally, we look at what could lie ahead for Asian equities over the coming year.

What has the market environment been like over the year?

The fiscal year under review proved to be a volatile period, but Asian equities ended the year higher. The Company's benchmark index, the MSCI AC Asia, ex Japan Index, generated a +9.7% return (in sterling terms). Economic conditions proved comparatively resilient across Asia, and investor sentiment continued to improve, spurred on by hopes that the recovery is gathering momentum. GDP growth has recovered rapidly from 2020's pandemic-induced slowdown, when most countries posted contractions in economic activity. China was the notable exception, recording GDP growth of 2.3% during 2020.

China and Hong Kong were the centre of attention at the end of calendar year 2020 and during the first quarter of 2021, where domestic Chinese investors' demand for offshore, Hong Kong-listed H shares drove the market to new highs. Onshore Chinese investors purchased record amounts of Hong Kong Dollar issued names under the Stock Connect scheme, a collaboration between the Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges which facilitates trading across these markets. For the nine months ending September 2021, total stock connect revenue totalled 260mn USD, up 55% YoY and Southbound average daily turnover was nearly 6 billion USD, doubling from the previous year. The percentage of Southbound turnover of the Hong Kong market reached a high of 13.5% in the first quarter of the year compared to 9.3% in 2020.

From March onwards, volatility picked up markedly in response to a series of concerns. As Asian economies began to open up and recover from COVID-related restrictions, investors started to fret about inflation and the associated risk of higher interest rates. These worries were compounded by sharply rising commodity prices and fears of a speculative bubble in China's over-leveraged real estate market. Volatility was further heightened by a series of severe regulatory restrictions imposed by the Chinese government, including on ecommerce, video gaming companies and other activities which the government views as adding little value to society. The crackdown on private tutoring services was particularly harsh, effectively preventing this sector from operating in China. These companies aim to help children succeed in China's very competitive education system. However, their services are only accessible to wealthier families, and thus serve to compound China's very high level of income inequality, which has worsened since the onset of the pandemic. The government has presented the restrictions on this and other industries as part of its push for 'common prosperity', intended to ensure more equitable income distribution. However, the measures have raised fears amongst investors that the government is abandoning its support for growth and private sector activity, in favour of greater social controls.

These concerns meant that after rising sharply in the first half of the Company's financial year, to end March 2021, Asian markets lost some of this ground in the following six months to end September - the Company's benchmark rose by 14.1% in the first half, but retreated by 3.9% in the second half in sterling terms. However, despite this setback, Asian equities still made substantial gains over the review period as a whole, led by the strong performance of the region's best corporates, including Chinese pharmaceutical companies and Taiwanese and South Korean semiconductor manufacturers. In addition, the rapid spread of digitalisation into many aspects of consumers' lives, such as online shopping and banking, social media and entertainment, and a variety of other remote services, is benefiting many businesses in less developed economies such as Indonesia and India.

PERFORMANCE ATTRIBUTION

FOR THE YEARED 30TH SEPTEMBER 2021

 
                                             %       % 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Contributions to total returns 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Benchmark return                                   9.7 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Stock selection                            5.4 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Currency effect                            -0.3 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Gearing/(net cash)                         -0.1 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Investment Manager contribution                    5.0 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Dividends/residual                                -0.3 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Portfolio return                                  14.4 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Management fee/Other expenses              -0.8 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Share buy-back/issuance                    0.1 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Return on net assets (APM)                        13.7 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Effect of movement in discount over the 
  year                                             -10.1 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 Return to shareholders (APM)                       3.6 
-----------------------------------------  -----  ------ 
 

Source: FactSet, JPMAM and Morningstar. All figures are on a total return basis.

Performance attribution analyses how the Company achieved its recorded performance relative to its benchmark index.

(APM) Alterative Performance Measure ('APM').

A glossary of terms and APMs is provided in the 2021 Annual Report.

How has the Company's portfolio performed over the year under review?

Against this highly volatile macro and market backdrop, the Company's return on net assets for the year to 30th September 2021 was +13.7%, outpacing the benchmark return of +9.7%. As you will recall from the half year report, the portfolio delivered stronger performance during the first half of year, but this was partially eroded by the adverse impact of market developments in the second half of the year. Nonetheless, we are pleased that the portfolio still outperformed its benchmark to a meaningful extent over the year as a whole.

What have been the major contributors and detractors to performance?

The Company's long-standing overweight in South Korea was the largest driver of the performance for the year under review. The top performing South Korean holding over the period, and the portfolio's second highest contributor to returns, was Afreecatv Co Ltd, an online streaming service. This company is benefitting from the shift to on-demand TV and video streaming, as well as the huge popularity of South Korean pop groups, especially in China and Japan. This business is expanding its footprint, adopting innovative forms of consumer engagement, improving its content offerings and monetising content via advertising sales.

The Company's top contributor to performance was Sea Ltd, its largest Singaporean position. Sea Ltd is an internet conglomerate whose businesses are involved in ecommerce, consumer finance and game development. Although its operations have been primarily focused in South-East Asia, notably Indonesia, its ecommerce brand, Shopee, has quickly gained traction in countries such as Brazil, where it now has an impressive 20 million users, around half the level of Brazil's leading player, MercardoLibre.

Several portfolio holdings that performed well in the first half of the financial year continued to sustain positive momentum in the second half, demonstrating their resilience to the generally unfavourable market conditions. One such outperformer was Wuxi Biologics, a leading Chinese biotech contract research organisation. The pandemic significantly accelerated an existing trend to outsource research and development to China, and this company has been a major beneficiary. Not owning Chinese education names such as TAL Education Group and New Oriental Education also contributed to relative performance.

Unsurprisingly, the major detractors from returns were mostly Chinese names which sold off on regulatory and governance concerns following the imposition of tighter restrictions. Holdings affected included Alibaba, China's largest internet retailer, Tencent, a giant social media, gaming and fintech platform, and Ping An, China's biggest insurance company. Additionally, not owning Reliance Industries, detracted. This Indian company is known as an oil and gas producer, but in addition it owns a variety of businesses including entertainment and news platforms, digital services, supermarkets, pharmacies and other retail outlets. The stock, which is primarily not held in the portfolio for governance reasons, witnessed a marked re-rating over the past year or so following investments from leading global internet firms such as Amazon, which bought a stake in Reliance's retail business.

Have there been any notable sales or purchases within the portfolio over the last 12 months?

During the year under review, we purchased Foshan Haitian, China's leading condiment maker, focused mainly on soy sauce. The sell-off in the shares from early 2021, driven mainly by weak sales in the food services segment and pricing pressure due to the increasing popularity of group community purchasing, allowed us to buy the shares at a lower valuation and despite the weaker short-term fundamentals, the long-term outlook for growth and pricing power for this company remains compelling. We also added a position in United Overseas Bank, one of Singapore's top financial institutions. Operating results have been strong driven by a combination of fee income from the bank's wealth management business, stable loan growth and generally lower credit costs and loan provisions. The largest reduction during the period was that of Alibaba where the company's growth outlook is increasingly challenged, driven by rising competition in the e-commerce space and regulations that could result in lower returns in new businesses such as cloud services.

What should investors expect for the next 12 months?

Undoubtedly the biggest opportunities and risks in Asia at present are located in China. Combined with Hong Kong, the country accounts for around half of the regional index. The largest index weights are no longer China's state-owned enterprises, but rather private companies at the cutting edge of sectors such as ecommerce, gaming, video streaming, drug discovery and electric vehicle production, which are applying software and hardware technology in innovative ways. Simultaneously, the Chinese economy is undergoing significant shifts in consumption, due to the rapid expansion of its middle class, and in manufacturing and investment patterns.

China's rapidly changing regulatory and policy landscape should be considered in this context. Its leadership is looking to control and influence the changes underway in China, and thus mould the country's future, by incentivising investment in sectors which it believes will deliver the most economic and social benefits, and disincentivising less 'desirable' activity. But it is important to note that while the new regulations have resulted in significant challenges to the outlook for companies in various sectors, including consumer finance, ride hailing, online recruitment, ecommerce and private tutoring (mentioned above), over the short term and beyond, other government initiatives are generating investment opportunities in areas such as healthcare and factory automation, which have previously been dominated by companies in Japan, Taiwan, the US and Germany.

Across the broader Asian region, many of the positive changes we are witnessing are occurring at the company level, rather than across the whole economy, as is the case in China. As discussed in the attribution section, companies such as Sea Ltd are rapidly attracting new consumers in places such as Indonesia, and much further afield. As a result, we expect other businesses to benefit from associated increases in demand for credit and data usage and storage requirements, and from widespread, fundamental changes in consumer spending patterns. We are more cautious on the outlook for the Indian market. Although the economy is recovering quickly from a deep economic downturn, India's market levels and valuations have run even faster, suggesting excessive optimism in some sectors.

Overall, we remain broadly optimistic on the long-term outlook for Asian equities. However, recent developments, especially those in China, means it is crucial that we exercise caution. The outlook for the regional economy remains clouded by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions on travel and tourism, supply bottlenecks and inflation pressures, as well as by regulatory risks, whilst the gradual withdrawal of fiscal support programs could rob the recovery of forward momentum. It is also important to highlight that valuations are above averages in some countries and sectors, and that it may become more challenging for companies to exceed market expectations, given that the most obvious earnings upgrades have already been factored into prices.

Our search for Asia's very best growth ideas continues. In the current environment, and with the spread between growth and value stocks at an all-time high, the quality of growth from companies trading at rich multiples will become more important, and those corporates that disappoint market expectations may see their heady valuations come under pressure. In our view, the key to finding higher quality names is to focus on companies' fundamental characteristics. Our rigorous valuation framework is vital in this respect, as it allows us to look beyond short-term trends, to identify attractive long-term growth opportunities. We also believe that our experienced analysts and longstanding presence in local markets provide us with optimum access to the best ideas in Asia's fast-growing markets, and we remain confident that the Company's investment strategy will continue to reward patient investors over the long-term.

Ayaz Ebrahim

Robert Lloyd

Investment Managers

7th December 2021

PRINCIPAL AND EMERGING RISKS

The Directors confirm that they have carried out a robust assessment of the principal risks facing the Company, including those that would threaten its business model, future performance, solvency or liquidity. With the assistance of JPMF, the Audit Committee has drawn up a risk matrix, which identifies the key risks to the Company. The risks identified and the broad categories in which they fall, and the ways in which they are managed or mitigated are summarised below. The AIC Code of Corporate Governance requires the Audit Committee to put in place procedures to identify emerging risks. The key emerging risks identified are also summarised below.

 
 Principal Risk           Description                        Mitigating Activities 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Investment Management 
  and Performance 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Underperformance         Poor implementation                The Board manages these risks by diversification 
                           of the investment                  of investments and through its investment 
                           strategy, for example              restrictions and guidelines, which are 
                           as to thematic exposure,           monitored and reported on by the Manager. 
                           sector allocation,                 The Manager provides the Directors with 
                           stock selection,                   timely and accurate management information, 
                           undue concentration                including performance data and attribution 
                           of holdings, factor                analyses, revenue estimates, liquidity 
                           risk exposure or                   reports and shareholder analyses. The 
                           the degree of total                Board monitors the implementation and 
                           portfolio risk, may                results of the investment process with 
                           lead to underperformance           the Investment Managers, at least one 
                           against the Company's              of whom attends all Board meetings, and 
                           benchmark index and                reviews data which show measures of the 
                           peer companies.                    Company's risk profile. The Investment 
                                                              Managers employ the Company's gearing 
                                                              tactically, within a strategic range set 
                                                              by the Board. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Discount Control         Investment trust                   The Board monitors the level of both the 
  Risk                     shares often trade                 absolute and sector relative premium/discount 
                           at discounts to their              at which the shares trade. The Board reviews 
                           underlying NAVs,                   both sales and marketing activity and 
                           although they can                  sector relative performance, which it 
                           also trade at a premium.           believes are the primary drivers of the 
                           Discounts and premiums             relative discount level. In addition, 
                           can fluctuate considerably         the Company has authority, when it deems 
                           leading to volatile                appropriate, to buy back its existing 
                           returns for shareholders.          shares to enhance the NAV per share for 
                                                              remaining shareholders and to reduce the 
                                                              absolute level of discount and discount 
                                                              volatility. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Market and Economic      Market risk arises                 The Board believes that shareholders expect 
  Risk                     from uncertainty                   that the Company will and should be fairly 
                           about the future                   fully invested in Asian equities at all 
                           prices of the Company's            times. The Board therefore would normally 
                           investments, which                 only seek to mitigate market risk through 
                           might result from                  guidelines on gearing given to the Manager. 
                           economic, fiscal,                  The Board receives regular reports from 
                           climate, regulatory,               the Manager's strategists and Investment 
                           etc change. It represents          Managers regarding market outlook and 
                           the potential loss                 gives the Investment Mangers discretion 
                           the Company might                  regarding acceptable levels of gearing 
                           suffer through holding             and/or cash, currently the Company's gearing 
                           investments in the                 policy is to operate within a range of 
                           face of negative                   10% net cash to 20% geared. In particular 
                           market movements.                  ESG considerations are integrated into 
                           The Board considers                the investment decision-making. 
                           thematic and factor 
                           risks, stock selection 
                           and levels of gearing 
                           on a regular basis 
                           and has set investment 
                           restrictions and 
                           guidelines which 
                           are monitored and 
                           reported on by the 
                           Manager. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Change of Corporate      Change of corporate                The Board holds regular meetings with 
  Control of the           control of Manager                 senior representatives of the Manager 
  Manager                  or similar event                   in order to obtain assurance that the 
                           that changes focus                 Manager continues to demonstrate a high 
                           of JPMAM.                          degree of commitment to its asset management 
                                                              and investment trust business. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Loss of Investment       A sudden departure                 The Board seeks assurance that the Manager 
  Team or Portfolio        of a Portfolio Manager             takes steps to reduce the risk arising 
  Manager                  or several members                 from such an event by ensuring appropriate 
                           of the investment                  succession planning and the adoption of 
                           management team could              a team based approach, as well as special 
                           result in a short                  efforts to retain key personnel. The Board 
                           term deterioration                 engages with the senior management of 
                           in investment performance.         the Manager in order to mitigate this 
                                                              risk. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Operational Risks 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Cyber Crime              The threat of cyber                The Company benefits directly and/or indirectly 
                           attack, in all guises,             from all elements of JPMorgan's Cyber 
                           is regarded as at                  Security programme. The information technology 
                           least as important                 controls around physical security of JPMorgan's 
                           as more traditional                data centres, security of its networks 
                           physical threats                   and security of its trading applications, 
                           to business continuity             are tested by independent auditors and 
                           and security.                      reported every six months against the 
                                                              AAF Standard. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Regulatory Risk 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Regulatory Change        The Company's business             T he Board receives regular reports from 
                           model could become                 its broker, depositary, registrar and 
                           non-viable as a result             Manager as well as its legal advisers 
                           of new or revised                  and the Association of Investment Companies 
                           rules or regulations               on changes to regulations which could 
                           arising from, for                  impact the Company and its industry. The 
                           example, policy change             Company monitors events and relies on 
                           or financial monitoring            the Manager and its other key third party 
                           pressure.                          providers to manage this risk by preparing 
                                                              for any changes. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Economic and 
  Geopolitical 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Global Geopolitical      There is significant               The Board regularly discusses the global 
  Risk                     exposure to the economic           geo-political issues and general economic 
                           cycles and political               conditions and developments with the Investment 
                           movements of the                   Managers. Political tensions between and 
                           markets in which                   changes within the US, China, Europe and 
                           the underlying investments         UK continue the uncertainty and volatility 
                           are listed.                        in financial markets. The medium and longer 
                           Political and economic             term impacts of COVID-19 on this risk, 
                           risk, political change             for example the unprecedented levels of 
                           or protectionism                   fiscal stimulus and travel restrictions 
                           may have an adverse                will continue to be assessed in light 
                           effect on underlying               of how they may affect the Company's portfolio 
                           valuations, such                   and the economic and geopolitical environment 
                           as a US-led trade                  in which the Company operates within overall. 
                           war, North Korean                  The potential consequences of Brexit continue 
                           conflict, and other                to be monitored through existing control 
                           political tensions                 systems. Since the portfolio has no investments 
                           both in Asia and                   in the UK or Europe the Board does not 
                           closer to home to                  believe that there is likely to be any 
                           include tensions                   significant or direct impact on the operation 
                           in the Eurozone and                of the Company or the structure of the 
                           Brexit risks.                      portfolio. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Emerging Risk 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Environmental 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Policy and Regulatory    Climate change, which              Financial returns for long-term diversified 
  Risk arising             barely registered                  investors should not be jeopardised given 
  from Climate             with investors a                   the investment opportunities created by 
  Change                   decade ago, has today              the world's transition to a low-carbon 
                           become one of the                  economy. The Board is also considering 
                           most critical issues               the threat posed by the direct impact 
                           confronting asset                  on climate change on the operations of 
                           managers and their                 the Manager and other major service providers. 
                           investors. Investors               As extreme weather events become more 
                           can no longer ignore               common, the resiliency, business continuity 
                           the impact that the                planning and the location strategies of 
                           world's changing                   the Company's services providers will 
                           climate will have                  come under greater scrutiny. In particular 
                           on their portfolios,               also the Board receives ESG reports from 
                           with the impact of                 the Manager on the portfolio and the way 
                           climate change on                  ESG considerations are integrated into 
                           returns now inevitable.            the investment decision-making. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Pandemic Risks 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Pandemics                COVID-19 has highlighted           The Board receives reports on the business 
                           the speed and extent               continuity plans of the Manager and other 
                           of economic damage                 key service providers. The effectiveness 
                           that can arise from                of these measures have been assessed throughout 
                           a pandemic. While                  the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and 
                           current vaccination                the Board will continue to monitor developments 
                           programme results                  as they occur and seek to learn lessons 
                           are hopeful, the                   which may be of use in the event of future 
                           risk remains that                  pandemics. 
                           new variants may 
                           not respond to existing 
                           vaccines, may be 
                           more lethal and may 
                           spread as global 
                           travel opens up again. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Global 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Social Dislocation       Social dislocation/civil           The Manager's market strategists are available 
  & Conflict               unrest may threaten                for the Board and can discuss market trends. 
                           global economic growth             External consultants and experts can be 
                           and, consequently,                 accessed by the Board. The Board can, 
                           companies in the                   with shareholder approval, look to amend 
                           portfolio.                         the investment policy and objectives of 
                                                              the Company to gain exposure to or mitigate 
                                                              the risks arising from geopolitical instability 
                                                              although this is limited if it is truly 
                                                              global. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Inappropriate            Inappropriate Government/Central   The Manager's market strategists are available 
  Monetary/Fiscal          banks fiscal or monetary           for the Board and can discuss market trends. 
  Policies                 responses to the                   External consultants and experts can be 
                           Covid-19 pandemic                  accessed by the Board. 
                           result in excessively              The Board can, with shareholder approval 
                           loose economic conditions          look to amend the investment policy and 
                           resulting in the                   objectives of the Company, if required, 
                           medium term risk                   to enable investment in companies or assets 
                           of significant levels              which offer more appealing risk/return 
                           of inflation or,                   characteristics in prevailing economic 
                           alternatively, are                 conditions. 
                           ineffective in stimulating 
                           a recovery resulting 
                           in deflation and 
                           depression. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 Rising Competition       China is emerging                  The Board has access to a range of expert 
  between China            as a challenger to                 resources and strategists in the UK and 
  and Western Economies    the western hegemony               in the Asian region to provide long term 
                           of recent decades.                 insight and guidance on geopolitical developments. 
                           This brings with                   The Managers investment process incorporates 
                           it increased competition           non-financial measures and risks in the 
                           in political and                   assessment of investee companies to allow 
                           military affairs                   the portfolio to adapt to changing competitive 
                           alongside the development          and political landscapes. 
                           of a major trading 
                           bloc operating to 
                           different cultural, 
                           legal political and 
                           technological norms 
                           and standards. These 
                           areas of conflict 
                           may give rise to 
                           geopolitical crises 
                           that threaten the 
                           markets in which 
                           investee companies 
                           operate and fragment 
                           previously global 
                           markets into more 
                           isolated trading 
                           blocs which may limit 
                           the opportunity of 
                           investee companies 
                           to grow and thrive. 
-----------------------  ---------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------- 
 

TRANSACTIONS WITH THE MANAGER AND RELATED PARTIES

Details of the management contract are set out in the Directors' Report within the 2021 Annual Report. The management fee payable to the Manager for the year was GBP2,727,000 (2020: GBP2,084,000) of which GBPnil (2020: GBPnil) was outstanding at the year end.

During the year GBPnil (2020: GBPnil), was payable to the Manager for the administration of savings scheme products, of which GBPnil (2020: GBPnil) was outstanding at the year end.

Safe custody fees amounting to GBP181,000 (2020: GBP149,000) were payable to JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. during the year of which GBP93,000 (2020: GBP25,000) was outstanding at the year end.

The Manager may carry out some of its dealing transactions through group subsidiaries. These transactions are carried out at arm's length. The commission payable to JPMorgan Securities Limited for the year was GBP1,000 (2020: GBP1,000) of which GBPnil (2020: GBPnil) was outstanding at the year end.

Handling charges on dealing transactions amounting to GBP24,000 (2020: GBP22,000) were payable to JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. during the year of which GBP9,000 (2020: GBP5,000) was outstanding at the year end.

During the year the Company held cash in the JPMorgan US Dollar Liquidity Fund, which is managed by JPMorgan. At the year end this was valued at GBP964,000 (2020: GBP1,160,000). Interest amounting to GBP3,000 (2020: GBP6,000) was receivable during the year of which GBPnil (2020: GBPnil) was outstanding at the year end.

Stock lending income amounting to GBP48,000 (2020: GBP17,000) were receivable by the Company during the year.

JPMAM commissions in respect of such transactions amounted to GBP5,000 (2020: GBP2,000).

At the year end, total cash of GBP532,000 (2020: GBP2,806,000) was held with JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. A net amount of interest of GBPnil (2020: GBP3,000) was receivable by the Company during the year of which GBPnil (2020 GBPnil) was outstanding at the year end.

Full details of Directors' remuneration and shareholdings can be found within the 2021 Annual Report.

STATEMENT OF DIRECTORS' RESPONSIBILITIES

The Directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulation.

Company law requires the Directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under that law the Directors have prepared the financial statements in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (United Kingdom Accounting Standards, comprising FRS 102 'The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland' and applicable law). Under company law the Directors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Company and of the profit or loss of the Company for that period. In preparing the financial statements, the Directors are required to:

   --        select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently; 

-- state whether applicable United Kingdom Accounting Standards, comprising FRS 102, have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements;

   --        make judgements and accounting estimates that are reasonable and prudent; and 

-- prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Company will continue in business, and the Directors confirm that they have done so.

The Directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the Company's transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements and the Directors' Remuneration Report comply with the Companies Act 2006.

The Directors are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

The Directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the Company's website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

Under applicable law and regulations the Directors are also responsible for preparing a Strategic Report, a Directors' Report and Directors' Remuneration Report that comply with the law and those regulations.

Each of the Directors, whose names and functions are listed in Directors' Report confirm that, to the best of their knowledge:

-- the Company's financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (United Kingdom Accounting Standards, comprising FRS 102 'The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland', and applicable law), give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit of the Company; and

-- the Directors' Report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the Company, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that it faces.

The Directors consider that the Annual Report & Financial Statements, taken as a whole, is fair, balanced and understandable and provides the information necessary for shareholders to assess the Company's performance, business model and strategy.

For and on behalf of the Board

Bronwyn Curtis OBE

Chairman

7th December 2021

STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

FOR THE YEARED 30TH SEPTEMBER 2021

 
                                                    2021                            2020 
                                         Revenue   Capital      Total    Revenue   Capital      Total 
                                         GBP'000   GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000   GBP'000    GBP'000 
-------------------------------------  ---------  --------  ---------  ---------  --------  --------- 
 Gains on investments held 
  at fair value 
 through profit or loss                        -    50,965     50,965          -    29,604     29,604 
 Net foreign currency (losses)/gains           -     (151)      (151)          -       116        116 
 Income from investments                   6,799         -      6,799      7,906         -      7,906 
 Interest receivable and 
  similar income                              51         -         51         26         -         26 
-------------------------------------  ---------  --------  ---------  ---------  --------  --------- 
 Gross return                              6,850    50,814     57,664      7,932    29,720     37,652 
 Management fee                          (2,727)         -    (2,727)    (2,084)         -    (2,084) 
 Other administrative expenses             (697)      (90)      (787)      (666)         -      (666) 
-------------------------------------  ---------  --------  ---------  ---------  --------  --------- 
 Net return before finance 
  costs and 
 taxation                                  3,426    50,724     54,150      5,182    29,720     34,902 
 Finance costs                              (41)         -       (41)      (111)         -      (111) 
-------------------------------------  ---------  --------  ---------  ---------  --------  --------- 
 Net return before taxation                3,385    50,724     54,109      5,071    29,720     34,791 
 Taxation                                  (670)     (171)      (841)      (710)      (90)      (800) 
-------------------------------------  ---------  --------  ---------  ---------  --------  --------- 
 Net return after taxation                 2,715    50,553     53,268      4,361    29,630     33,991 
-------------------------------------  ---------  --------  ---------  ---------  --------  --------- 
 Return per share (note 
  2)                                       2.84p    52.81p     55.65p      4.64p    31.49p     36.13p 
 

A fourth quarterly dividend of 4.6p (2020: 4.2p) per share has been declared in respect of the year ended 30th September 2021, totalling GBP4,495,000 (2020: GBP3,951,000). Further details are given in note 10 within the 2021 Annual Report.

All revenue and capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. No operations were acquired or discontinued in the year.

The 'Total' column of this statement is the profit and loss account of the Company and the 'Revenue' and 'Capital' columns represent supplementary information prepared under guidance issued by the Association of Investment Companies.

The net return after taxation represents the profit for the year and also the total comprehensive income.

STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY

FOR THE YEARED 30TH SEPTEMBER 2021

 
                          Called             Exercised      Capital 
                              up 
                           share     Share     warrant   redemption       Capital      Revenue 
                         capital   premium     reserve      reserve   reserves(1)   reserve(1)       Total 
                         GBP'000   GBP'000     GBP'000      GBP'000       GBP'000      GBP'000     GBP'000 
----------------------  --------  --------  ----------  -----------  ------------  -----------  ---------- 
 At 30th September 
  2019                    23,762    31,646         977       25,121       295,820            -     377,326 
 Net return                    -         -           -            -        29,630        4,361      33,991 
 Dividend paid in 
  the year (note 3)            -         -           -            -      (10,316)      (4,361)    (14,677) 
----------------------  --------  --------  ----------  -----------  ------------  -----------  ---------- 
 At 30th September 
  2020                    23,762    31,646         977       25,121       315,134            -     396,640 
 Issue of Ordinary 
  shares                     687    12,980           -            -             -            -      13,667 
 Issue of shares from 
  Treasury                     -     2,079           -            -         2,892            -       4,971 
 Repurchase of shares 
  into Treasury                -         -           -            -         (299)            -       (299) 
 Net return                    -         -           -            -        50,553        2,715      53,268 
 Dividends paid in 
  the year (note 3)            -         -           -            -      (15,332)      (2,715)    (18,047) 
----------------------  --------  --------  ----------  -----------  ------------  -----------  ---------- 
 At 30th September 
  2021                    24,449    46,705         977       25,121       352,948            -     450,200 
----------------------  --------  --------  ----------  -----------  ------------  -----------  ---------- 
 

(1) These reserves form the distributable reserves of the Company and may be used to fund distributions to investors.

STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION

AT 30TH SEPTEMBER 2021

 
                                                             2021       2020 
                                                          GBP'000    GBP'000 
-------------------------------------------------------  --------  --------- 
 Fixed assets 
 Investments held at fair value through profit or loss    448,721    394,141 
-------------------------------------------------------  --------  --------- 
 Current assets 
 Derivative financial assets                                    -          5 
 Debtors                                                      507      1,032 
 Cash and cash equivalents                                  1,496      3,966 
-------------------------------------------------------  --------  --------- 
                                                            2,003      5,003 
 Current liabilities 
 Creditors: amounts falling due within one year             (524)    (2,504) 
-------------------------------------------------------  --------  --------- 
 Net current assets                                         1,479      2,499 
-------------------------------------------------------  --------  --------- 
 Total assets less current liabilities                    450,200    396,640 
-------------------------------------------------------  --------  --------- 
 Net assets                                               450,200    396,640 
-------------------------------------------------------  --------  --------- 
 Capital and reserves 
 Called up share capital                                   24,449     23,762 
 Share premium                                             46,705     31,646 
 Exercised warrant reserve                                    977        977 
 Capital redemption reserve                                25,121     25,121 
 Capital reserves                                         352,948    315,134 
-------------------------------------------------------  --------  --------- 
 Total equity shareholders' funds                         450,200    396,640 
-------------------------------------------------------  --------  --------- 
 Net asset value per share                                 460.7p     421.6p 
 

STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

FOR THE YEARED 30TH SEPTEMBER 2021

 
                                                                       2021         2020 
                                                                    GBP'000      GBP'000 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Net cash outflow from operations before dividends and 
  interest                                                          (3,346)      (2,816) 
 Dividends received                                                   6,327        6,878 
 Interest received                                                        3            9 
 Taxation                                                                23            - 
 Interest paid                                                         (40)        (110) 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Net cash inflow from operating activities                            2,967        3,961 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Purchases of investments                                         (166,687)    (161,482) 
 Sales of investments                                               160,862      171,566 
 Settlement of forward currency contracts                             (111)           72 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Net cash (outflow)/inflow from investing activities                (5,936)       10,156 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Dividends paid                                                    (18,047)     (14,677) 
 Ordinary Shares issued (including from Treasury)                    18,638            - 
 Repayment of bank loans                                                  -      (8,848) 
 Drawdown of bank loans                                                   -        9,114 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Net cash inflow/(outflow) from financing activities                    591     (14,411) 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Decrease in cash and cash equivalents                              (2,378)        (294) 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Cash and cash equivalents at start of year                           3,966        4,404 
 Unrealised loss on foreign currency cash and cash equivalents         (92)        (144) 
 Cash and cash equivalents at end of year                             1,496        3,966 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Decrease in cash and cash equivalents                              (2,378)        (294) 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Cash and cash equivalents consist of: 
 Cash and short term deposits                                           532        2,806 
 Cash held in JPMorgan US Dollar Liquidity Fund                         964        1,160 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 Total                                                                1,496        3,966 
---------------------------------------------------------------  ----------  ----------- 
 

NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

FOR THE YEARED 30TH SEPTEMBER 2021

   1.       Accounting policies 

Basis of accounting

The financial statements are prepared under the historical cost convention, modified to include fixed asset investments at fair value, and in accordance with the Companies Act 2006, United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice ('UK GAAP'), including FRS 102 'The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland' and with the Statement of Recommended Practice 'Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts' (the 'SORP') issued by the Association of Investment Companies in October 2019.

All of the Company's operations are of a continuing nature.

The financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis. In forming this opinion, the directors have considered any potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the going concern and viability of the Company. They have considered the potential impact of COVID-19 and the mitigation measures which key service providers, including the Manager, have in place to maintain operational resilience particularly in light of COVID-19. The Directors have reviewed the compliance with debt covenants in assessing the going concern and viability of the Company. The Directors have reviewed income and expense projections and the liquidity of the investment portfolio in making their assessment. The disclosures on going concern in the 2021 Annual Report of the Directors' Report form part of these financial statements.

The policies applied in these financial statements are consistent with those applied in the preceding year.

   2.       Return per share 
 
                                                            2021          2020 
                                                         GBP'000       GBP'000 
---------------------------------------------------  -----------  ------------ 
 Revenue return                                            2,715         4,361 
 Capital return                                           50,553        29,630 
---------------------------------------------------  -----------  ------------ 
 Total return                                             53,268        33,991 
---------------------------------------------------  -----------  ------------ 
 Weighted average number of shares in issue during 
  the year                                            95,724,531    94,081,493 
 Revenue return per share                                  2.84p         4.64p 
 Capital return per share                                 52.81p        31.49p 
---------------------------------------------------  -----------  ------------ 
 Total return per share                                   55.65p        36.13p 
---------------------------------------------------  -----------  ------------ 
 
   3.       Dividends 
   (a)     Dividends paid and declared 
 
                                                           2021      2020 
                                                        GBP'000   GBP'000 
-----------------------------------------------------  --------  -------- 
 Dividends paid 
 2020 fourth quarterly dividend of 4.2p (2019: 4.0p)      3,951     3,763 
 First quarterly dividend of 4.8p (2020: 4.1p)            4,537     3,858 
 Second quarterly dividend of 4.9p (2020: 3.5p)           4,690     3,293 
 Third quarterly dividend of 5.0p (2020: 4.0p)            4,869     3,763 
-----------------------------------------------------  --------  -------- 
 Total dividends paid in the period                      18,047    14,677 
-----------------------------------------------------  --------  -------- 
 Dividend declared 
 Fourth quarterly dividend declared of 4.6p (2020: 
  4.2p) per share                                         4,495     3,951 
-----------------------------------------------------  --------  -------- 
 

A fourth quarterly dividend of 4.6p has been declared and was paid on 16th November 2021 for the financial year ended 30th September 2021. In accordance with the accounting policy of the Company, this dividend will be reflected in the financial statements for the year ending 30th September 2022.

   (b)    Dividend for the purposes of Section 1158 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010 ('Section 1158') 

The requirements of Section 1158 are considered on the basis of the dividend proposed in respect of the financial year, shown below.

The aggregate of the distributable reserves is GBP237,228,000 (2020: GBP225,349,000).

 
                                                         2021      2020 
                                                      GBP'000   GBP'000 
---------------------------------------------------  --------  -------- 
 First quarterly dividend of 4.8p (2020: 4.1p)          4,537     3,858 
 Second quarterly dividend of 4.9p (2020: 3.5p)         4,690     3,293 
 Third quarterly dividend of 5.0p (2020: 4.0p)          4,869     3,763 
 Fourth quarterly dividend declared of 4.6p (2020: 
  4.2p)                                                 4,495     3,951 
---------------------------------------------------  --------  -------- 
 Total dividends for Section 1158 purposes             18,591    14,865 
---------------------------------------------------  --------  -------- 
 

The aggregate of the distributable reserves after the payment of the final dividend will amount to GBP232,733,000 (2020: GBP221,398,000).

   4.       Net asset value per share 
 
                                    2021          2020 
---------------------------  -----------  ------------ 
 Net assets (GBP'000)            450,200       396,640 
 Number of shares in issue    97,725,197    94,081,493 
---------------------------  -----------  ------------ 
 Net asset value per share        460.7p        421.6p 
---------------------------  -----------  ------------ 
 
   5.       Status of results announcement 

2021 Financial Information

The figures and financial information for 2021 are extracted from the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30th September 2021 and do not constitute the statutory accounts for the year. The Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30th September 2021 include the Report of the Independent Auditors which is unqualified and does not contain a statement under either section 498(2) or section 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006. The Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30th September 2021 will be delivered to the Register of Companies in due course.

2020 Financial Information

The figures and financial information for 2020 are extracted from the published Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30th September 2020 and do not constitute the statutory accounts for that year. The Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30th September 2020 has been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and included the Report of the Independent Auditors which was unqualified and did not contain a statement under either section 498(2) or section 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006.

Neither the contents of the Company's website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Company's website (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

7th December 2021

For further information:

Alison Vincent

JPMorgan Funds Limited

020 7742 4000

S

A copy of the 2021 Annual Report will shortly be submitted to the FCA's National Storage Mechanism and will be available for inspection at https://data.fca.org.uk/#/nsm/nationalstoragemechanism

The 2021 Annual Report will shortly be available on the Company's website at www.jpmasiagrowthandincome.co.uk where up-to-date information on the Company, including daily NAV and share prices, factsheets and portfolio information can also be found.

JPMORGAN FUNDS LIMITED

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December 07, 2021 04:59 ET (09:59 GMT)

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