Following a General Meeting held on 13 November 2020, the Company broadened its investment policy to focus on the whole of Emerging Europe, the Middle East, Africa (“EMEA”) and select Frontier Markets within the EMEA region. Below you will find a list of key documents and an FAQ related to the change.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What did the Company change?
The Company amended its previous investment objective to focus on investing in emerging equity securities listed or traded on Emerging European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) securities markets.
The proposals were approved via an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held on 13 November 2020. The results of this meeting can be viewed here: https://www.londonstockexchange.com/news-article/BEE/results-of-general-meeting/14755911
Did the Company change its name?
Yes. The Company changed its name from Baring Emerging Europe PLC (BEE) to Barings Emerging EMEA Opportunities PLC.
What does EMEA stand for?
EMEA stands for Europe, Middle East and Africa. The Company’s revised investment policy consists of the countries classified as emerging markets within this locality.
What is the difference between emerging Europe and EMEA?
EMEA expands upon the Company’s previous investment universe of Emerging Europe, to include the emerging markets of Middle East and Africa.
Has the manager changed?
The day-to-day running of the Company continues to be managed by Matthias Siller, Maria Szczesna and Adnan El-Araby.
Has the Board composition changed?
There is no change to the Board of directors who continue to uphold the best interests of investors and meet regularly to ensure the Company’s objectives are met.
Has the Investment approach changed?
There is no change in investment philosophy nor approach to investing in companies.
The manager continues to identify companies which we believe are mispriced on a longer term basis, based on our understanding of management strategy and the potential for the Company to improve returns and grow earnings.
Did the Company’s comparator benchmark change?
In line with the change of investment policy, the Company’s benchmark changed to MSCI EM EMEA.
How has the portfolio changed geographically?
The investment universe of Baring Emerging Europe PLC was dominated by Russia, Turkey and Poland, which accounted for approximately 90% of the investment universe. Within the expanded mandate, the country concentrations have been lowered significantly with the addition of the emerging markets of Middle East and Africa. This we believe lowers the portfolio’s exposure to political and country-based risk.
How has the portfolio changed from a sector perspective?
Similarly, to the geographic constraints, BEE’s investment universe had a strong bias toward the energy sector, which is dominated by Russia’s large oil and gas producers.
The incorporation of the expanded mandate enables diversification away from the energy sector and allows investment into attractive structural growth opportunities, less dependent on fossil fuel production.
Does the expanded mandate incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria in its investment decisions?
Yes, the manager incorporates ESG considerations into each company we invest in, looking closely for signs of improvement or deterioration in their attitudes to ESG. The Company also uses its position of ownership to engage actively with investee companies with the aim of influencing behaviour and improving disclosure for the benefit of our shareholders.
Does the revised mandate invest in frontier markets?
The Company can invest opportunistically in frontier markets across the EMEA region; however, we would not however expect the exposure to be significant.
Does the revised mandate invest in developed markets?
The Company does not invest in developed market companies within EMEA.
Has the Company changed its dividend policy?
The Board believes the new Investment Policy continues to offer an attractive dividend by remaining focused on offering access to markets with an appealing yield, and remaining an income diversifier for shareholders.
Has the Company reinstated its performance targets and discount management measures?
The Board decided to set new tender trigger mechanisms for the next five-year period with effect from 1 October 2020.
Will the Company continue to use gearing?
The Company will continue to make use of gearing to take advantage of investment opportunities. However, it is intended that the Company would only be geared when the Directors, advised by the Investment Manager, have a high level of confidence that gearing would add significant value to the portfolio and our shareholders.
Has there been a change in fees?
The Board is pleased to announce that Baring Fund Managers Limited agreed to a reduction in the investment management fee to 0.75% of the net asset value of the Company. The reduction in the investment management fee reduces the costs borne by Shareholders, and will therefore assist growth in the Company’s net asset value per share. Administrative costs of the funds, as measured by the company’s Ongoing Changes Figure (OCF), will not change materially.
Who can I contact if I have a question that is not answered here?
If you hold a share certificate, you should contact the Registrar Link Asset Services by telephone or by email. Please see below details:
Telephone: 0871 664 0300; Overseas: +44 371 664 0300 (Calls cost 12p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Calls outside the United Kingdom are charged at the applicable international rate.)
Lines are open 9:00 am - 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday
If you hold your shares through a third party provider, such as an investment platform, you should contact them directly.
How can I invest in the Company?
Detailed information is available via the ‘How to invest’ tab on the Company’s home page at bemoplc.com
How can I stay informed on the Company’s progress?
You can register to receive regular email updates via the button on the Company’s home page at www.bemoplc.com