Aberdeen Standard Investments said on Tuesday its Aberdeen New India Investment Trust saw its assets fall 23.1% to £241.5 million and stock market value fall 29.3% to £192.6 million in the year ended March 31, 2020.
Net asset value (NAV) fell 22.7%, compared to the fund’s benchmark the MSCI India Index which dropped 27.3%.
Share price total return declined 28.9% and discount to net asset value widened to 20.3% from 13.3%.
Over the longer-term, taking the 10 years to July 31, 2020, Aberdeen New India’s share price increase is 90.5% compared to the benchmark’s increase of 55.6%.
Kristy Fong, manager of Aberdeen New India Investment Trust, said: “We expect India’s stock market to stay volatile in the short term, with Covid-19 likely to hinder a global economic recovery.
“Worries over slowing domestic growth, as well as concerns over the liquidity and solvency of the non-bank financing sector, persist.
“The government’s commitment to protecting its sovereign debt rating by limiting its fiscal deficit has held back its infrastructure spending.
“The market awaits morereform to revive construction, industrial activity, employment and consumer demand.
“We select high quality companies with robust balance sheets and good management which should be able to weather the storm better than most.
“We have been more defensive in our recent portfolio positioning as we expect a more challenging post-pandemic outlook, yet opportunistic in adding to quality stocks that had been unduly punished when the market had sold off in March.
“The company remains focused on identifying companies which possess deep barriers to entry, clear earnings levers, and prudent capital management.
“We believe these holdings should deliver sustainable returns over time.”