Investment Policy

At the Annual General Meeting in 2012 shareholder approval was obtained for a simplified investment policy. This did not change the investment objective but provides a clear and appropriate set of up to date investment restrictions in line with the Financial Conduct Authority and HM Revenue and Customs current requirements.

The portfolio was managed under and in accordance with the old policy and restrictions in the year to 30 April 2012 and up to 4 September 2012 when the change was approved by shareholders.

Asset Allocation

Technology may be defined as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes and technology companies are defined accordingly. While this offers a very broad and dynamic investing universe and covers many different companies, the portfolio of PCT (the “Portfolio”) is focused on technology companies which use technology or which develop and supply technological solutions as a core part of their business models. This includes areas as diverse as information, media, communications, environmental, healthcare and renewable energy, as well as the more obvious applications such as computing and associated industries.

The Portfolio is constructed without specific reference to any individual market, index or benchmark and the Directors regularly discusses asset allocation. The Board has agreed a set of parameters which are based upon current market conditions and provides a range which guides the Investment Manager depending on market conditions and future expectations. The Board believes that this provides the necessary flexibility for the Investment Manager to pursue the investment objective, given the dynamic and rapid changes in the field of technology, while maintaining a spread of investments.

PCT has a benchmark of the Dow Jones World Technology Index (total return, Sterling adjusted) against which net asset value performance of the Company is measured for the purpose of assessing performance fees (the “Benchmark”). From 1 May 2013 the benchmark was calculated using a net basis which adjusts the Benchmark income element to reflect withholding taxes which would be suffered by a UK based investor.

However, the Benchmark is neither a target nor an ideal investment strategy. The purpose of the Benchmark is to set a reasonable return for shareholders of PCT above which the Investment Manager is entitled to a share of the extra performance it has delivered.

Risk Diversification

PCT will at all times invest and manage its assets in a manner that is consistent with spreading investment risk and invests in a Portfolio comprised primarily of international quoted equities which is diversified across both regions and sectors.

PCT will satisfy the following investment restrictions:

  • PCT’s interest in any one company will not exceed 10 per cent. of the gross assets of PCT from time to time, save where the Benchmark weighting of any investee company in PCT’s portfolio exceeds this level, in which case PCT will be permitted to increase its exposure to such investee company up to the Benchmark ‘neutral’ weighting of that company or, if lower, 20 per cent. of PCT’s gross assets.
  • PCT will have a maximum exposure to companies listed on emerging markets (as defined by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index) of 25 per cent. of its gross assets from time to time.
  • PCT may invest in unquoted companies from time to time, subject to prior Board approval. Investments in unquoted companies in aggregate will not exceed 10 per cent. of the gross assets of PCT (measured at the time of acquisition of the relevant investment and whenever PCT increases the relevant holding). 

In addition to the restrictions set out above, PCT is subject to Chapter 15 of the UK Listing Authority’s Listing Rules which apply to closed ended investment companies with a premium listing on the Official List of the London Stock Exchange. In order to comply with the current Listing Rules, PCT will not invest more than 10 per cent. of its total assets at the time of acquisition in other listed closed ended investment funds, whether managed by the Investment Manager or not. This restriction does not apply to investments in closed ended investment funds which themselves have published investment policies to invest no more than 15 per cent. of their total assets in other listed closed ended investment funds. However, PCT will not in any case invest more than 15 per cent. of its total assets in other closed ended investment funds. PCT must not conduct any trading activity which is significant in the context of its group as a whole.

Borrowing, Cash and Derivatives

PCT may borrow money to invest in the Portfolio over both the long and short term. Any commitment to borrow funds is agreed by the Board.

PCT’s articles of association permit borrowings up to the amount of its paid up share capital plus capital and revenue reserves but any net borrowings in excess of 15 per cent. of PCT’s net assets at the time of drawdown will only be made with the approval of the Board.

The Investment Manager may also use from time to time derivative instruments as approved by the Board such as financial futures, options, contracts-for-difference and currency hedges. These are used for the purpose of efficient portfolio management. Any such use of derivatives will be made in accordance with PCT’s policies on spreading investment risk as set out in this investment policy and any leverage resulting from the use of such derivatives will be subject to the restrictions on borrowings set out above.

Changes to investment policy

Any material change to the investment policy will require the approval of the Shareholders by way of an ordinary resolution at a general meeting. PCT will promptly issue an announcement to inform Shareholders and the public of any change of its investment policy.  

Strategy

The Board monitors the portfolio’s exposure to different geographical markets, sub-sectors within technology and the spread of investments across different market capitalisations. Cyclical changes in markets and new technologies will bring certain sub-sectors or companies of a particular size or market capitalisation into or out of favour.

Market parameters

Notwithstanding the ability to invest up to 100% of the portfolio in any one market, with current and foreseeable investment conditions the Portfolio will be invested in accordance with the objective across worldwide markets within the following geographical and market parameters: 

  • North America           up to 85% of the Portfolio
  • Europe                      up to 40% of the Portfolio
  • Japan and Asia         up to 55% of the Portfolio
  • Rest of the world       up to 10% of the Portfolio 

The Board has set specific upper exposure limits for certain countries.

Cash

From time to time PCT may hold cash or near cash equivalents if the Investment Manager feels that these will at a particular time or over a period enhance the performance of the Portfolio. The management of cash is through the purchase of appropriate government bonds, money market funds or bank deposits depending on the Investment Manager’s view of the investment opportunities.

Gearing

As at 31 October 2013 PCT has a loan facility with ING Bank BV from 2 October 2013 for one year and £25m drawn in US Dollar 13.0m and Japanese Yen 2.6Bn.

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Important Legal Information

Launched in 1996, Polar Capital Technology Trust plc (“PCT”) has grown to become a leading European investor with a multi-cycle track record. Managed by a team of dedicated technology specialists, the PCT aims to maximise long-term capital growth by investing in a diversified portfolio of technology companies from around the world. The managers’ core belief in rigorous fundamental analysis, and being unconstrained by not following a benchmark, enables PCT to deliver global equity market outperformance through exposure to a universe of over 3,000 companies.

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Please remember that past performance of an investment is not necessarily a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of market and currency fluctuations and you may not get back the amount originally invested. The market value of the shares of Polar Capital Technology Trust may not reflect the underlying net asset value of the investments held by Polar Capital Technology Trust. Polar Capital Technology Trust is able to borrow to raise further funds for investment purposes if the fund manager and the board of directors consider that it may be commercially advantageous to do so. This is generally described as “gearing”. An investment trust which has made investments as a result of gearing may have a more volatile share price as a result; gearing can increase shareholder returns in rising markets but conversely can increase the extent to which the value of the funds attributable to shareholders decreases in falling markets. Tax assumptions may change if the law changes, and the value of tax relief (if any) will depend upon your individual circumstances. Investors should consult their own tax advisers in order to understand any applicable tax consequences.

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