Johann Rupert. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LOUISE GUBB
Johann Rupert. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LOUISE GUBB

Johann Rupert’s Reinet Investments said on Friday that Covid-19 had hit its underlying investments to the tune of €1.1bn (about R21bn) in its six months to end-March.

Covid-19 has battered global markets and is weighing on the outlook of the group's two biggest investments, British American Tobacco (BAT) and UK-based financial services company Pension Insurance Corporation (PensCorp).

Reinet’s net asset value amounted to €4.4bn, a decrease of 8.8% compared from the prior year, with the group citing a decline in BAT's share price, although it had received €146m in dividends from BAT, which helped offset the fall.

Reinet’s stake in BAT is the fund’s largest investment, representing 40.9% of net asset value as of the end of March, while PensCorp accounts for 36.8%.

Reinet has opted to keep its dividend unchanged at 0.19 euro cents per share — a payment of €36m — but said the current crisis was “unprecedented” and the economic downturn may be more severe than other recent crises.

“In 1987, 2000 and 2008, the world experienced severe market turmoil, which we recovered from,” the group said.

“Unfortunately, this crisis may even be more severe when taking the significant global health impacts into consideration. It is highly likely that large parts of the world will face a recession which could last for some time as economies will be slow to resume full demand and supply capacity,” the group said.