Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

In this fractious market the passive offshore investment vehicle Astoria is starting to look like a bastion of (relative) security. The company’s recent trading update — covering the nine months to end-September — reflects an NAV of $1.20. That equates to a local NAV of R17.86, which means the share price is offering a discount of around 25% on a portfolio that is made up mostly of the biggest global stocks, like Facebook, Apple, Blackstone Group, Admiral Group, Home Depot, Nike, Mastercard and JPMorgan Chase. Besides that discount there is a semisupportive offer for control by investment company RECM & Calibre (RAC) of R13.50 a share, pitched partly in cash and partly in scrip. But that is not all, folks. Astoria, which is fiercely resisting RAC’s attempts to gain outright control, is engaging with major shareholders for support for securing a capital payment to all shareholders as a method of unlocking value for them. What is contemplated is a realisation of investments that are d...

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