Aberdeen offer to replace mandate

It is believed that Aberdeen will offer to replace the current Latin American mandate with a broader emerging markets portfolio, to be managed by Hugh Young (pictured). Aberdeen has to convince the main shareholders that its proposal will add liquidity to the trust and narrow the discount, and that it has a strategy for managing the discount, which is currently 10.7%.

Aberdeen says that it did not offer to take over the management of the fund, currently run by Tara Kenney at DWS, until after a continuation vote failed at its annual general meeting on August 9. It is also expected to provide funding to enable investors to redeem if they wish.

Following the failure of the continuation vote, Richard Watkins, chairman of the trust, says the board consulted with its largest shareholders about what proposals for its future direction they would support.

He adds: “Shareholders will support proposals for the continuation of the company, albeit with a different investment remit, particularly if this produces improved marketability for the company’s shares and is an improvement on a voluntary liquidation of the company.

“The board believes the proposals put forward by Aberdeen and its advisers, Intelli Corporate Finance, may achieve this objective. Accordingly, we have agreed that Aberdeen and Intelli should have a limited amount of time to develop their proposals to a state where they are capable of implementation.

“If the proposals do not achieve the conditions set, then the company will proceed with a voluntary liquidation. In the meantime, the portfolio will continue to be managed in accordance with its existing remit.”

The Advance Developing Markets trust, which is managed by Nigel Wilson at Progressive Developing Markets, holds 4.8% of its portfolio in Deutsche Latin American. Progressive says it would welcome a change in management if it led to greater liquidity and a narrowing of the discount.

It adds that Aberdeen needs to pick an area, such as emerging markets, where it could create more interest in the trust.