News Column


May 20, 2014

BLACKROCK FRONTIERS INVESTMENT TRUST PLC All information is at 30 April 2014 and unaudited. Performance at month end with net income reinvested One Three Six One Three Since month months months year years launch* Sterling: Share price 0.8% 3.3% 4.4% 16.0% 35.6% 29.5% Net asset value 3.7% 2.6% 8.9% 19.6% 36.6% 29.7% MSCI Frontiers Index (NR) 4.4% 9.6% 12.4% 17.5% 26.3% 18.8% MSCI EM Markets (NR) -0.9% 4.0% -7.7% -9.5% -11.9% -10.2% US Dollars: Net asset value 5.1% 5.4% 14.4% 29.8% 38.4% 40.6% MSCI Frontiers Index (NR) 5.7% 12.6% 18.1% 27.5% 27.7% 28.6% MSCI EM Markets (NR) 0.3% 6.8% -3.0% -1.8% -10.8% -2.8% Sources: BlackRock and Standard & Poor's Micropal * 17 December 2010. At month end US Dollar: Net asset value - capital only: 192.80c Net asset value - cum income: 197.60c Sterling: Net asset value - capital only: 114.18p Net asset value - cum income: 117.02p Share price: 119.00p Total assets (including income): £176.3m Premium to cum-income NAV: 1.7% Gearing: nil Gearing range (as a % of gross assets): 0-20% Net yield: 2.7% Ordinary shares in issue: 150,621,621 *Yield calculations are based on dividends announced in the last 12 months as at the date of the release of this announcement. The 2013 interim dividend of 2.00 cents per share and the special interim dividend of 3.40 cents per share announced on 30 May 2013 were paid to shareholders on 5 July 2013. These combined interim and special dividends of 5.40 cents per share (3.19788 pence per share) represent the total dividends for the financial year ending 30 September 2013 (the special dividend representing the final dividend which is normally paid in March each year). Benchmark Sector Analysis Gross assets(%)* Country Analysis Gross assets(%)* Financials 29.5 Qatar 11.1 Energy 18.8 Bangladesh 8.1 Telecommunication 13.8 Nigeria 8.1 Consumer Staples 11.6 Kuwait 8.0 Health Care 9.1 Saudi Arabia 7.7 Consumer Discretionary 6.6 United Arab Emirates 7.0 Industrials 5.1 Pakistan 6.1 Materials 4.7 Kazakhstan 6.0 Utilities 2.4 Romania 5.1 ----- Sri Lanka 5.1 Total 101.6 Iraq 3.8 ----- Oman 3.7 Short positions -2.0 Ukraine 3.7 ===== Turkmenistan 3.3 Vietnam 3.0 Argentina 2.6 Slovenia 2.3 Kygryzstan 1.7 Pan Frontiers 1.5 Estonia 1.3 Panama 1.3 Croatia 1.1 ----- 101.6 ===== Short positions -2.0 ===== *reflects gross market exposure from contracts for difference (CFDs) Market Exposure 31.05 30.06 31.07 31.08 30.09 31.10 30.11 31.12 31.01 28.02 31.03 30.04 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2014 2014 2014 2014 % % % % % % % % % % % % Long 99.8 95.9 103.2 98.9 98.8 100.4 100.5 103.3 96.6 101.8 101.6 101.6 Short 1.1 2.5 3.0 3.3 1.4 1.6 1.6 1.5 1.7 1.8 1.7 2.0 Gross 100.9 98.4 106.2 102.2 100.2 102.0 102.1 104.8 98.3 103.6 103.3 103.6 Net 98.7 93.4 100.2 95.6 97.4 98.8 98.9 101.8 94.9 100.0 99.9 99.6 Ten Largest Equity Investments Company Country of Risk % of gross assets Zenith Bank Nigeria 4.4% Kuwait Food Kuwait 4.2% Qatar National Bank Qatar 4.0% Mobile Telecommunications Kuwait 3.8% Emaar Properties United Arab Emirates 3.6% Dragon Oil Turkmenistan 3.3% KazMunaiGas Exploration Production Kazakhstan 3.1% BRD Romania 3.1% Halyk Bank Kazakhstan 2.9% Square Pharmaceuticals Bangladesh 2.8% Commenting on the markets, Sam Vecht, representing the Investment Manager noted: Markets In April, the MSCI Frontier Market Index returned 5.7%, outperforming mainstream Emerging Markets which returned 0.3%. The UAE and Qatar were strong during the month. Investors in Qatar and UAE have been eagerly anticipating the inclusion in the Emerging Markets index at the end of the month. However, we are less excited. The event has been exceptionally well flagged and many investors have positioned for the event well ahead of time. Liquidity, driven almost exclusively by local retail investors, has increased substantially. Qatar is now trading $300m a day up from $60m a year ago, while the UAE is now often trading in excess of $1bn a day, up 50-fold from daily volumes we saw just 18 months ago. We note that valuations in some UAE stocks are unusually high, and we are becoming increasingly concerned by the rapid rise in certain share prices. We much prefer the large number of Frontier Markets, where the macro-economic situation is robust or improving, companies are growing fast, and valuations are compelling. While no investment in Frontier Markets is without risk, we would highlight that Bangladesh, Romania, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka are looking particularly interesting at present. Portfolio In April the Company returned 5.1%, underperforming the index by 0.6% (all calculations in US dollar terms with new income reinvested). The underperformance can be almost entirely attributed to an underweight position in the UAE. As we have noted above, the market is suffering from an excess of exuberance where, with a handful of exceptions, valuations do not reflect the underlying earnings profile. Bangladesh was the largest contributor to performance in April. The Company has been well positioned in terms of stock selection with positive contributions coming from stocks in the health care, consumer and telecoms sector. The market has been driven by the easing of political problems and large current account surplus which is driving liquidity and keeping interest rates stable and low. Activity The Company initiated a new position in UK listed industrial, APR Energy. APR Energy is the second largest global provider of temporary power solutions, with the vast majority of earnings derived from Frontier Market companies. APR won a sizeable contract in Libya, which will form the majority of revenues this year. The stock price performed poorly particularly as a major strategic shareholder sold down their exposure. We have been monitoring the stock as a potential investment and given valuations had now fallen to an attractive level amidst improving competitive dynamics in the industry, the risk/reward ratio appeared favourable. The Company sold down the position in SABIC, as the valuations appeared full following a 25% rally Outlook The Company continues to see significant upside to many Frontier Markets. There are a wide variety of stocks in countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Iraq, Romania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan that offer significant growth, value and yield. While the economic and indeed political situations in many of these countries are not without risk, we feel that valuations in these countries more than reflect the challenges of doing business. We currently view Vietnam as a source of potential new opportunities. This is driven by a combination of the country's growing status as a regional manufacturing hub, an increase in domestic liquidity and attractive valuations. 20 May 2014 ENDS Latest information is available by typing on the internet, "BLRKINDEX" on Reuters, "BLRK" on Bloomberg or "8800" on Topic 3 (ICV terminal). Neither the contents of the Manager's website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Manager's website (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

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Source: PR Newswire (UK Disclosure)

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