The Antares Small Companies Fund delivered a return of 1.1% (net of fees) for the month of April, underperforming its benchmark index by 0.9%.
Small capitalisation stocks underperformed in April, with the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries Index falling 0.2% compared to a 1% rise in the broader market.
The Fund benefited from overweight positions in small gold stocks, Evolution Mining (EVN) & St Barbara (SBM). EVN announced that it had commenced a drilling program at the Binduli joint venture gold project near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The drilling is expected to take three weeks and EVN is hoping to find additional gold deposits in this area. The company also released its March quarterly report which showed that production was on track to meet current FY17 guidance, whilst costs are now expected to be at the lower end of the FY17 guidance range. SBM released its March quarter activity report that showed continued strong gold production that significantly increased the company’s cash balance to $99m at quarter-end. SBM repaid $56m in debt over the quarter and is now debt free. SBM also took a 9.5% stake in Peel Mining at 20.5 cents per share. This will enable Peel to accelerate its upcoming work, particularly its drilling programme in the Cobar Superbasin where it has made gold and copper discoveries.
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