F.A.Q.

East Capital Explorer is a Swedish investment company whose shares (ECEX) are listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, Mid Cap. East Capital Explorer is an independent company with an exclusive focus on Eastern Europe who has appointed East Capital to manage the Company’s investments. East Capital is one of the world’s leading asset managers specialized in Eastern Europe. In this way, East Capital Explorer’s shareholders obtain access to the experience, knowledge and extensive network which East Capital has built up during more than 15 years as leading asset manager in the region.

East Capital Explorer was founded by East Capital in 2007, and the original aim of the Company was to take advantage of the competence and investment management organization which East Capital had built up during the years, and to open up the possibility for smaller investors to get access to unique and illiquid investments (earlier only available to larger investors) through a liquid stock.

The management and the Board of Directors of East Capital Explorer work exclusively to optimize the value for the Company’s shareholders while the Investment Manager’s (East Capital) primary task is to create long term growth in the underlying portfolio. Read more about East Capital.

There is always a risk associated with investing in financial instruments, including East Capital Explorer. The Company aims to invest in a well-balanced portfolio of sectors and countries in order to minimize this risk. All investments are assessed very carefully from a risk and return perspective.

The East Capital Explorer shares have been traded on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm, Mid Cap since 9 November 2007. To buy or sell East Capital Explorer shares, place your orders through your bank or broker stating the following details:

Name

East Capital Explorer AB

Ticker

ECEX

ISIN

SE0002158568

No, normally this is not possible as East Capital Explorer is an investment company with a fixed number of shares listed on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm, Mid Cap. East Capital Explorer share is traded daily at market price on the stock exchange.

However, a redemption program is currently underway (2013-2015) through which you as a shareholder can redeem up to 5% of your holding at NAV, given a discount over 10% and approval from the shareholders at each year’s AGM.

East Capital Explorer’s Net Asset Value (NAV) per share represents the value of the total assets (the value of all investments plus all other assets, such as cash) minus all liabilities divided by the number of shares issued.

The share price (actual value of the share determined by the market) is quoted continuously on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm where shares in East Capital Explorer can be bought or sold when the stock exchange is open.

Any difference between NAV per share and the share price is referred to as a premium (if the share price is higher than the NAV per share) or as a discount (if the share price is lower than the NAV per share).

The share is trading at a premium if the share price is higher than the NAV per share. This means that the investors are willing to pay more for a share than the net asset value per share.

The share is trading at a discount if the share price is lower than the NAV per share. This means that the investor can pay less for a share than the net asset value. The indicative NAV per share is published monthly, the fifth working day after the end of the month, and it is found on East Capital Explorer's website.

East Capital Explorer is a Swedish listed investment company offering a liquid investment exposure to a unique portfolio of less liquid, or unlisted, companies in otherwise hard-to-reach segments within the Eastern European markets.

With its share listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, East Capital Explorer offers unique and easy access to special funds typically having a high minimum investment level and long investment periods. East Capital Explorer’s shareholders can freely buy and sell shares at market prices which are continuously quoted on the stock exchange.

On the basis of liquidity provided via the stock exchange, the Company has no requirement of considering daily in- and outflows, which is the case a daily traded fund (so called UCITS fund). This creates positive premises for a long term investment perspective which is essential to a strategy such as ours that is, with a focus on smaller companies, who normally require longer investment cycles. Long term capital allows investments over the full performance cycle. In a daily traded fund, the number of fund units varies on the basis of the investors’ buying and selling but for East Capital Explorer, the number of outstanding shares is constant regardless of stock market (buy and sell) turnover.  

Another important difference is that daily traded funds (UCITS funds) are considerably more regulated in their investment mandate and usually invest in larger, and more liquid, companies compared with the special funds in which East Capital Explorer invests which focus on smaller and more illiquid companies. This difference in orientation and exposure (larger listed companies versus smaller illiquid companies) makes it difficult to compare, in a fair manner, the developments in East Capital Explorer with the developments in a daily traded fund.

East Capital Explorer’s share price and market capitalization is quoted continuously and is available under Share information.

The Board of Directors has adopted a dividend policy, whereby East Capital Explorer aims to pay dividends to its shareholders consistent with the long-term prospects of the Company. The size of the dividend will, among other things, be related to the amount of dividends the Company receives and the realized return on short-term investments during the preceding year.

However, the Board of Directors has determined to make no proposals for a dividend during the ongoing redemption program, which runs until 2015.The Company has chosen to focus on one clear distribution strategy instead of several, and the redemption program is, therefore, seen to replace the Company’s dividend policy during the period in which the program is in effect. Read more about the redemption program and the Company’s dividend policy.

East Capital Explorer is a Swedish listed investment company offering a liquid investment exposure to a unique portfolio of less liquid, or unlisted, companies in otherwise hard-to-reach parts of Eastern European markets. The Company focuses on sectors and companies benefitting the most from the domestic growth in this region and primarily provides exposure towards small- and medium-sized companies with a high growth potential.

East Capital Explorer focuses exclusively on Eastern Europe (investment universe) and invests in Russia and the CIS countries, the Balkans, the Baltic States, Central Asia and Central Europe.

East Capital Explorer is an excellent complement to other investment alternatives, with its focus on smaller companies and domestic growth. The majority of other investment alternatives with a similar geographical exposure emphasize investments in larger liquid companies and commodities (particularly as regards Russia). East Capital Explorer is a good complement also in terms of an investment portfolio comprised of only Swedish listed companies as it provides exposure towards Eastern Europe through a Swedish listed share. In this way, an investor can decrease their portfolio risk. Read more about Eastern Europe as an investment opportunity.

East Capital Explorer’s strategy remains intact, based on the same four cornerstones as when the company was founded in 2007; growth in Eastern Europe, domestic consumption, companies with strong outlook and a long-term active ownership strategy.

Eastern Europe: the Eastern European region is expected to grow faster than Western Europe. The Baltic Region and South East Europe have a mid-term expected growth of around 3 percent, which is twice as high as in the Eurozone. Russia is expected to remain below its grwoth potential in the mid-term but can surprise on the upside if structural reforms are implemented and the sentiment among investors improve.

Domestic consumption: the engine the growth in the region is the domestic consumption which in turn is driven by the continued increasing disposable income in the region. Our target sectors are therefore Retail, Consumer goods, Financials and Real Estate.

Companies with strong outlook: we focus on companies with either stable cashflow, strong growth potential or high potential for revaluation (special situations). By adding these types of investments, we build a balanced portfolio combining different types of drivers as well as different types of risks. We are primarily focusing on cash-flow and growth investments, and expect investments in the special situations category to decrease going forward.

Long term active investor: as a long term investor we are able to time our investments´and divestments based on what we assess to be the best timing and are less sensitive to short-term turbulence in the market. Our active investment style means that we have a value-added approach, where we focus on adding competence and know-how to the companies we invest in.

 

East Capital Explorer currently focuses on Private Equity, and Real Estate in the Baltics. The Investment Manager believes that these areas currently offer the most attractive investment opportunities. The Private Equity portfolio primarily aims at non-cyclical, consumer-oriented companies with high growth potential that can benefit from the economic growth and growing income levels in our region. The portfolio has grown larger in recent years, and primarily consists of investments in the Baltics countries and, on a more selective basis, Russia. The Baltic real estate market has recovered well since the financial crisis in 2008 and currently offers attractive investment opportunities in properties with strong cash flows and sustainable rental terms. The listed portfolio creates a liquid exposure to assets with high return potential, with the intention to be used as a financing source for further investments in Private Equity and Real Estate.

The sustainability perspective comprises an integrated part of the investment process. Investments are an important contributor to growth and innovation in Eastern Europe, but with investments come influence and responsibility. We believe that a responsible and respectful approach to doing business is vital to the long-term success of any company.

We believe that companies that successfully understand and manage the risks and opportunities related to environmental, social and governance issues (commonly referred to as ESG-factors) will be better positioned to enhance the long term value of their business. A number of ESG-tools constitute, therefore, a natural part of our investment process in addressing these issues.

East Capital Explorer's primarily undertakes investments in private equity, real estate and mispriced listed assets in Eastern Europe. The Company invests in Private Equity, Real Estate and Public Equity across mainly the Baltics, Russia and the Balkans. East Capital Explorer’s main investment theme is domestic growth and the company targets companies in fast growing sectors such as Retail and Consumer goods, Financials and Real Estate. With East Capital Explorer listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, the share offers unique and easy access to a liquid exposure to a unique investment portfolio of unlisted and listed companies in Eastern Europe.

The number of shares outstanding in East Capital Explorer on 31 December 2014 was 29,943,260. The Company did not hold any own shares.

Benchmarks measure, by definition, the performance of assets traded on stock exchanges. Benchmarks represent primarily larger and liquid companies. On the other hand, East Capital Explorer primarily invests in smaller, more illiquid, companies which in many cases are not listed. A relative large part of the portfolio has been invested in completely unlisted companies (Private Equity) which implies that a fair assessment against a benchmark is difficult.

That is the reason why we often emphasise that the benchmarks used in our reporting are not completely relevant for purposes of comparison. However, it can be interesting for shareholders to have a view of how the listed stocks in the region are performing in the absence of more relevant benchmarks.

As of 30 June 2015, the number of shareholders in East Capital Explorer was 5,930.

The Board’s main task is to optimize the value for the shareholders.

The role of the Board (in brief) is to:

  • always act in the best interest of the shareholders
  • continuously have an insight into and discussion with the Investment Manager about the Company’s investments
  • monitor and evaluate the Investment Manager’s and the management’s work on a continuous basis
  • together with the CEO, develop the Company’s business
  • work actively to avoid conflicts of interests between East Capital Explorer and East Capital

Even if the ongoing investment activities are handled by the Investment Manager (East Capital), the Board of East Capital Explorer always determines the following, more significant matters:

  • decisions on investments constituting more than 15% of NAV at the time of the investment
  • direct investments (with no co-investment)
  • deviations to the Investment Policy, in agreement with the Investment Manager
  • investments implying a conflict of interest between East Capital Explorer and East Capital which is not already regulated by the Investment Policy

East Capital Explorer’s investment structure has been designed to avoid fee duplication, so that fees for fund investments are paid only on the underlying fund level, on the same terms as the fees paid by other fund investors.

The fee structure comprises a management fee (on average around 2%) and a performance fee (20%) which will be paid if the Investment Manager succeeds in creating a positive performance over a certain level.

A detailed summary of the fees the Company pays for its fund investments, as well as direct investments, can be found on pages 52-53 in the Annual Report.

Investing and managing assets in emerging markets requires extensive management resources as the transparency in Eastern Europe is significantly less advantageous than in the West, especially when it comes to smaller and unlisted companies on which East Capital Explorer is focusing. The East Capital investment team members travel extensively to make their own analyses.

The Company’s management and the Board of Directors continuously review the current fee structure to ensure that the fees are in line with market practice for this type of management agreement.

East Capital Explorer has a streamlined organization with only four employees to minimize the cost of running the Company.

East Capital Explorer’s strategy remains intact, based on the same four cornerstones as when the company was founded in 2007; growth in Eastern Europe, domestic consumption, companies with strong outlook and a long-term active ownership strategy. By combining high growth with strong cashflows East Capital Explorer creates a balanced portfolio with exposure to companies with a strong outlook. Our strategy is to invest in sectors and companies that have the most to gain from the long-term trends in our investment universe, such as EU convergence and the catch-up process.

Strong domestic demand is a key driver for growth in Eastern Europe and this is our main investment theme. We target fast growing sectors such as retail, consumer goods, financials and real estate.

The investment portfolio is actively managed to create long-term value for our shareholders. All investments are considered carefully from a risk-reward perspective. Risks are managed on the basis of a number of methods and tools, among others, through emphasis on corporate governance, including material and relevant environmental and social factors. Active ownership also involves board representation and close relations with the companies in which we invest. Long-term capital allows us to invest throughout the economic cycle.