What does Baker Steel do?
Baker Steel Resources Trust Ltd (LON:BSRT) invests in mining and commodity assets worldwide. The company has particular experience and a track record of success in investing in Russia and the Former Soviet Union.
How it's doing
The coronavirus temporarily knocked the Baker Steel Resources Trust Limited share price sideways in the early part of 2020, but most of the lost ground has been made up and the shares are once more hitting five-year highs.
The net asset value per share rang in at 75.5p as at 31 July 2020, down by just over 2% on the June number, as the impact of strength in the price of sterling offset upward moves in precious metals prices.
Sterling rose over 6% against the US dollar during the period. However, the effect of strong precious metals prices was felt, and there were strong rises in the listed precious metals portion of the portfolio which rose approximately 28% during the month.
The Company’s top investments as a percentage of NAV at 31 July 2020 were Bilboes Gold Ltd, Futura Resources Ltd, Polar Acquisition Ltd, Cemos Group PLC, Tungsten West Ltd, Anglo Saxony Mining Ltd, Azarga Metals Corp, Nussir ASA, Mines & Metals Trading Peru PLC, Black Pearl Ltd Partnership, Sarmin Minerals Exploration, and PRISM Diversified.
The company also held 1.6% of its portfolio in cash and accruals.
Baker Steel also highlighted record monthly sales of cement by Cemos Group. Cemos is targeting 200,000 tonnes in cement sales and approximately €25mln in revenue for 2020, an increase of more than 60% over 2019.
Baker Steel takes a longer-term view on commodity prices.
For instance, the company has some exposure to copper through its investment in Nussir, which is moving forward with a definitive feasibility study on its Nussir/Ulveryggen copper project in Norway, and sentiment towards the metal might take a short-term hit from the wrangling between the US and China.
“In the case of copper, we feel that the medium to longer-term fundamentals are really excellent with the demand and prospects from electric vehicles. I think that’s actually the more important driver than potentially the tariffs,” director Trevor Steel opined.
About half of the company’s current portfolio is currently in precious metals but this is largely a by-product of the company’s successful investment in the Prognoz asset.
Steel clearly likes the battery metals but it steers clear of what he calls “the more esoteric metals” that are not traded on an exchange; geographically, it also steers clear of projected in “risky countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo”, so do not expect to see the trust taking a punt on cobalt any time soon.