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Volta Finance Limited - Net Asset Value as at 28 February 2021

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Volta Finance Limited (VTA / VTAS) – February 2021 monthly report

NOT FOR RELEASE, DISTRIBUTION OR PUBLICATION, IN WHOLE OR PART, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES

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Guernsey, 11 March 2021

AXA IM has published the Volta Finance Limited (the “Company” or “Volta Finance” or “Volta”) monthly report for February. The full report is attached to this release and will be available on Volta’s website shortly (www.voltafinance.com).

PERFORMANCE and PORTFOLIO ACTIVITY

Volta has continued to perform well with +1.0% in February, following +3.9% in January. This is despite headwinds in equity and public credit markets which were hesitating in front of growing uncertainty regarding the appropriate level for mid to long-term yields. As Volta is predominantly invested in floating rate instruments, the negative impact of rising long-term rates was largely avoided.

The monthly asset class performances** were: -0.7% for Bank Balance Sheet transactions, +1.5% for CLO equity tranches; +0.6% for CLO debt; +16.7% for Cash Corporate Credit deals (this bucket comprises funds that have a one-month delay in publishing their NAV); and 0.0% for ABS. The strong performance of the Cash Corporate Credit bucket reflects a sharp upwards revision to the valuation of illiquid and credit-sensitive positions in one US loan fund in which Volta has been invested since 2006. The main driver for this outperformance is the sharp monetary and fiscal stimuli currently in place in the US. However, the impact was not material for Volta as this bucket represents only 2% of Volta’s NAV.

In terms of fundamentals, in February, trailing-12-month defaults rates declined in loan markets (for the 4th consecutive month). As at the end of February default rates were 3.2% and 2.1% respectively for US and European loans, way below the 13% and 10% rates that were originally forecasted by rating agencies for Q1 2021 when trying to measure the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis back in Q2 2020. Defaults are expected to continue materializing in loan markets through 2021 and 2022 but at a pace (probably between 2 and 4%) that is manageable for CLOs and should not trigger any cash flow diversions from the CLO equity positions held by the company.

A major theme for Volta in 2021, will be the refinancing (where only the most senior debt tranches are called to be re-issued at lower spread) or reset (where all the debt tranches are called and re-issued and the deal is extended) of several CLO positions. When looking across all our CLO Equity positions (circa 65% of the assets including the CMV), roughly two-thirds of the related CLOs are good candidates for refi/reset. The resultant gain to the equity tranche and thus Volta could be substantial. We estimate that these operations may lead to extra capital payments that may represent 1.5 to 2% of Volta’s NAV per annum and the projected return of Volta’s overall portfolio may increase accordingly by 1 to 1.5% per annum. We are already working on one refi and one reset and we anticipate more to come along during the year.

In terms of cash flows, February is structurally a weak month for Volta. Interest and coupons received totaled the equivalent of €1.3m. On a 6-month rolling basis, Volta received the equivalent of €20.6m at the end of February (an increase of €0.2m since the end of January), representing a 16.1% annualised cash flow yield, based on the end February NAV. We expect overall cash flows to continue to increase in the coming months/quarters.

In February we purchased one US CLO equity position in the secondary market for a total of €1.9m. On average and under standard assumptions, the projected yield for this purchase was close to 14% (not including potential upside in case of refi/reset).

This combination of advantageous factors for our CLO Equity positions, which account now for a total of 65% of the NAV means that the outlook for 2021 and beyond is favorable for Volta.  We are still optimistic that the NAV can reach €7.50 per share in the medium term. This, combined with an estimated dividend close to 8% of NAV represents an attractive return stream, especially when considering the discount to NAV at which the shares are still trading.

As at the end of February 2021, Volta’s NAV was €256.1m or €7.00 per share.

The month-end cash position was €8.6m.

*It should be noted that approximately 10.3% of Volta’s GAV comprises investments for which the relevant NAVs as at the month-end date are normally available only after Volta’s NAV has already been published. Volta’s policy is to publish its NAV on as timely a basis as possible to provide shareholders with Volta’s appropriately up-to-date NAV information. Consequently, such investments are valued using the most recently available NAV for each fund or quoted price for such subordinated notes. The most recently available fund NAV or quoted price was for 9.1% as at 31 January 2021, 0.1% as at 31 December 2020 and 1.1% as at 30 September 2020.

** “performances” of asset classes are calculated as the Dietz-performance of the assets in each bucket, taking into account the Mark-to-Market of the assets at period ends, payments received from the assets over the period, and ignoring changes in cross-currency rates. Nevertheless, some residual currency effects could impact the aggregate value of the portfolio when aggregating each bucket.

CONTACTS

For the Investment Manager
AXA Investment Managers Paris
Serge Demay
serge.demay@axa-im.com

+33 (0) 1 44 45 84 47

Company Secretary and Administrator
BNP Paribas Securities Services S.C.A, Guernsey Branch
guernsey.bp2s.volta.cosec@bnpparibas.com
+44 (0) 1481 750 853

Corporate Broker
Cenkos Securities plc
Andrew Worne
Daniel Balabanoff
Will Talkington

+44 (0) 20 7397 8900

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ABOUT VOLTA FINANCE LIMITED

Volta Finance Limited is incorporated in Guernsey under The Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 (as amended) and listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the London Stock Exchange's Main Market for listed securities. Volta’s home member state for the purposes of the EU Transparency Directive is the Netherlands. As such, Volta is subject to regulation and supervision by the AFM, being the regulator for financial markets in the Netherlands.

Volta’s investment objectives are to preserve capital across the credit cycle and to provide a stable stream of income to its shareholders through dividends. Volta seeks to attain its investment objectives predominantly through diversified investments in structured finance assets. The assets that the Company may invest in either directly or indirectly include, but are not limited to: corporate credits; sovereign and quasi-sovereign debt; residential mortgage loans; and, automobile loans. The Company’s approach to investment is through vehicles and arrangements that essentially provide leveraged exposure to portfolios of such underlying assets. The Company has appointed AXA Investment Managers Paris an investment management company with a division specialised in structured credit, for the investment management of all its assets.

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ABOUT AXA INVESTMENT MANAGERS
AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is a multi-expert asset management company within the AXA Group, a global leader in financial protection and wealth management. AXA IM is one of the largest European-based asset managers with 753 investment professionals and €858 billion in assets under management as of the end of December 2020. 

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This press release is published by AXA Investment Managers Paris (“AXA IM”), in its capacity as alternative investment fund manager (within the meaning of Directive 2011/61/EU, the “AIFM Directive”) of Volta Finance Limited (the "Volta Finance") whose portfolio is managed by AXA IM.

This press release is for information only and does not constitute an invitation or inducement to acquire shares in Volta Finance. Its circulation may be prohibited in certain jurisdictions and no recipient may circulate copies of this document in breach of such limitations or restrictions. This document is not an offer for sale of the securities referred to herein in the United States or to persons who are “U.S. persons” for purposes of Regulation S under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or otherwise in circumstances where such offer would be restricted by applicable law. Such securities may not be sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration from the Securities Act. Volta Finance does not intend to register any portion of the offer of such securities in the United States or to conduct a public offering of such securities in the United States.

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This communication is only being distributed to and is only directed at (i) persons who are outside the United Kingdom or (ii) investment professionals falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the “Order”) or (iii) high net worth companies, and other persons to whom it may lawfully be communicated, falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order (all such persons together being referred to as “relevant persons”). The securities referred to herein are only available to, and any invitation, offer or agreement to subscribe, purchase or otherwise acquire such securities will be engaged in only with, relevant persons. Any person who is not a relevant person should not act or rely on this document or any of its contents. Past performance cannot be relied on as a guide to future performance.

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This press release contains statements that are, or may deemed to be, "forward-looking statements". These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms "believes", "anticipated", "expects", "intends", "is/are expected", "may", "will" or "should". They include the statements regarding the level of the dividend, the current market context and its impact on the long-term return of Volta Finance's investments. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Volta Finance's actual results, portfolio composition and performance may differ materially from the impression created by the forward-looking statements. AXA IM does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements.

Any target information is based on certain assumptions as to future events which may not prove to be realised. Due to the uncertainty surrounding these future events, the targets are not intended to be and should not be regarded as profits or earnings or any other type of forecasts. There can be no assurance that any of these targets will be achieved. In addition, no assurance can be given that the investment objective will be achieved.

The figures provided that relate to past months or years and past performance cannot be relied on as a guide to future performance or construed as a reliable indicator as to future performance. Throughout this review, the citation of specific trades or strategies is intended to illustrate some of the investment methodologies and philosophies of Volta Finance, as implemented by AXA IM. The historical success or AXA IM’s belief in the future success, of any of these trades or strategies is not indicative of, and has no bearing on, future results.

The valuation of financial assets can vary significantly from the prices that the AXA IM could obtain if it sought to liquidate the positions on behalf of the Volta Finance due to market conditions and general economic environment. Such valuations do not constitute a fairness or similar opinion and should not be regarded as such.

 Editor: AXA INVESTMENT MANAGERS PARIS, a company incorporated under the laws of France, having its registered office located at Tour Majunga, 6, Place de la Pyramide - 92800 Puteaux. AXA IMP is authorized by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers under registration number GP92008 as an alternative investment fund manager within the meaning of the AIFM Directive.

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