VPC and Ranger funds see dividends tick up, but remain below target

By Daniel Lanyon on Thursday 1 March 2018

Alternative Lending

The two funds have been under pressure over the past year to close their discounts and boost income pay-outs.

The £219m Ranger Direct Lending and £337m VPC Specialty Lending investment trusts have announced their latest quarterly dividends with both portfolios showing an uptick since their last pay-outs.

The two funds have beset by similar periods of uncertainty over the past year or so that has seen the portfolios move to a discount to their net asset values (NAVs), at times well in to the double digits.

As income-focused funds much of this has been due expected lower dividends followed by actual cuts. VPC has been undergoing a transition – now complete – to balance sheet lending exposure instead of P2P lending while Ranger has been embroiled in legal proceedings and a platform failure that it has exposure to via another fund.

VPC has now declared an interim dividend of 1.8p per share for the three-month period to 31 December 2017, which is an increase from the 2017 Q1 and Q2 dividends of 1.50 and 1.70 pence per share, respectively and consistent with the Q3 dividend of 1.8p per share.

Ranger meanwhile declared an interim dividend of 24.14p per share pence per ordinary share for Q4 2017. It’s previous dividend was 21.7p following a testing period for the fund.

While this shows some improvement for Ranger it is still lower than its Q2 pay out of 24.62 per share and Q1’s 26.93p. Back in 2016 it’s dividends were even higher – around 28p per share. 

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