article 06-30-2014

Royce International Micro-Cap Fund Manager Commentary

We were very pleased with the relative and absolute performance from Royce International Micro-Cap Fund in the first half of 2014. The Fund climbed 7.9% for the year-to-date period ended June 30, 2014, beating its benchmark, the Russell Global ex-U.S. Small Cap Index, which returned 7.5% for the same period.

Whereas in the first quarter of 2013 domestic small-cap indexes generally outpaced their non-U.S. peers, the first quarter of 2014 saw signs of a reversal of leadership and the start of a strong comeback for many non-U.S. small-caps. In the first quarter of 2014, the Fund posted an impressive 3.0% gain, just shy of its benchmark’s 3.2% gain. The Fund’s exposure to holdings in Hong Kong—which, like most Asian markets in the first quarter, struggled to keep pace with their Western peers—was a significant detractor to firstquarter performance. Holdings in Japan, as well as Brazil, also hurt performance.

While European markets pulled back, many parts of Asia made a recovery in the second quarter. Holdings in Japan, India, and South Korea also made significant contributions to second-quarter performance. During this period, International Micro-Cap rose 4.7% versus a gain of 4.2% for the Russell Global ex-U.S. Small Cap. The Fund also outperformed the index in the one-year period ended June 30, 2014.

Six of the Fund’s eight equity sectors were positive contributors to first-half performance. Industrials made the largest impact by a wide margin, with Information Technology and Materials also making sizable impacts. Detracting from performance at the sector level were Consumer Discretionary and Financials. At the industry level, machinery, semiconductors & semiconductor equipment, and software were top contributors to performance, while media detracted. Pico Far East Holdings is a Hong Kong-based business that makes displays for companies presenting at conventions. We like that major global brands such as Mercedes Benz, Lexus, and Citibank trust the company to build signs and displays that accurately portray their brand images. The slowdown in China’s economy hurt Pico Far East’s business, but management keeps a close eye on costs and focuses on the long term. We increased our stake in January.

Anxin-China Holdings is a Hong Kong-based provider of safety monitoring hardware and software. The stock declined throughout the first half, the fall driven largely due to a slowdown in the number of government projects being awarded as a result of a nationwide corruption probe. Brazil’s stock market suffered through a miserable first half, which helped two holdings earn spots on RMI’s list of detractors. Brasil Brokers Participacoes is one of the country’s two leading real estate brokerages. Its business has been hurt by poor consumer sentiment (the worst since 2008) and possibly some modest erosion in market share. We built our stake during the first half while initially choosing to part ways with another, similarly named Brazilian company Brasil Insurance Participacoes e Administracao, which operates insurance brokerages. In July, we re-evaluated the situation and reinitiated a position. The nosedive in its share price in the spring created greater losses than we were prepared to accept.

Top holding and largest contributor to year-to-date performance Magellan Aerospace is an Ontario-based company that serves the civil aerospace and defense market. We like the business’s unlevered balance sheet and that management runs the business with a long-term focus similar to our own. The company’s share price was basically flat going into the second quarter, dipping briefly in mid-March before the stock gradually ascended. This seemed to be the result of management executing effectively and the market beginning to take more notice of the business. We started reducing our position in April. Australia-based TFS Corporation owns and manages sustainable sandalwood plantations. We first bought shares three years ago when negative news surrounded the company’s management. During these hard times the CEO was buying shares, which helped to bolster our confidence in what we thought was a good business. In late February the stock significantly climbed after the announcement of an exclusive long-term supply agreement with a global pharmaceutical company that wanted to use sandalwood for dermatology treatments. RIB Software makes specialized software for the construction industry. Based in Stuttgart, the company enjoyed a more or less steadily rising share price during the first half, driven in large part by the announcement in March of strong revenue growth in fiscal 2013. We began to sell our shares in January.


GOOD IDEAS THAT WORKED
Top Contributors to Performance
Year-to-Date through 6/30/14
1

Magellan Aerospace 1.01
TFS Corporation 0.68
RIB Software 0.64
CB Industrial Product Holding 0.42
Obara Group 0.42
1 Includes dividends

GOOD IDEAS AT THE TIME
Top Detractors from Performance
Year-to-Date through 6/30/14
1

Pico Far East Holdings -0.58
Anxin-China Holdings -0.42
Brasil Brokers Participacoes -0.38
Brasil Insurance Participacoes e Administracao -0.31
EPS Corporation -0.30
1 Net of dividends

Average Annual Total Returns as of Quarter-End 6/30/14 (%)

  QTR YTD 1YR 3YR SINCE
INCEPTION
INCEPTION
DATE
 
International Micro-Cap 4.74 7.87 28.90 4.00 3.92 12/31/2010
Russell Glo x US SC 4.20 7.54 23.86 6.52 5.81 N/A
Please swipe to view the complete data

Annual Operating Expenses: Gross 3.88% Net 1.71%

Current month-end performance may be obtained from our Prices and Performance page.

Important Disclosure Information

All performance information in this Report reflects past performance, is presented on a total return basis, reflects the reinvestment of distributions, and does not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on fund distributions or the redemption of fund shares. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate, so that shares may be worth more or less than their original cost when redeemed. Shares redeemed within 180 days of purchase may be subject to a 2% redemption fee payable to the Fund, which is not reflected in the performance shown above; if it were, performance would be lower. Current month-end performance may be higher or lower than performance quoted and may be obtained here. Gross operating expenses reflect total gross annual operating expenses and include management fees, 12b-1 distribution and service fees, other expenses, and acquired fund fees and expenses. Net operating expenses reflect contractual fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements. All expense information is reported as of the Fund’s most current prospectus. Royce & Associates has contractually agreed to waive its fees and/or reimburse operating expenses, to the extent necessary to maintain the Fund’s net annual operating expenses, (excluding brokerage commissions, taxes, interest, litigation expenses, acquired fund fees and expenses, and other expenses not borne in the ordinary course of business), at or below 1.69% through April 30, 2015 and at or below 1.99% though April 30, 2024. Acquired fund fees and expenses reflect the estimated amount of the fees and expenses incurred indirectly by the Fund through its investments in mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds, and other investment companies. Regarding the two “Good Ideas” tables shown above, the sum of all contributors to, and all detractors from, performance for all securities in the portfolio would approximate the Fund’s year-to-date performance for 2014.

The thoughts expressed in this piece concerning recent market movements and future prospects for small company stocks are solely the opinion of Royce at June 30, 2014, and, of course, historical market trends are not necessarily indicative of future market movements. Statements regarding the future prospects for particular securities held in the Funds' portfolios and Royce's investment intentions with respect to those securities reflect Royce's opinions as of June 30, 2014 and are subject to change at any time without notice. There can be no assurance that securities mentioned above will be included in any Royce-managed portfolio in the future.

This material is not authorized for distribution unless preceded or accompanied by a current prospectus. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money. The Fund invests primarily in micro-cap stocks, which may involve considerably more risk than investing in larger-cap stocks The Fund may invest a significant portion of its assets in foreign companies which may be subject to different risks than investments in securities of U.S. companies, including adverse political, social, economic, or other developments that are unique to a particular country or region. (Please see "Investing in Foreign Securities" in the prospectus.) Therefore, the prices of the securities of foreign companies in particular countries or regions may, at times, move in a different direction than those of the securities of U.S. companies. (Please see "Primary Risks for Fund Investors" in the prospectus.) The Fund’s broadly diversified portfolio does not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss. Russell Investment Group is the source and owner of the trademarks, service marks, and copyrights related to the Russell Indexes. Russell® is a trademark of Russell Investment Group. The Russell Global ex-U.S. Small Cap Index is an unmanaged, capitalization-weighted index of global small-cap stocks, excluding the United States. Index returns include net reinvested dividends and/or interest income. The performance of an index does not represent exactly any particular investment, as you cannot invest directly in an index.

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