Three bargains we’ve found in London’s chaotic junior market

Our second buy today is Impax Asset Management, whose shares have halved over the past year and have lost 63pc since a peak in December.

Impax, which manages the Impax Environmental Markets investment trust, a Questor pick, stands out from other asset managers as a pioneer in ethical investing, on which it focused long before it became fashionable.

“Its assets under management have gone from zero to £34.5bn,” Boxall says. “It has a great reputation and is very efficient – the amount of money managed per person is much higher than at rival companies.”

It has had long-term support from BNP Paribas, the French bank, which has a 13.8pc stake, and runs funds on its behalf. Ian Simm, the founder and chief executive, owns 7.2pc of the shares, which reassures this column that the company will be run in a prudent way focused on the long term.

“In a sell-off investment managers are always right at the heart of it,” Boxall adds. This is because a fall in the market reduces the amount of money they manage, which in turn hits their revenues because they are a percentage of the amount managed.

“Its shares still trade at a premium to those of rival fund managers but I would say it’s a better business. It’s a good performer in its niche,” he says.

The fall in its share price has pushed its yield to 3.7pc, so Impax has, rather unexpectedly, almost become a yield stock.

The third business we will add to our Inheritance Tax Portfolio today is Inspecs, the eyewear specialist. Questor tipped it two years ago for the wider readership but then sold in March to cement a 72pc gain. However, the shares have fallen by 30pc since then so are worth another look.

Robin Totterman, the chief executive, has done just that: he has spent £200,000 on shares in the company in the past two weeks or so and he and people connected with him now own 18.4pc of the business.

It’s also reassuring to see Lord MacLaurin, the former chairman of Tesco, on the board. Boxall says: “We know of only one listed competitor, an Italian company, in the lenses market.”

Questor says: buy

Tickers: BREE, IPX, SPEC

Share prices at close: 64.4p, 550p, 234p

Updates: Jet2, Gamma Communications

These two existing holdings in our IHT Portfolio have not escaped the pain experienced by the junior market: shares in Jet2, the airline, have fallen by 27.1pc over the past year and those in Gamma Communications by 46.9pc. Both remain in the black relative to our purchase prices, however.

Boxall says Jet2 “has done better than others – its customers like it and it has heaps of cash”, while Gamma Communications is “a fabulous business that trades on 15 times reliable earnings and has net cash”. Both are holds.

Questor says: hold

Tickers: JET2, GAMA

Share prices at close: 823.2p, £10.78

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