First Trust Advisors L.P. ("FTA") announced today that Delaware Investments Fund Advisers ("DIFA"), investment sub-advisor for Macquarie/First Trust Global Infrastructure/Utilities Dividend & Income Fund (NYSE: MFD) (the "Fund"), will release an update on the market and the Fund for financial professionals and investors. The update will be available Thursday, November 4, 2021, at 5:00 P.M. Eastern Time until 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on Saturday, December 4, 2021. To listen to the update, follow these instructions:
- Dial: 888-203-1112; International 719-457-0820; and Passcode #8161215. The update will be available from Thursday, November 4, 2021, at 5:00 P.M. Eastern Time until 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on Saturday, December 4, 2021.
The Fund is a diversified, closed-end management investment company that seeks a high level of current return consisting of dividends, interest and other similar income while attempting to preserve capital. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing predominantly in the securities of companies that are involved in the management, ownership and/or operation of infrastructure and utility assets and are expected to offer reasonably predictable income and attractive yields.
FTA is a federally registered investment advisor and serves as the Fund's investment advisor. FTA and its affiliate First Trust Portfolios L.P. ("FTP"), a FINRA registered broker-dealer, are privately-held companies that provide a variety of investment services. FTA has collective assets under management or supervision of approximately $207 billion as of September 30, 2021 through unit investment trusts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, mutual funds and separate managed accounts. FTA is the supervisor of the First Trust unit investment trusts, while FTP is the sponsor. FTP is also a distributor of mutual fund shares and exchange-traded fund creation units. FTA and FTP are based in Wheaton, Illinois.
DIFA operates within Macquarie Asset Management ("MAM"). MAM is a large scale, global asset manager, providing clients with access to a diverse range of capabilities and products across infrastructure, real estate, natural resources, private credit, fixed income, equities, multi-asset and liquid alternatives. The Fund's Core Component, which consists primarily of equity securities and equity-like securities issued by infrastructure issuers, is managed by the Global Listed Infrastructure team, which started operations in 2004 and manages approximately $2.3 billion in assets as of September 30, 2021. The Fund's Senior Loan Component continues to be managed by Adam Brown who joined MAM from Four Corners in 2008 and manages approximately $1 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2021.
Principal Risk Factors: Past performance is no assurance of future results. Investment return and market value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. There can be no assurance that the Fund's investment objectives will be achieved. The Fund may not be appropriate for all investors.
Securities held by a fund, as well as shares of a fund itself, are subject to market fluctuations caused by factors such as general economic conditions, political events, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of a fund could decline in value or underperform other investments as a result of the risk of loss associated with these market fluctuations. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on a fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. The outbreak of the respiratory disease designated as COVID-19 in December 2019 has caused significant volatility and declines in global financial markets, which have caused losses for investors. While the development of vaccines has slowed the spread of the virus and allowed for the resumption of "reasonably" normal business activity in the United States, many countries continue to impose lockdown measures in an attempt to slow the spread. Additionally, there is no guarantee that vaccines will be effective against emerging variants of the disease.
Each fund is subject to risks arising from various operational factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of a fund's service providers, counterparties or other third parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. Although the funds and the Advisor seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures, there is no way to completely protect against such risks.
The Fund principally invests in a global portfolio of infrastructure stocks in a range of currencies and senior secured loans. Accordingly, the Fund's NAV will fluctuate with changes in the value of the Fund's holdings. Investment in infrastructure and utilities issuers are subject to various risks including governmental regulations, high-interest costs associated with capital construction programs, costs associated with environmental regulation, the effects of economic slowdown and surplus capacity, competition from other providers of services and other factors. Investment in non-U.S. securities is subject to the risk of currency fluctuations and to economic and political risks associated with such foreign countries.
The Senior Loans in which the Fund invests are generally considered to be "high-yield securities". High-yield securities are subject to greater market fluctuations and risk of loss than securities with higher ratings. The Fund's portfolio is also subject to credit risk and interest rate risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that fixed-income securities will decline in value because of changes in market interest rates. Credit risk is the risk of nonpayment of scheduled contractual repayments whether interest and/or principal payments or payments for services and that the value of a security may decline as a result.
Use of leverage can result in additional risk and cost, and can magnify the effect of any losses. There can be no assurance as to what portion of the distributions paid to the Fund's common shareholders will consist of tax-advantaged qualified dividend income.
To the extent a fund invests in floating or variable rate obligations that use the London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") as a reference interest rate, it is subject to LIBOR Risk. The United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, will cease making LIBOR available as a reference rate over a phase-out period that will begin immediately after December 31, 2021. The unavailability or replacement of LIBOR may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain fund investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. Any potential effects of the transition away from LIBOR on the fund or on certain instruments in which the fund invests can be difficult to ascertain, and they may vary depending on a variety of factors, and they could result in losses to the fund.
As a result of the Fund's significant exposure to MLPs, a downturn in one or more industries within the energy sector, material declines in energy-related commodity prices, adverse political, legislative or regulatory developments or other events could have a larger impact on the Fund than on an investment company that does not invest significantly in the group of industries that are part of the energy sector. Certain risks inherent in investing in MLPs include: commodity pricing risk, commodity supply and demand risk, lack of diversification of and reliance on MLP customers and suppliers risk, commodity depletion and exploration risk, energy sector and energy utility industry regulatory risk, interest rate risk, risk of lack of acquisition or reinvestment opportunities for MLPs, risk of lacking of funding for MLPs, dependency on MLP affiliate risk, weather risk, catastrophe risk, terrorism and MLP market disruption risk, and technology risk.
Companies that own interstate pipelines are subject to regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with respect to the tariff rates that they may charge to their customers. In March 2018, FERC changed its tax allowance policy to no longer permit such companies to include in their cost of service an income tax allowance to the extent that their owners have an actual or potential tax liability on the income generated by them. This has had a negative impact on the performance of some energy companies affected by this decision.
Other factors which may reduce the amount of cash an MLP has available to pay its debt and equity holders include increased operating costs, maintenance capital expenditures, acquisition costs, expansion or construction costs and borrowing costs (including increased borrowing costs as a result of additional collateral requirements as a result of ratings downgrades by credit agencies).
The Fund is subject to certain risks specifically associated with investments in the securities of United Kingdom issuers. Investments in British issuers may subject the Fund to regulatory, political, currency, security, and economic risk specific to the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has one of the largest economies in Europe, and the United States and other European countries are substantial trading partners of the United Kingdom. As a result, the British economy may be impacted by changes to the economic health of the United States and other European countries. On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted via referendum to leave the European Union, an event commonly referred to as "Brexit." Brexit immediately led to significant market volatility around the world, as well as political, economic, and legal uncertainty. Approximately one year after the United Kingdom officially departed the European Union, the United Kingdom and the European Union reached a trade agreement that became effective on December 31, 2020. Under the terms of the trade deal, there will be no tariffs or quotas on the movement of goods between the United Kingdom and Europe. There can be no assurance that the new trade agreement will improve the instability in global financial markets caused by Brexit. At this time, it is difficult to predict what the longer term ramifications and political, economic, and legal implications will be as a result of Brexit, including the impact on the Fund's portfolio holdings. The negative impact on not only the United Kingdom and European economies, but the broader global economy, could be significant, potentially resulting in increased volatility and illiquidity and lower economic growth for companies that rely significantly on Europe for their business activities and revenues.
The senior loan market has seen a significant increase in loans with weaker lender protections including, but not limited to, limited financial maintenance covenants or, in some cases, no financial maintenance covenants (i.e., "covenant-lite loans") that would typically be included in a traditional loan agreement and general weakening of other restrictive covenants applicable to the borrower such as limitations on incurrence of additional debt, restrictions on payments of junior debt or restrictions on dividends and distributions. Weaker lender protections such as the absence of financial maintenance covenants in a loan agreement and the inclusion of "borrower-favorable" terms may impact recovery values and/or trading levels of senior loans in the future. The absence of financial maintenance covenants in a loan agreement generally means that the lender may not be able to declare a default if financial performance deteriorates. This may hinder the Fund's ability to reprice credit risk associated with a particular borrower and reduce the Fund's ability to restructure a problematic loan and mitigate potential loss. As a result, the Fund's exposure to losses on investments in senior loans may be increased, especially during a downturn in the credit cycle or changes in market or economic conditions.
The risks of investing in the Fund are spelled out in the shareholder reports and other regulatory filings.
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
The Fund’s daily closing New York Stock Exchange price and net asset value per share as well as other information can be found at www.ftportfolios.com or by calling 1-800-988-5891.
JEFF MARGOLIN — (630) 915-6784