Macquarie/First Trust Global Infrastructure/Utilities Dividend & Income Fund Declares its Quarterly Distribution of $0.20 Per Share
Macquarie/First Trust Global Infrastructure/Utilities Dividend & Income Fund (the "Fund") (NYSE: MFD) has declared the Fund's regularly scheduled quarterly distribution of $0.20 per share. The distribution will be payable on February 29, 2024, to shareholders of record as of February 23, 2024. The ex-dividend date is expected to be February 22, 2024. The quarterly distribution information for the Fund appears below.
A portion of the distribution may be treated as paid from sources other than net investment income, including short-term capital gain, long-term capital gain and return of capital. The final determination of the source and tax status of all distributions paid in 2024 will be made after the end of 2024 and will be provided on Form 1099-DIV.
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.
First Trust Advisors L.P. ("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 $211 billion as of January 31, 2024 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.
Delaware Investments Fund Advisers ("DIFA") is the Fund's investment sub-advisor. 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 $2.4 billion in assets as of September 30, 2023. The Fund's Senior Loan Component continues to be managed by Adam Brown who joined MAM from Four Corners in 2008 and manages approximately $1.3 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2023.
Principal Risk Factors: Risks are inherent in all investing. Certain risks applicable to the Fund are identified below, which includes the risk that you could lose some or all of your investment in the Fund. The principal risks of investing in the Fund are spelled out in the Fund's annual shareholder reports. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor. The Fund also files reports, proxy statements and other information that is available for review.
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.
Market risk is the risk that a particular investment, or shares of a fund in general may fall in value. Investments held by the Fund are subject to market fluctuations caused by real or perceived adverse economic conditions, political events, regulatory factors 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. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, market manipulation, government defaults, government shutdowns, regulatory actions, political changes, diplomatic developments, the imposition of sanctions and other similar measures, spread of infectious disease or other public health issues, recessions, natural disasters or other events could have significant negative impact on a fund and its investments.
Current market conditions risk is the risk that a particular investment, or shares of the fund in general, may fall in value due to current market conditions. As a means to fight inflation, the Federal Reserve and certain foreign central banks have raised interest rates and expect to continue to do so, and the Federal Reserve has announced that it intends to reverse previously implemented quantitative easing. Recent and potential future bank failures could result in disruption to the broader banking industry or markets generally and reduce confidence in financial institutions and the economy as a whole, which may also heighten market volatility and reduce liquidity. Ongoing armed conflicts between Russia and Ukraine in Europe and among Israel, Hamas and other militant groups in the Middle East, have caused and could continue to cause significant market disruptions and volatility within the markets in Russia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. The hostilities and sanctions resulting from those hostilities have and could continue to have a significant impact on certain fund investments as well as fund performance and liquidity. The COVID-19 global pandemic, or any future public health crisis, and the ensuing policies enacted by governments and central banks have caused and may continue to cause significant volatility and uncertainty in global financial markets, negatively impacting global growth prospects.
The 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 fund 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. LIBOR has ceased to be made available as a reference rate and there is no assurance that any alternative reference rate, including the Secured Overnight Financing Rate ("SOFR"), will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR. 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 a fund or on certain instruments in which a fund invests is difficult to predict and 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. Political or economic disruptions in European countries, even in countries in which a fund is not invested, may adversely affect security values and thus the fund's holdings. A significant number of countries in Europe are member states in the European Union, and the member states no longer control their own monetary policies. In these member states, the authority to direct monetary policies, including money supply and official interest rates for the Euro, is exercised by the European Central Bank. The implications of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union are difficult to gauge and cannot yet be fully known.
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 report 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 https://www.ftportfolios.com or by calling 1-800-988-5891.
Source: Macquarie/First Trust Global Infrastructure/Utilities Dividend & Income Fund