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Delaware Macquarie Global Infrastructure Fund Quarterly commentary September 30, 2013 Class A (DMGAX)

Within the Fund

For the third quarter of 2013, Delaware Macquarie Global Infrastructure Fund (Class A shares at net asset value) advanced but underperformed its benchmark index, the S&P Global Infrastructure Index.

Among the positive factors that supported the Fund’s performance relative to the index were:

  • stock selection in marine ports and services
  • an overweight to the railroads sector
  • an overweight to the cable and satellite sector

The positive factors above were offset by negative factors that included:

  • an underweight to and stock selection in highways and railtracks
  • an underweight to and stock selection in the airport services sector
  • stock selection in the oil and gas storage and transportation sector

Additional notes on the Fund’s performance from a sector perspective follow. Unless otherwise indicated, companies mentioned below were held by the Fund:

Investment review

For the quarter, the marine ports and services sector, led by Chinese stocks, outperformed. Cosco Pacific, Dalian Port, and China Merchants were all up strongly for the period. Cosco Pacific announced results in line with expectations and declared a special dividend. As for Dalian Port, its results were above market forecasts. While results for China Merchants Holdings International were also ahead of expectations, the main driver of share price was the approval of a free trade zone for Shanghai — which is expected to boost trade. In Germany, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik was up strongly toward the end of the quarter, after it traded lower earlier on concerns about potential further delays in the court decision on the River Elbe dredging dispute.

The railroads sector posted a strong return. In Australia, Asciano rallied after reporting solid results, with a dividend payout above expectations that boosted the market’s confidence in the company's management ability to deliver on its plans. It also announced a small acquisition that is expected to be accretive to earnings. West Japan Railway was also boosted by the positive market sentiment after the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2020 Olympic Games to Tokyo.

Additionally, the cable and satellite sector performed well. Intelsat, for instance, rallied on improved prospects for its next-generation high-throughput satellite constellation and continued its rally after announcing a second major capacity agreement, which will enable its client to deliver high-speed broadband services to airline passengers on the lucrative North Atlantic (intercontinental) route.

In the highways and railtracks sector, the Fund was hurt by underweighting Abertis Infraestructuras, which was up on a range of positive factors including an improved outlook for traffic in Spain, the ongoing successful execution of its planned divestment of its airports business, and delivering detailed guidance around its cost-efficiencies program. By contrast, the Fund benefited from overweighting Groupe Eurotunnel, which was up considerably following confirmation from both the United Kingdom and France that they would reject the European Commission’s proposal to reduce the tunnel’s access charges, as we expected.

In the airport services sector, the Fund was hurt by not owning stocks that outperformed, such as Japan Airport Terminal and Sydney Airport. By contrast, the Fund benefited from not owning two Mexican airports, Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) and Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, as well as its overweight to Aeroports de Paris (ADP), which advanced further following the announced sale of a 10% equity stake by the French government to Vinci and Crédit Agricole Assurances. The two firms paid almost a 10% premium over the June average trading price. Fraport and Flughafen Zuerich (Zurich Airport) continued to trade up on the back of the ADP news as well as positive traffic data.

Outlook

Global equity markets have posted five consecutive quarters of positive returns. The Reserve Bank of Australia noted “recent information is consistent with global growth running a bit below average this year, with reasonable prospects of a pick-up next year.” One of the concerns cited by the U.S. Federal Reserve was the tightening of financial conditions observed in recent months and the risk this may pose to ongoing economic recovery — a concern shared by most central banks as they work to maintain pro-growth macro policy settings.

We believe it is therefore likely that the Fed’s tapering of quantitative easing (QE) strategy will be very gradual and unlikely to commence until at least the current U.S. budget impasse and an increase in the debt ceiling are successfully concluded. Moreover, the major central banks are also very mindful of the need to minimize the risk of further unsettling capital outflows from those emerging market economies with large external imbalances.

Despite the events of the past quarter, there has been little change to our portfolio approach. We remain very cautious with respect to the electric utilities sector, where the fundamentals are unfavorable. We feel that utilities in Europe remain under pressure from weak fundamentals, notwithstanding the bounce in their stock prices in September. While the pipelines sector has lagged in recent months on QE tapering expectations, we retain a positive view on the sector, given what we view as the attractive, low-risk, organic growth opportunities arising from the generational change under way in the North American energy mix from nonconventional sources of oil and gas. The portfolio has selective exposures in several smaller sectors, such as social infrastructure and communications, where we see attractive stock-specific opportunities. We will continue to be selective, and seek what we view as attractively valued opportunities and will remain vigilant, as always, in applying our fundamental, valuation-oriented discipline.

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The views expressed represent the Manager's assessment of the Fund and market environment as of the date indicated, and should not be considered a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell any security, and should not be relied on as research or investment advice. Information is as of the date indicated and subject to change.

Document must be used in its entirety.

Performance

The performance quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance quoted.

Performance data current to the most recent month end may be obtained by calling 800 523-1918 or visiting delawareinvestments.com/performance.

Total returns may reflect waivers and/or expense reimbursements by the manager and/or distributor for some or all of the periods shown. Performance would have been lower without such waivers and reimbursements.

Average annual total return as of quarter-end (03/31/2014)
Current
quarter
YTD1 year3 year5 year10 yearLifetimeInception
date
Class A (NAV)4.82%4.82%13.24%8.22%n/an/a8.80%01/19/2010
Class A (at offer)-1.22%-1.22%6.77%6.11%n/an/a7.28%
Institutional Class shares4.88%4.88%13.63%8.50%n/an/a9.64%12/31/2009
S&P Global Infrastructure Index7.02%7.02%16.88%9.25%n/an/an/a

Returns for less than one year are not annualized.

Class A shares have a maximum up-front sales charge of 5.75% and are subject to an annual distribution fee.

Index performance returns do not reflect any management fees, transaction costs, or expenses. Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index.

The S&P Global Infrastructure Index (view)


Expense ratio
Class A (Gross)1.80%
Class A (Net)1.45%
Institutional Class shares (Gross)1.55%
Institutional Class shares (Net)1.20%

Net expense ratio reflects a contractual waiver of certain fees and/or expense reimbursements from March 28, 2014 to March 30, 2015. Please see the fee table in the Fund’s prospectus for more information.

Top 10 holdings as of 03/31/2014
Holdings are as of the date indicated and subject to change.
List excludes cash and cash equivalents.
Holding% of portfolio
Enbridge Inc.4.8%
Transurban Group4.7%
Southern Co.4.3%
National Grid PLC4.0%
TransCanada Corp.3.9%
Groupe Eurotunnel S.A.3.6%
GDF Suez3.6%
Atlantia SpA3.4%
China Merchants Holdings International Co. Ltd.3.2%
Sempra Energy3.0%
Total % Portfolio in Top 10 holdings38.5%

Institutional Class shares are only available to certain investors. See the prospectus for more information. 

All third-party marks cited are the property of their respective owners.

Carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risk factors, charges, and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Fund’s prospectus and its summary prospectus, which may be obtained by clicking the prospectus link located in the right-hand sidebar or calling 800 523-1918. Investors should read the prospectus and the summary prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

International investments entail risks not ordinarily associated with U.S. investments including fluctuation in currency values, differences in accounting principles, or economic or political instability in other nations.

Investing in emerging markets can be riskier than investing in established foreign markets due to increased volatility and lower trading volume.

Narrowly focused investments may exhibit higher volatility than investments in multiple industry sectors.

Investment strategies that hold securities issued by companies principally engaged in the infrastructure industry have greater exposure to the potential adverse economic, regulatory, political, and other changes affecting such entities.

“Nondiversified” funds may allocate more of their net assets to investments in single securities than “diversified” Funds. Resulting adverse effects may subject these Funds to greater risks and volatility.

REIT investments are subject to many of the risks associated with direct real estate ownership, including changes in economic conditions, credit risk, and interest rate fluctuations.

Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value