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British Assets Trust beats benchmark in last quarter of 2009

4th February 2010 Print

British Assets Trust has outperformed its benchmark in the three months to 31 December 2009, posting a net asset value total return of 5.4% compared with the 4.9% return from a composite of 75% FTSE All-Share Index and 25% FTSE World ex UK Index.

The investment trust, managed by Julie Dent at F&C Investments in Edinburgh, saw its share price advance over the period, although its discount widened slightly from 10.4% to 11.7%.

British Assets Trust aims to produce capital growth and a rising income from a portfolio of UK and international shares. During the last financial year, it reorganised its overseas exposure into two segments, a global developed markets portfolio and a global emerging markets portfolio.

The trust holds many household names, its biggest holdings including BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone and Tesco. Just over 60% of the portfolio is currently invested in the UK, with 15% in the global developed portfolio, 10% in global emerging markets and 10% in corporate bonds.

Commenting on the outlook for markets, Dent said: "For now a slump back into recession is unlikely, inflation is likely to remain subdued and liquidity conditions remain favourable.

Emerging markets should continue to outperform as the investment case based on superior long-term growth prospects remains compelling."