BLACKROCK FRONTIERS INVESTMENT TRUST PLC: Portfolio Update

BLACKROCK FRONTIERS INVESTMENT TRUST PLC 
All information is at 31 December 2012 and unaudited. 
Performance at month end with net income reinvested 
                              One      Three      Six      One   Since 
                            month     months   months     year  launch*
Sterling:
Share price                      1.4%       2.2%    12.4%    15.8%  -14.6%
Net asset value                  2.2%       4.7%    14.2%    15.3%   -7.4%
MSCI Frontiers Index (NR)        0.6%       2.4%     6.8%     4.1%  -13.7%
MSCI EM Markets (NR)             3.4%       4.9%     9.8%    13.0%   -4.1%
US Dollars:
Net asset value                  3.7%       5.4%    18.4%    20.6%   -3.4%
MSCI Frontiers Index (NR)        2.1%       3.1%    10.7%     8.9%  -10.0%
MSCI EM Markets (NR)             4.9%       5.6%    13.8%    18.2%   -0.1% 
Sources: BlackRock and Standard & Poor's Micropal 
* 17 December 2010. 
At month end
US Dollar:
Net asset value - capital only:               139.84c
Net asset value - cum income:                 142.69c
Sterling:
Net asset value - capital only:                86.03p
Net asset value - cum income:                  87.78p
Share price:                                   82.50p
Total assets (including income):               £83.2m
Discount to cum income NAV:                      6.0%
Gearing:                                          nil
Net yield:                                       3.2%
Ordinary shares in issue:                  94,766,267 
Benchmark
Sector Analysis   Gross assets(%)*         Country Analysis  Gross assets(%)* 
Financials              29.6               Nigeria                    15.7
Consumer Staples        16.4               United Arab Emirates       11.1
Industrials             13.9               Qatar                      10.5
Telecommunication       12.4               Saudi Arabia                9.7
Energy                  10.4               Kazakhstan                  9.0
Consumer Discretionary   6.4               Vietnam                     5.4
Healthcare               5.8               Ukraine                     5.4
Materials                5.1               Panama                      4.6
Utilities                2.8               Bangladesh                  4.3
Technology               0.6               Argentina                   3.9 
                   -----               Iraq                        3.7
Total                  103.4               Croatia                     2.7 
                   -----               Pan Africa                  2.5
Short positions         -5.2               Algeria                     2.5 


                       =====               Kuwait                      2.4
                                           Cambodia                    2.3
                                           Kenya                       2.2
                                           Romania                     1.7
                                           Cameroon                    1.5
                                           Sri Lanka                   1.0
                                           Lebanon                     0.9    
                                           Slovenia                    0.4
                                                                     -----      
                                
                                                                     103.4
                                                                     =====
                                           Short positions            -5.2
                                                                     =====

*reflects gross market exposure from contracts for difference (CFDs)

Market Exposure
       29.02 31.03 30.04 31.05 30.06  31.07 31.08 30.09  31.10  30.11  31.12
        2012  2012  2012  2012  2012   2012  2012  2012   2012   2012   2012
           %     %     %     %     %      %     %     %      %      %      % 

Long   103.9  98.3 100.8  99.2  97.2  101.9  96.5  99.1  101.0  102.0  103.4
Short    5.2   3.0   2.1   0.0   2.6    2.6   2.5   2.6    4.2    4.9    5.2
Gross  109.1 101.3 102.9  99.2  99.8  104.5  99.0 101.7  105.2  106.9  108.6
Net     98.7  95.3  98.7  99.2  94.6   99.3  94.0  96.5   96.8   97.1   98.2



Ten Largest Equity Investments (in alphabetical order) 
Company                                   Country of Risk 
Air Arabia                                United Arab Emirates
FBN Holdings                              Nigeria
First Gulf Bank                           United Arab Emirates
Halyk Savings Bank                        Kazakhstan
Hrvatski Telekomunikacije                 Croatia
Kazmunaigas Exploration                   Kazakhstan
MHP                                       Ukraine
NMC Health                                United Arab Emirates
Qatar Electricity & Water                 Qatar
Zenith Bank                               Nigeria 
Commenting on the markets, Sam Vecht, representing the Investment Manager
noted: 
Market 
The MSCI Frontier Markets Index continued its rally into the year end, rising
2.1% and bringing returns for 2012 to 8.9% (on a US dollar basis with net
income reinvested).  The rally in Frontier Markets echoed the movements seen
across Global Equity markets. Performance was driven by strong inflows into
equities as the valuation differential between equities and bonds reached a
compelling level.  
Argentina was the best performing market in December, rising by 19%.  Following
an earlier US court decision which required the government to pay "holdout"
creditors, Argentina was able to win a stay on the ruling and so avert
immediate default.   The stock market rallied from very low levels as panic
amongst investors subsided somewhat.  State-controlled energy company, YPF, was
the best performing large cap stock, up by 28% as it announced partnerships
with Bridas and Chevron to develop its shale assets.  
Vietnam was a strong performer over the month, rising by 12%. During 2012 the
Vietnamese trade account swung to a surplus for the first time since 1992, as
weak domestic demand curtailed imports and the ramp up of foreign owned
production within Vietnam drove a robust increase in exports.  Whilst
significant economic problems remain, especially within the banking system, the
government has taken credible steps to address the issues and the rally in the
equity market, from a very low level, reflected this. 
Nigeria continued to perform well in December, up by 9%.  Although the Nigerian
equity market has rallied strongly in 2012, valuations continue to look
attractive within the context of Emerging Markets.  The inclusion of Nigerian
sovereign debt within the JP Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index has brought the
country to the attention of a wider investor base.  Since then, bond yields
have fallen by around 4% and had a knock on effect on the cost of equity and
hence driving up theoretical stock market valuations.   
Kuwait underperformed as the country's political stasis showed no sign of
abating, with opposition parties boycotting elections to the National Assembly.
The low turnout undermines the legitimacy of the recently elected parliament
and there is little sign that new legislation and reforms to improve
infrastructure can be enacted soon. 
Portfolio Performance 
In December, the BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust's NAV returned 3.7%,
outperforming the index by 1.6%. This brought the curtain down on a year in
which the Company returned 20.6% and outperformed the index by 11.7% (all
percentages in US dollar terms with net income reinvested). 
Performance over the month was driven by stock selection. The largest
individual contributor to performance was Romanian Media company, Central
European Media, which rose over 30% in December as risk appetite increased and
investors began to countenance a potential economic improvement across Europe
in 2013.  
UAE Healthcare provider, NMC Health performed strongly in December, rising by
12%, after the company announced that construction work had begun on a new
facility in the Khalifa district of Abu Dhabi. The hospital is due to be opened
in 2014. 
The Company also benefitted from holdings in Argentina, including energy
company YPF and financial Grupo Galicia. 
Detracting from performance over the month was the position in the Iraqi Energy
name, Gulf Keystone, as tensions increased between the Kurdistan Regional
Government and Baghdad and put into doubt the continuation of oil exports from
the north of the country. Despite this, exports have continued, paving the way
for much larger quantities to be exported over the coming months. 
Over the course of 2012, the Company generated significant performance across
all regions with Nigeria, Iraq, Panama and Bangladesh being standout markets. 
Individual stock contributions were driven by Nigerian financials, which
rallied from oversold positions as balance sheet stability was restored to the
sector.  Panamanian airline Copa Holdings was up by 78% over the year as the
company continued to report impressive results from its expanding South
American network and Kazakhstan financial, Halyk Bank, rose by 69% as trends in
non-performing loans reached an inflection point and the bank started to report
improved numbers.    
Portfolio Activity 
At the end of December, the Company held 55 long positions and 4 short
positions across 25 countries.  We would aim to reduce the number of positions
held over the next few months.  
The Company opened new positions in Bangladesh health care company, Square
Pharmaceuticals, the leading manufacturer of generic drugs in Bangladesh. 
Against this, the Team sold the position in the Bangladeshi Telecom Company,
Grameenphone. At an operating level, the company remains in good health.
However, increased competition means that earnings are likely to come under
pressure as it is forced to invest in price to maintain market share. 
Outlook 
2012 was a year of contrasts as investors swung from extremes of optimism and
pessimism about the state of world economic health.  Whilst the global economy
continues to oscillate around zero growth, the swing factor between data points
which are either slightly positive or negative is vastly larger than the data
points themselves, hence creating the culture of extreme mood swings that we
have seen.  In the second half of 2012, we did see a note-worthy recovery in
European financials, which have risen nearly 50% in US dollar terms from their 
July
lows suggests a further normalization in European financial risk.  The last few
months of the year saw the start of a shift from bonds to equities as the
extreme low levels of returns offered in the bond market compelled investors to
overcome their fears and increase exposure to the equity markets.  
We would expect this reversal of trend to continue in 2013 as investors search
for better returns on their savings.  We continue to highlight frontier
markets, one of the few remaining asset classes which offer investors
diversification.  With dedicated Frontier market funds totaling just $10bn
currently, we expect strong performance in 2013 as funds flow into these
markets.    
Given the fast growth, dynamic demographic profile, improving corporate
governance, low levels of indebtedness, cheap valuations and high dividend
yields, we believe that Frontier Markets represent a compelling opportunity for
long-term investors. History shows that buying inexpensive equities in fast
growing countries, with undervalued currencies, is a sensible strategy for
capital appreciation. 
16 January 2013 
ENDS 
Latest information is available by typing www.blackrock.co.uk/brfi on the
internet, "BLRKINDEX" on Reuters, "BLRK" on Bloomberg or "8800" on Topic 3 (ICV
terminal). Neither the contents of the Manager's website nor the contents of
any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Manager's website (or any other
website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement. 
END 
-0- Jan/16/2013 16:07 GMT
 
 
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