BLACKROCK GREATER EUROPE INVESTMENT TRUST PLC: Portfolio Update
BLACKROCK GREATER EUROPE INVESTMENT TRUST plc All information is at 31 July 2013 and unaudited.
Performance at month end with net income reinvested
One Three One Three Since launch
Month Months Year Years (20 Sep 04) Net asset value (Undiluted) 7.0% 6.8% 37.2% 48.4% 185.1% Net asset value (Diluted) 6.1% 5.9% 36.1% 47.2% 182.8% Share price 7.2% 4.8% 35.2% 49.2% 167.0% FTSE World Europe ex UK 7.7% 5.8% 36.0% 33.6% 121.4% Sources: BlackRock and DataStream
At month end Net asset value (capital only): 238.04p Net asset value (including income): 244.95p Net asset value (capital only)*: 237.15p Net asset value (including income)*: 242.84p Share price: 228.25p Discount to NAV (including income): 6.8% Discount to NAV (including income)*: 6.0% Subscription share price 18.25p Gearing: 6.34% Net yield: 1.8% Total assets (including income): £283.0m Ordinary shares in issue: 108,648,716** Subscription shares in issue 23,254,813
* Diluted for subscription shares. ** Excluding 5,718,353 shares held in treasury.
Benchmark Sector Analysis Total Assets (%) Index (%) Country Analysis Total Assets (%)
Financials 20.9 22.1 France 21.5 Consumer Goods 17.2 18.6 Switzerland 19.5 Health Care 14.5 12.1 Netherlands 15.2 Consumer Services 12.3 5.7 Germany 14.9 Industrials 12.1 13.9 Belgium 5.8 Technology 10.1 3.7 Sweden 5.5 Basic Materials 6.4 8.4 Russia 4.1 Telecommunications 3.5 4.1 Denmark 4.1 Oil & Gas 2.5 7.6 Ireland 3.5 Utilities - 3.8 Spain 2.1 Net current assets 0.5 - Portugal 0.9
----- ----- Finland 0.9
100.0 100.0 Hungary 0.8
===== ===== Ukraine 0.7
Net current assets 0.5
Ten Largest Equity Investments (in alphabetical order)
Company Anheuser Busch Belgium Bayer Germany Cie Financière Richemont Switzerland Continental Germany Novo Nordisk Denmark Reed Elsevier Netherlands Roche Switzerland Sanofi France Swiss Re Switzerland Zurich Insurance Switzerland
Commenting on the markets, Vincent Devlin, representing the Investment Manager noted:
During the month, the Company's NAV gained 7.0% and the share price rose by 7.2%. For reference, the FTSE World Europe ex UK Index increased by 7.7% during the same period.
Following June's market correction, European stocks bounced back in July to register a strong gain, outperforming most other asset classes globally for the month. Domestically-focused areas of the market outperformed as macroeconomic indicators for Europe signalled a pick-up in economic momentum on the industrial and services front. This led investors to search for investment opportunities in companies exposed to domestic Europe. Peripheral European equity markets led the way and Italy (MIB) and Spain (IBEX) both posted +8% gains for the month.
Stock selection was the primary cause of the Company's underperformance when compared with the broad index. The fact that the Company did not own selected banks, including Santander in Spain and BNP Paribas in France, harmed relative returns and a position in OTP bank also fell during the month. In addition, positions in the consumer services sector detracted from returns, especially Ryanair, which suffered from profit taking despite its strong operating performance.
With regard to the Company's sector allocation, the Company's higher weighting in consumer services and lower weighting in utilities both benefited returns, but a higher weighting in health care proved especially challenging as the sector significantly lagged the benchmark.
At the end of the month, the Company had higher weightings (when compared with the broad market index) in consumer services, technology and health care, and lower weightings in basic materials, telecoms, consumer goods, financials, oil & gas, industrials and utilities. At the end of July, the Company was geared by 6.34%.
Outlook In July, the Eurozone Purchasing Manager Index (a measure of business confidence) came in above 50 for the first time in two years. Both the manufacturing and services elements showed notable improvement, providing further encouraging evidence that the Eurozone economy is no longer contracting. In addition, the European Central Bank and Bank of England changed their communication policies, moving to provide forward guidance on the direction of rates, which was well received by the markets.
Supportive monetary policies, recovering economic momentum and a relatively stable political backdrop, notwithstanding some uncertainty ahead of the German elections in September, provides a reassuring environment for European equities, and is consistent with our thesis that the Eurozone should continue to improve for the rest of the year and into 2014. We expect that the European Equity asset class will continue to be supported by ongoing shifts in investor allocation towards Europe as more supportive evidence of an improving macroeconomic picture emerges.
13 August 2013
Latest information is available by typing www.brgeplc.co.uk 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.
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