BLACKROCK GREATER EUROPE INVESTMENT TRUST PLC: Portfolio Update

BLACKROCK GREATER EUROPE INVESTMENT TRUST plc
All information is at 30 June 2014 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)   -2.4%     -3.1%    11.5%    19.7%         197.1%
Net asset value* (diluted)     -2.0%     -1.5%    11.5%    23.5%         197.3%
Share price                    -4.0%     -3.8%    15.4%    25.3%         187.6%
FTSE World Europe ex UK        -2.3%      0.1%    16.4%    19.0%         139.3%
Sources: BlackRock and Datastream 
At month end
Net asset value (capital only):        245.17p
Net asset value (including income):    248.30p
Net asset value (capital only)*:       245.17p
Net asset value (including income)*:   248.25p
Share price:                           239.00p
Discount to NAV (including income):       3.7%
Discount to NAV (including income)*:      3.7%
Subscription share price:               19.50p
Net cash:                                 1.5%
Net yield**:                              2.5%
Total assets (including income):       £270.2m
Ordinary shares in issue***:       108,815,767
Subscription shares:                20,660,139 
* Diluted for subscription shares and treasury shares
** Based on a final dividend of 4.5p per share for the year ended 31 August
2013 (excluding special dividend) and an interim dividend of 1.5p per share for
the year ending 31 August 2014.
*** Excluding 5,429,676 shares held in treasury 
Sector Analysis   Total Assets (%)     Country Analysis   Total Assets (%) 
Financials                    29.3     France                         19.3
Industrials                   24.8     Switzerland                    16.7
Consumer Services             11.2     Germany                        12.1
Health Care                    9.9     Netherlands                     9.3
Consumer Goods                 8.3     Sweden                          7.4
Basic Materials                6.5     Italy                           6.4
Oil & Gas                      3.2     Denmark                         6.3
Technology                     3.2     Spain                           4.6
Utilities                      2.1     Russia                          3.3
Net current assets             1.5     Ireland                         2.9 


                             -----     Portugal                        2.6
                             100.0     Turkey                          2.6
                             =====     Belgium                         2.2
                                       Finland                         1.6
                                       Hungary                         1.2
                                       Net current assets              1.5
                                                                     -----
                                                                     100.0
                                                                     =====

Ten Largest Equity Investments (in alphabetical order)

Company
Adecco                      Switzerland
Bayer                       Germany
Compagnie de Saint          France
Continental                 Germany
Holcim                      Switzerland
Novo Nordisk                Denmark
Roche                       Switzerland
Schneider Electric          France
Unicredit                   Italy
Unilever                    Netherlands
 
Commenting on the markets, Vincent Devlin, representing the Investment Manager
noted:

During the month, the Company's NAV returned -2.4% and the share price returned
-4.0%. For reference, the FTSE World Europe ex UK Index returned -2.3% during
the same period.

European equities were down during June, with small caps continuing their
underperformance. On a country basis, Spain continued its outperformance of the
rest of the periphery (the IBEX posted a +1.5% gain); on a sector basis oil &
gas outperformed (with geopolitical risk in Iraq causing the oil price to
rise), with financials underperforming in spite of ECB policy announcements.
From a broad market perspective, the most significant development during June
was the ECB announcement of a range of stimulus measures designed to avoid
deflation and stimulate nominal growth in the Eurozone. These measures were
significant more in what they represented than their immediate impact: they
indicated that Draghi is able to instigate creative easing measures (including
Quantative Easing) and led to a (short lived) positive reaction in the market.

Sector allocation was the principal driver of underperformance during the
month. Specifically, an underweight position to the energy sector as the oil
price rose; the sector was also buoyed by investor appetite for sectors that
offer a higher dividend yield (oil & gas and utilities were, by far, the best
two performing sectors in the European market during June). Financials also
fared poorly, despite the supportive policy announcements at the ECB, and
accounted for the four largest stock detractors over the month.

Within financials, various positions based in both northern and southern Europe
underperformed as the sector fell, including KBC, Société Générale and
Unicredit. Positions in Hungarian OPT Bank, along with Turkish banks Garanti
Bankasi and Halk Bankasi, also hindered returns over the month. Holdings in
airline-related businesses Ryanair and Airbus also fell, with Ryanair falling
as investors became concerned about the impact of the rising oil price on their
cost base. We believe that the company is well equipped to deal with oil price
volatility and has a strong track record of capacity discipline during such
periods. The Company also lost ground due to not owning energy businesses Total
and ENI.

On a more positive note, a position in Novo Nordisk performed very well during
the month: a well-attended pharmaceutical conference revealed further potential
growth for their new long-lasting insulin treatment drug and potential to take
market share in another of their main products. Also in health care, Danish
hearing aid and headset business GN Store Nord benefited from strength in their
recent product launch. Within technology, ASML performed well after the
management team expressed confidence about the likelihood of success with their
next-generation product, EUV.

At the end of the month, the Company was positioned with higher weightings in
industrials, consumer services, financials and health care and with lower
weightings in consumer goods, oil & gas, basic materials, telecoms, utilities
and technology.

Outlook
Despite a sluggish start to the year, global economic growth is expected to be
positive for 2014 but there is a debate around momentum of that growth. The
sharp contraction of the US economy during the first quarter, political
tensions in the Ukraine and the slowdown in China have all delayed an expected
pick-up in activity. We expect a stronger performance by the US from Q2 onwards
and a slow recovery in the Eurozone during the second half of the year.
Monetary policies remain accommodative globally and increasingly so in China
where we expect small targeted stimuli in infrastructure to lead to a small
increase in momentum, although challenges in transitioning the economy remain.
The recent measures announced by the ECB are quite significant in our view and
should provide a boost in liquidity which should ultimately be positive for the
cost of debt notably in Southern Europe where business confidence, demand for
credit and capital expenditure intentions have been improving.  Whilst we do
not expect the developments to be rapid, we think that the situation could
potentially get better post the stress test and Asset Quality Review (AQR)
exercise are completed, after which banks will have more visibility on their
level of capitalisation.

European valuations have re-rated over the last year and look to be in-line
with their long term average. However, we think that earnings should recover
from here in-line with the improvements in industrial output. Consensus
earnings estimates have moderated since the beginning of the year in part due
to unfavourable currency movements, but they are beginning to inflect upwards
from a low base. European domestic earnings are now more realistic and have
scope to benefit from a domestic recovery. We maintain our projection of 8%
earnings growth this year in Europe.

15 July 2014
 
ENDS

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.

-0- Jul/15/2014 14:24 GMT


 
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