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Graphite Enterprise Jumps on Asset Sales, Outlook: London Mover

Graphite Enterprise Trust Plc (GPE) rose to the highest since 1989 after the private-equity investment company reported selling more assets in the first half and said it would benefit from improving investor confidence.

The shares climbed 3.5 percent to 530 pence, the highest price in at least 24 years in London, taking the gain to 20 percent this year. The stock traded 22 percent below the company’s net asset value at July 31 of 682.3 pence a share.

Graphite made gains in the first half ended July 31 from the sale of Dominion Gas, and from Doughty Hanson & Co.’s disposal of cinema operator Vue Entertainment, the London-based investor said in a statement today.

“As the improved performance in the past six months suggests, a more favourable economic environment should prove to be very positive for the development of the portfolio,” Graphite said. “We do not believe that the impact of rising equity markets has yet been fully reflected in our portfolio.”

Outstanding investment commitments more than doubled in the period, said Graphite. It has more than 500 million pounds ($800 million) of assets, mainly invested in other private-equity funds. This month it agreed to invest 100 million pounds in a new Graphite Capital Management LLP fund.

Graphite Enterprise’s single largest underlying investment is in Micheldever Group, a U.K. tire retailer and distributor that accounts for 3.7 percent of its investment portfolio. Other investments that make up 3 percent or more of the portfolio are Algeco Scotsman, a U.S. supplier of modular buildings, and Ceva, a French manufacturer of animal health products.

Graphite has buy recommendations from two analysts who cover the investment company and share their reports with Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Lytle at dlytle@bloomberg.net

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