F & C Investments

European Assets Trust

  • Investing with real conviction

  • How to Invest

    Open an F&C Savings Plan

    Call: 0800 136 420

    Invest online now

    Or contact your usual investment broker

  • Key facts

    Europe is home to a wide range of small and medium sized companies - a diverse opportunity set that includes fast growing world-leaders, innovative niche specialists and high quality sustainable businesses. The portfolio contains what the manager believes to be the very best investment opportunities from across the region with a clear emphasis on well-managed, strong businesses whose real potential isn’t yet reflected in their share price. As well as the superior growth potential inherent in small and medium sized companies, the trust has historically offered an attractive income of 6%1 per annum.

    Highlights

    • Access an often overlooked asset class
    • Small and mid-cap focus
    • High conviction portfolio of 40-60 investment ideas

    Suitability for retail distribution

    The Company’s shares are excluded from the FCA's restrictions which apply to non-mainstream products as the Company's portfolio is wholly or predominantly made up of shares, debentures or government and public securities which are not themselves issued by other investment funds. The Company conducts its affairs so that its shares can be recommended by Financial Advisers to ordinary retail investors in accordance with the Financial Conduct Authority's rules relating to non-mainstream investment products and intends to continue to do so.

  • Fund manager commentary

    European equity markets and smaller companies in particular, had a strong finish to the year.  Economic news on the whole remains supportive despite the political upheaval continuing in the region as Italy’s Renzi resigned following the outcome of the referendum. Consumer confidence is rising whilst unemployment falls and PMIs remain in positive territory. Returns were further boosted by the continued recovery in the oil price as production cuts were announced by both OPEC and non-OPEC countries. Whilst the trust was behind a very strong benchmark, comparison versus peers is favourable.

    A number of holdings delivered double-digit returns during the month. Spanish free to air broadcaster Mediaset Espana saw its share price increase 15.8% on the basis of bid speculation from French operator Vivendi for their Italian counterpart and major shareholder. We hold the share due to its strong position in a duopolistic Spanish market where it stands to benefit from the continued recovery in the region and believe corporate buyers are likely also to recognise this potential.  Our financial holdings continued to deliver as the European Central Bank announced a reduction in its bond purchasing rate from April 2017 onwards and the yield curve steepened. Italian asset manager Azimut weathered the storm surrounding the referendum result to deliver a share price increase of 12.6% and Norwegian bank Sparebank added to its 97% return for the year by rising 8.5%.

    In terms of detractors, no shares within the portfolio suffered substantial declines in price but rather some of the higher quality names did not keep up with a value rally in the market. Holdings such as Forbo (+1.5%) and Glanbia (-0.7%) were the biggest detractors despite there being no newsflow related to them.

    Prior to the final quarter of 2016 the market had become increasingly polarised with obviously high quality, high returning stocks being attributed stellar valuations which were impossible to justify on a discounted cash flow basis and unfashionable areas trading at attractive prices. This disparity continued to unwind in December and we believe our portfolio is well positioned as rationality returns to the market.

    As at 31 December 2016

  • Fund facts
    Investment manager F&C Investment Business Limited
    Benchmark Euromoney Smaller European Companies (ex-UK) Index
    AIC2 sector European Smaller Companies
    Launch date 1972
    Total assets £353 million (as at 31.11.2016)
    ISIN NL0000226090
    SEDOL 322566
    Currency Euros
    Ticker Symbol EAT.L
    Key dates
    Annual general meeting 10 May 2016
    Shareholders' and Investors' Briefing 11 May 2016                                      
    Year end 31 December
    Dividend payment date(s) January, May and August
    Ex-dividend date(s) January, May and August

     

    1Calculated with reference to December 31 net asset value with dividend payments made in January, May and August of each year.

     2Association of Investment Companies

  • Share price

    1046.50p-8.50p

    24 January 2017

  • Sam Cosh

    Sam Cosh

    Fund Manager

Past performance is not a guide to future results. The value of investments can go down as well as up.

The shares of the Company are listed on the London Stock Exchange. Information in this section of the website concerning the Company is directed solely at persons who are located in the UK. Nothing on this website is, or is intended to be, an offer, advice, or an invitation, to buy or sell any investments. Potential investors must read our full terms and conditions before proceeding further with any investment product referred to on this website. The information on this website may not be suitable for everyone, and retail investors unsure whether an investment product referenced on this website will meet their individual needs should seek advice before proceeding further with such product.

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