F & C Investments

F&C Global Smaller Companies

  • Aiming for attractive long-term returns with low volatility

  • How to Invest

    Open an F&C Savings Plan

    Call: 0800 136 420

    Invest online now

    Or contact your usual investment broker

  • Performance

    The F&C Global Smaller Companies trust aims to deliver a high total return, with a focus on capital growth. By investing a global spread of shares, the fund manager seeks to reduce the higher levels of volatility associated with smaller companies. Over five years, the trust has outperformed its benchmark (30% Numis UK Smaller Companies (ex investment companies) Index / 70% MSCI all country World ex UK Small Cap Index.

    What is Net Asset Value (NAV)?

    Each investment trust calculates the net asset value of a share by adding up the value of all the securities owned by the trust divided by the number of outstanding shares. The NAV can be viewed as the amount of money investors would receive per share if all of the securities owned by a trust were sold and distributed to the shareholders.

    Share price

    The share price of the Trust is determined by demand and supply in the stock market and does not always reflect the underlying value of the share portfolio.

  • Fund manager commentary

    Equity markets delivered mixed performances in March. Sentiment in the US was undermined by the failure of the Trump administration to get its healthcare reform bill passed, and small cap shares which had been very strong post the election, underperformed. There was also some weakness in the Japanese equity market with the strength of the yen impacting upon internationally orientated stocks, but small caps in most other markets continued to rise. Economic data releases continue to indicate that the Continental European economy is on an improving trend and small cap shares here were lifted by a better trend to corporate earnings revisions. Asian markets were also mainly up, with fears around US trade policy dissipating. The triggering of Article 50 by the UK government to formalise the exit from the EU failed to impact the markets significantly, and sterling was actually up a little over the month versus the US dollar. The Net Asset Value was up by just less than the benchmark, although the share price beat both, moving to a slightly wider premium.

    Stock selection was positive in the UK during March with a number of our holdings responding well to corporate newsflow. TLA Worldwide rose as it announced that it would be organising additional sporting events in the coming year, while in the construction area, both Polypipe and Tyman Group were up on the back of solid full year results. Treatt, the flavour and fragrance ingredients supplier raised its earnings guidance again on the back of positive sales momentum, while CLS Holdings year end NAV came in well above earlier expectations. Less positively, Go Ahead Group fell back after a weak trading statement, with the company suffering from the ongoing woes in relation to its rail operations.

    The US portfolio underperformed the Russell 2000 index, with car parts supplier LKQ falling as the company announced the upcoming retirement of its CEO. Carrizo Oil and Gas was weak as the oil price fell back, while insurer Alleghany dropped as investors took some profits following the strong start to 2016 for the shares. More encouragingly, recent purchase Murphy USA, which owns and operates petrol stations and convenience stores, benefited from political resistance to proposed changes in biofuel regulations.

    In Europe, our performance was close to the local small cap index return. We were helped by a strong rise in the shares of our largest European holding, flooring business Forbo, which was driven by good results, a better than expected dividend pay-out and confirmation that the company would be doing a share buyback. Cyclical stocks Interpump and SAF Holland rose, as sentiment towards general economic conditions remained supportive. A number of our Italian based holdings benefited from the introduction of tax-exempt savings plans in the country. Weaker performers included Norwegian based Sparebank which gave up some recent gains and Irish financials stock IFG Group, where increased costs on the platform side of the business and lower interest income is serving to hold back profitability.

    On the funds side, our Japanese portfolio outperformed with the Aberdeen managed small cap fund holding up better than the weak local market. Of our Asian facing funds, the best performance came from the Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust but gains were fairly evenly spread across our other holdings.

    During the month, we put more money into the European and Japanese markets, taking some cash out of US stocks. Earnings momentum, as mentioned above, appears to be improving in Europe, although there are still risks on the political front with the imminent French elections. Japanese earnings data has also been more encouraging of late, and valuations look less stretched overall compared to those on the US market.

    As at 31 March 2017



     Global Smaller Companies - performance chart

     Source: Lipper and F&C. Basis: share price, 31.03.2017

    Performance (%) as at 31.03.2017

    Cumulative performance  1 month Year to date 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years
    NAV (diluted) 0.9 3.4 27.5 50.9 118.2
     Share price 1.7 3.6 31.0 53.6 117.9
     Benchmark 1.1 5.1 31.7 47.7 104.4
    Discrete annual performance  2017/2016 2016/2015 2015/2014 2014/2013 2013/2012
     NAV (diluted) 27.5 3.1 14.8 12.8 28.2
    Share price 31.0 -0.3 17.7 11.1 27.7
     Benchmark 31.7 0.1 12.1 14.4 21.0


    Source: Lipper and F&C. Basis: Percentage growth, total return, bid to bid price with net income reinvested in sterling. Basis in accordance with the regulations of the Financial Conduct Authority. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Values may fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the full amount invested. Income from investments may fluctuate. Income payments may constitute a return of capital in whole or in part. Income may be achieved by foregoing future capital growth. Changes in rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of investments.


  • Share price


    25 April 2017

  • Peter Ewins

    Peter Ewins

    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.