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Best and worst performing investment trusts in 2012

We look at a half-year review of the investment trust sector to see where the best and worst returns were to be found in the first six months of the year.

 
Best and worst performing investment trusts in 2012

Investment trusts enjoyed a good first half of the year raising more money than a year ago and demonstrating some good returns, according to Numis Securities.

In a half-year review the broker says that in the six months to the end of June the FTSE Investment Companies index returned 4.7%, beating the FTSE All Share index return of 3.3%. 

A total of £1.9 billion of new money was raised, up from £1.4 billion in the same period last year. Over a quarter - £500 million - was raised by infrastructure trusts offering high, sustainable yields to income starved investors. 

Trusts in the UK Growth & Income and UK Smaller sectors were the strongest performing sectors, while the North America, Japan and Emerging Markets sectors underperformed and hedge funds came under pressure, with Absolute Return and TR Hedge+ trusts both announcing plans to return capital to shareholders. 

Best trust performers in the first half of 2012

Fund Sector % share price return in £ Market cap (£m) % discount (-) or premium
Biotech Growth Trust Biotech 44.9 176.0 1.1
SVG Capital Private equity 36.2 781.0 -29.4
Std Life Investment Property Inc UK property 26.8 87.0 2.2
Aberdeen New Thai Thai equity 23.1 62.0 -13.4
AP Alternative Assets Private equity/debt 23.0 571.0 -45.1
Better Capital 2009 UK turnaround PE 22.8 309.0 20.7
Aberdeen Asian Smaller Cos Asia: Small Cos 22.6 256.0 0.6
Inte rnational Biotechnology Biotech 21.2 107.0 13.2
Baker Steel Resources Mining 21.0 62.0 17.9
Unitech Corporate Parks Indian property 19.8 112.0 34.5

Source: Numis Securities

The Biotech Growth trust was the best performing investment trust in the first six months of the year, with a share price return of 45%. Its top holdings include drugs companies Amgen and Gilead Sciences, which have both seen share price rises of over 20% this year.

Private equity trust SVG Capital is in second place with a share price return of 36%. The trust saw off a shareholder revolt in March tas two of its biggest investors attempted to block its plans to diversify its holdings beyond buy-out group Permira. It also benefited from the sale of TV software company NDS to Cisco, making a 220% profit in March.

Standard Life Investment Property Income  trust also gained 27%. The trust yields 7% and Jason Baggaley, manager of the trust, told Citywire Money in a video interview that demand from income investors helped drive the share price.  

Other winners in the first half include: Aberdeen New Thai , AP Alternative Assets, Better Capital 2009 , Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies , International Biotechnology Baker Steel Resources and Unitech Corporate Parks.

Worst trust performers in the first half of 2012

Fund Sector % share price return in £ Market cap (£m) % discount (-) or premium
Origo Resource Partners China: resources/PE -33.6 84.0 45.9
Vinaland Property: Vietnam -28.8 151.0 -59
Mirland Development Corp Property: Russia -28.3 108.0 -47
Redefine International Property: Europe -28.1 158.0 -40.5
Infrastructure India India: infrastructure -24.9 107.0 -39.3
Phaunos Timber Timber -23.3 175.0 -49.5
JPMorgan Private Equity Fund of PE funds -22.8 164.0 -41.7
Ma rwyn Value Investors UK small cap -18.8 76.0 -33.8
Damille Investments II Fund of funds 18.0 62.0 -12.2
Dolphin Capital Investors Property: Greece/Cyprus -16.9 123.0 -86.3

Source: Numis Securities

Emerging market resources and property trusts suffered some of the biggest losses in the first half of the year.

Origo Partners , which invests in Chinese resources and private equity, fell 33.6% as it struggled to bring companies to market or find trade buyers for them.

It was closely followed by Vietnamese property trust Vinaland and Russian property trust Mirland Development, which lost 29% and 28% respectively in the first half. 

Other big fallers include: Redefine International , Infrastructure India , Phaunos Timber , JP Morgan Private Equity, Mar wyn Value Investors , Damille Investments II and Greek property trust Dolphin Capital Investors.

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  • Biotech Growth (Ordinary Share)
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  • Standard Life Property Income (Ordinary Share)
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  • Aberdeen New Thai (Ordinary Share)
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  • Aberdeen Asian Smaller (Ordinary Share)
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  • International Biotechnology (Ordinary Share)
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  • Baker Steel Resources (Ordinary Share)
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  • Origo Resource Partners (Ordinary Share)
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  • Redefine International (Ordinary Share)
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  • Infrastructure India (Ordinary Share)
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  • Phaunos Timber (Ordinary Share)
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  • Marwyn Value Investors (Ordinary Share)
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  • Absolute Return Trust GBP (Ordinary Share)
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