Foreign & Colonial will change name after 150 years

Foreign & Colonial will change name after 150 years – Foreign & Colonial, which is marking its 150th anniversary, has published results for the year ended 31 December 2017. The year was a good one for F&C’s shareholders. A share price total return of 21% and an NAV total return of 16.9% were both well ahead of the 13.8% return posted by the fund’s benchmark. The total dividend for the year has been increased by 5.6% to 10.4 pence. This compares with a 3.0% rise in the Consumer Prices Index, and marks the 47th year of rising dividends. The discount started the year at 7.4% but, due to improved investor demand, narrowed to 4.3% by the end of the period.

The chairman said that “Many of our investment portfolios delivered returns in excess of their market benchmarks and we benefited from exposure to technology related stocks and the outperformance of Europe, Japan and Emerging Markets. In another year of strongly rising equity markets gearing was also helpful to performance. Returns on our private equity investments were lower than on our listed equities but have been higher over the longer term. The majority of our private equity portfolio was invested over ten years ago and is therefore quite mature. I am pleased to say that this means our fund of fund programme is returning cash to us (GBP77.8m net in 2017).”

Purpose still relevant but name not

The chairman points out that the original purpose of Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust “has remained relevant throughout its long history. Providing exposure to a globally diversified portfolio of private and listed securities in one place, with access to all aspects of portfolio construction including portfolio allocation, stockpicking, manager selection and risk management at a reasonable cost, the investment trust that launched an industry 150 years ago is as relevant today as it ever was.” He goes on to say that “Our anniversary year provides a natural reflection point to ensure your company continues its contribution and relevance in the modern world. As part of this, our marketing will increasingly take place under the company’s commonly used name “F&C Investment Trust”; the name with which Foreign & Colonial has always been synonymous. At the AGM shareholders will be asked to approve an amendment to the articles of association to enable the directors to change the company’s corporate name to “F&C Investment Trust Plc” in the year ahead.”

Underlying performance

Investment         Our portfolio      Underlying        Benchmark        Our strategy             Index
Portfolio              strategy             geographic           weighting        performance        performance
Strategy              weighting            exposure                                        in Sterling             in Sterling

UK                                    4.3                  5.8                        6.1                       10.5                       11.8

North  America            33.8               47.7                      54.2                      14.9                        11.3

Europe  ex UK              13.2               19.9                        15.1                      19.3                       17.2

Japan                               8.5               10.6                        8.6                       15.7                       14.4

Emerging Markets       11.1                13.2                        1.8                       25.6                      25.8

Developed Pacific             –                  2.9                        4.2                            –                        15.9

Global Strategies        22.8                                                                            15.8                       13.8

Private Equity                6.3                                                                             5.9

FRCL : Foreign & Colonial will change name after 150 years


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