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Blackrock Greater Europe reports value rise, equities defy tough macro

8th Nov 2023 09:53

(Alliance News) - Blackrock Greater Europe Investment Trust PLC on Wednesday said its net asset value and total return rose in its latest year, and increased its annual dividend.

The investment trust focused on small, mid and large-cap European companies said NAV at August 31 was 560.11 pence per share, up from 475.72p at the same time one year prior.

Shares in Blackrock Greater Europe were down 0.3% at 491.00p on Wednesday morning in London.

The company's NAV total return for the year ended August 31 was positive 19%, a marked reversal from the negative 29% delivered the previous year. It also outperformed the FTSE World Europe ex UK Index, which returned 16%.

Blackrock Greater Europe also increased its final dividend to 5.00p per share from 4.85p, increasing its total payout to 6.75p from 6.60p.

"2023 has turned out to be a better year for both markets and economies than envisaged, whereas 2022 was a challenging year for investors as stocks and bonds fell together," explained Chair Eric Sanderson. "Having lost its biggest supplier of energy following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, feared economic disruption caused by energy shortages never materialised due to warmer temperatures and effective stock piling of natural gas."

He continued: "European equities have defied expectations and produced strong performance over the past 12 months. The rebound has been driven by a combination of rising valuations and improved earnings expectations, as the mild winter averted an energy crisis in Europe."

However, Sanderson cautioned that the macroeconomic environment remains challenging due to the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, and consumers feeling the impact of multiple rate hikes initiated by the European Central Bank due to above-target inflation.

"Levels of uncertainty therefore remain high, and market volatility is expected to remain a key theme for the foreseeable future," he said. "Against this background, our portfolio managers will continue to favour companies that have resilience, robust balance sheets, strong cash flows and management teams with deep experience through multiple cycles."

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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