Alliance Trust raises dividend despite year of global turmoil

THE head of Alliance Trust said she had witnessed a “perfect storm” in the global economy as the firm offered its largest dividend increase in 20 years.

Katherine Garrett-Cox, chief executive, said equity markets remain “as challenging as at any time in generations”.

“We have witnessed a perfect storm created by the global financial crisis which has culminated in the recent uncertainty within the Eurozone, the increased dependence on sovereign debt and the need to substitute consumer demand from the West with that from the Far East,” she said.

The firm’s full-year dividend rose 7.2 per cent to 9p as the investment trust posted results for the 11 months to 31 December. Net asset value total return was minus 5.7 per cent, ahead of the global average.

Alliance hit the headlines last year when investors voted down calls from hedge fund Laxey Partners to force the trust to buy back shares whenever its share price fell more than ten per cent below Alliance’s net asset value.

Yesterday the trust made no reference to the dispute in its results statement. However the Dundee-based firm called for clarity over the impact on investment trusts should Scotland vote for independence.