F&C values drop despite buyout lift

A STRONG performance from private equity helped Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust escape the worst of the industry slump last year despite a drop in value.

F&C said its private equity portfolio rose by 13.8 per cent and cash distributions from its stake in the sector more than doubled to £66.9m.

“We reached an important milestone in September when cash distributions exceeded cash being invested for the first time”, chairman Simon Fraser said.

Net asset value per share fell 6.7 per cent to 322.86p, however, as the Eurozone crisis, concerns over global growth and the Japanese earthquake and nuclear disaster took their toll.

Fraser said he expected global dividend growth to be slower this year than in 2011, adding: “We do not think there will be substantial takeover activity to support share prices.”