Trust moves to premium

The £69.8m Shires Smaller Companies investment trust moved from a share price discount to net asset value to a premium, despite its portfolio underperforming its FTSE SmallCap index benchmark. The Shires share price increased 41.8% in the 12 months to December 31, while the NAV increased by 29.6% compared with a benchmark rise of 40.9%. The fund’s portfolio underperformance sprung from following its dividend objective and thereby being underweight in lower-yielding equities, which performed well. Total dividends for the year are 13.75p.