Witan trust posts H1 performance lag

The £1.5bn Witan Investment trust has unperformed its benchmark in the first half of year by 1.2 per cent.

In the trust’s interim results, it announced it had returned 1.1 per cent compared with the benchmark return of 2.3 per cent.

This amounts to a relative underperformance of 1.2 per cent over the six months ending 30 June. 

The benchmark of the trust is a composite of the UK, North American, European and Asian Pacific equity markets,

The share price total return of the trust was 6.9 per cent with a narrow discount and thus continuing the trend seen in 2013.

Commenting on market conditions surrounding this underperformance, the management of the trust notes a “subdued” year for markets.

Witan Investment trust chairman Harry Henderson says: “Equities have been calm on the surface this year, although sector performance has been changeable as investors booked gains on 2013’s winnersand sought value in areas that had lagged.

”The mild euphoria at the end of 2013 has dissipated, while earnings reports and economic growth have improved the fundamental foundations for equities. However, there is less of a safety margin from valuations, which generally appear full rather than cheap. The need for selectivity is consequently greater.”