Noble & Company is promoting a small top-up share issue of up to £1.9m for the Artemis Alternative investment market (Aim) VCT.
This VCT was established in February 2001 and aims for income and growth by investing mainly in Aim companies that operate in different industries. A small part of the portfolio may consist of companies listed on Ofex or unquoted companies.
As always, the money raised will initially be invested in five Artemis unit trusts - UK smaller companies, UK growth, income, new enterprises and UK special situations - while suitable investment opportunities are being found. It is intended that Aim companies will eventually make up 75 per cent of the portfolio, with 25 per cent invested in Ofex and companies that are seeking a flotation.
The lead fund managers of the VCT are John Dodd and Lindsay Whitelaw who broke away from Ivory & Sime to form Artemis in 1997. Dodd previously worked for LAS Investment Management, Gartmore and Ivory & Sime. Whitelaw has worked for 3i and Ivory & Sime.
This is a well-established VCT with an experienced investment team and this may work in its favour. Poor stockmarket performance in recent years has meant, investors have had few capital gains to shelter.
However, following this year's budget, whcih increased income tax relief to 40 per cent for the next two years, higher-rate taxpayers may be making a dash for VCTs. They may also be prompted to take advantage of the capital gains tax relief now before it is withdrawn after April 6, 2004..
In addition, the Chancellor has doubled the annual investment limits for individuals to £200,000 from £100,000 which could enhance the appeal of VCTs like this.