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Bolton China fund pushes IPO takings to £1.5bn

Gross proceeds raised by initial public offerings in closed-ended funds are set to top £1.5bn in 2010, almost doubling the £785m in 2009, according to Wins Investment Trusts.

Wins says IPOs have raised £1.2bn in the year to date but this is set to be boosted by the £270m raised by the John Laing infrastructure fund last week. Two credit funds are also set to float later this year alongside BlackRock frontiers, a frontiers market fund which will be managed by Sam Vecht, who manages BlackRock’s Eastern European trust.

Wins analyst James Brown says: “So far this year, we estimate that £2.87bn has been raised across the sector, including £1.15bn through 12 IPOs.
“This is ahead of the total at a comparable point last year when £2.38bn had been raised although much of this was through distressed rights issues with only two IPOs.”

The biggest IPO of the year was the Fidelity China special situations trust, managed by Anthony Bolton, which raised gross proceeds of £460m. The John Laing infrastructure fund flotation is the second-biggest IPO. Brown says it caps off a good year for the sector. He says: “The major theme has been that investors have been searching for income in a low-interest-rate environment. Anthony’s fund launch was the biggest in a number of years and it was good to have such a high-profile launch.”

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