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Multimanager portfolio boosts Witan half year results

Investment trust Witan has reported a net asset value return of -0.59 per cent compared with a benchmark return of -1.93 per cent for the six months ended June 30.

The results show that Witan’s share price total return has outperformed the trust’s benchmark by just over 2 per cent, returning 0.08 per cent.

Witan says 10 out of the 14 managers within its multimanager portfolio, representing 71 per cent of assets, have outperformed their benchmark with strong performances from managers Southeastern and Wellington.

UK equities manager Artemis outperformed its benchmark by 9.1 per cent in the fast half of 2009.

Witan’s interim dividend remains flat at 4.3p per ordinary share and will be paid to shareholders on September 11.

Witan increased its gearing over the past six months from zero to 6 per cent on market weakness and to facilitate an investment in corporate bonds.

The company remains cautious, predicting more volatility for the next six months and says it may look to increase its gearing on further weakness.

Witan marketing director James Frost says: “The market has rallied for the past two or three months and we are likely to see some sort of consolidation. Over the longer term we are not looking to make any further investments in bonds and we feel that equities do offer value over the medium term.”

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