New Star has introduced the European leaders fund, an Oeic that invests in Europe excluding the UK.
The fund was originally an institutional fund from World Invest, a company which was taken over by New Star. It was transferred across to the retail business because New Star's existing European growth fund focuses only on small and mid caps, leaving a gap in the product range for a large cap fund. European leaders invests in large caps that the fund manager views as market leaders in Europe, with capital growth as the fund's objective.
The fund is managed by Richard Lewis, who joined World invest from C apel Cure Myers in 1989. He is also Richard Pease's deputy on New Star's European growth fund.
When selecting stocks for European leaders, Lewis will look at individual companies on a sector basis, rather than a country basis. He will pick stocks that appear to offer growth at a reasonable price. He will also use a system called economic value analysis to give him an idea of a company's true value.
Continental Europe is attracting attention because the emphasis on pension reform is boosting interest in equities and it may follow the lead of the US towards a recovery. The fund could provide an introduction to the European market for investors who want to diversify away from the domestic market. However, returns in continental Europe have not been spectacular in recent years and investors may have to wait before they see the fruits of recovery.
According to Standard & Poor's, the European growth fund is ranked 24 out of 107 funds based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested over six months to April 19, 2002.