SVM Asset Management has introduced the continental Europe fund, an Oeic that aims for capital growth by investing mainly in European large caps.
The fund is benchmarked against the FTSE World Europe ex UK index and despite the focus on large caps, the portfolio will also include mid-caps that appear to have high growth potential. The stocks will be selected by the fund managers using the FTSE Eurotop 350 index.
Michael Nicol and Paul Casson are the co-managers of the fund. Nicol has over 20 years experience managing European portfolios and previously worked for Dunedin and Bairlogie. Casson previously spent five years managing European portfolios at Martin Currie.
The fund managers will try to take advantage of volatile share prices by picking up stocks when they are low in relation to the company's overall value. They will look for companies with strong balance sheets, delivering reasonable profits and those that appear to be market leaders in their field.
Europe has been a disappointing place to invest during the last few years and the expected recovery is taking longer than many people anticipated. Consumer confidence in France is very low and the German market is weak, with high unemployment a major concern. However, some investors who want to diversify their portfolio away from the UK may want to take advantage of the low stock valuations now, before they recover.
According to Standard & Poor's, the offshore SVM continental Europe fund is ranked 18 out of 95 funds based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with gross income reinvested over one year to October 1, 2002.