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By Rebecca Clancy | Published May 18, 2012

Growth trusts increase exposure to US and UK

According to research conducted by the Association of Investment Companies, the £133.3m Martin Currie Global Portfolio trust, managed by Tom Walker, increased its total US exposure from 15 per cent as of April 30 2011 to 51 per cent as of April 30 2012.

Last year the trust changed its investment policy, from a predominantly UK focused investment style to a global investment trust.

The £187.7m JPMorgan Overseas trust, managed by Jeroen Huysinga, increased its US weighting by more than 50 per cent, taking it from 20 per cent of the vehicle as of April 30 2011, to then hold 32 per cent in US equities a year later.

However, not all funds favoured the US over the past year. The £1.7bn Scottish Mortgage trust, managed by Baillie Gifford’s James Anderson reduced its US exposure, from 33 per cent at the end of April 2011, to 28 per cent at the end of April 2012.

In spite of the UK falling into a double-dip recession with growth expected to remain anaemic at best, global growth managers have also been increasing their exposure to the UK.

The UK’s largest investment trust, the £2bn Alliance Trust, increased its UK exposure from 34 per cent to 45 per cent in the year to April 30 2012.

The £836.8m Monks investment trust, managed by Baillie Gifford’s Gerald Smith, has also increased its UK exposure from 17 per cent at the end of April 2011 to 25 per cent as of April 30 2012.

But not all managers are so optimistic on the UK. The £471.3m Personal Assets trust, managed by Troy Asset Management’s Sebastian Lyon, has reduced his exposure from 26 per cent as of April 30 2011, to 19 per cent at the end of April 2012.

The AIC data also revealed that France had been “one of the biggest casualties” in asset allocation terms, with several investment companies taking money off the table.

The BlackRock Greater Europe trust almost halved its exposure in the country, decreasing its exposure from 29 per cent a year ago to 15 per cent at April 30 2012.

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