Global investment trusts cut UK exposure by half

Global investment trusts cut UK exposure by half

Investment trust managers in the AIC Global sector have reduced their exposure to UK shares from 20 per cent in 2008 to less than 10 per cent ten years on from the financial crisis, according to data from Morningstar.

The data shows in 2008 global equity investment trust managers had 19.9 per cent of their capital invested in UK shares, while the figure today is 9.5 per cent.

David Holder, research analyst at Morningstar, said there were a number of possible reasons behind this trend.

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He said: "There are around 50,000 globally quoted stocks but only some 2,000 of these are in the UK.

"There are naturally greater opportunities overseas and some sectors are not readily accessed in the UK. For example, technology is only 3 per cent of the FTSE All share vs 18 per cent of the FTSE World index, which can lead to greater portfolio diversification and investment opportunities within a broad range of sectors."

He explained overseas markets were also becoming an increasing source of dividends.

"Whilst the FTSE All Share yields 3.7 per cent vs the 2.4 per cent of the FTSE World the dividend paying trend is evolving overseas, making overseas investment more viable for those investors seeking income," he said.

Tom Sparke, investment manager at GDIM, a discretionary fund manager in Cambridge, confirmed the exposure to UK funds in the client portfolios he runs was at a "record low" right now.

Mr Sparke said the decision to keep it that way was based not on a view of any particular event but that he looked at the risks in the UK and saw "many other markets where there is value, so there is no need to invest in the UK".

He said: "Maybe the risks such as Brexit that are in the UK will turn out OK, but why take the risk when we don’t have to."

Caspar Rock, chief investment officer at Cazenove, said UK shares may seem cheap compared with many other markets, but when one considers the types of companies that dominate the UK market, such as banks and commodity stocks, he feels the valuations are justified.