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BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust

Building on the record of outperformance

Review | Investment trusts | 15 Oct 2018

BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust (BRGE) has two co-managers: Stefan Gries focuses on developed markets in Europe (the large majority of the portfolio), while Sam Vecht focuses on emerging markets. Gries believes that the investment backdrop remains relatively robust, but stresses the importance of remaining selective. He seeks quality companies that can be held for the long term, where their earnings and cash flow potential is not reflected in their current share prices. Since Gries became co-manager in June 2017, BRGE has outperformed the FTSE World Europe ex-UK index by c 12pp. He continues to find attractive investment opportunities, and comments that the broad-based sell-off in emerging markets means there is potential for a higher emerging Europe allocation in the trust’s portfolio in coming months.

BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust

Improved performance under new co-manager

Review | Investment trusts | 11 Apr 2018

BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust (BRGE) is co-managed by Stefan Gries (appointed on 20 June 2017), who focuses on developed European markets, and Sam Vecht, who focuses on emerging Europe. They aim to generate long-term capital growth from a relatively concentrated portfolio of 35-40 European equities, mostly from developed markets. BRGE’s investment performance has improved following Gries’ appointment, since when the trust has outperformed the FTSE World Europe ex-UK reference index by c 5pp. As well as positive contributions from portfolio companies, both in developed and emerging Europe, BRGE has benefited from not holding some of the larger European companies that have underperformed the broader market.

BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust

New co-manager appointed in June 2017

Review | Investment trusts | 11 Aug 2017

BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust (BRGE) aims to generate capital growth from a relatively concentrated portfolio invested across the greater European region. In June 2017, it was announced that Stefan Gries would replace Vincent Devlin as co-manager. He will continue to adopt BRGE’s flexible bottom-up stock selection approach, drawing on the wider resources of BlackRock’s European and emerging markets equity teams, but is reducing the number of holdings and intends opportunistically to make fuller use of the emerging European allocation. The trust is referenced against the FTSE World Europe ex-UK index and its NAV total return has outperformed over three and 10 years and is broadly in line over five years, while lagging over the last 12 months. Although the primary aim is capital growth, BRGE has a progressive dividend policy. Its current dividend yield is 1.7%, which is in line with its peer group average.

BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust

Finding attractive investment opportunities

Review | Investment trusts | 10 Nov 2016

BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust (BRGE) invests in continental European equities across the market cap spectrum; it is a concentrated portfolio and up to 25% may be invested in companies listed in developing European markets. The primary aim is long-term capital growth; however BRGE has a progressive dividend strategy o ordinary dividends have increased in every year since fund launch in 2004. Despite modest economic growth and political uncertainties in the region, managers Vincent Devlin and Sam Vecht continue to identify attractive investment opportunities. Following significant fund outflows from European equities, any change in investor sentiment would be supportive for the asset class.

BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust

Intensively researched stock selection

Initiation | Investment trusts | 21 Mar 2016

BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust (BRGE) invests primarily in developed European equites across the capitalisation spectrum, with the primary aim of achieving long-term capital growth. Up to 25% of the trust may be invested in developing European markets (currently c 5%). The portfolio is concentrated, typically holding between 45 and 65 securities. Vincent Devlin (developed Europe) and Sam Vecht (emerging Europe) have managed BRGE since July 2008 and fund inception respectively. It has outperformed the benchmark FTSE World Europe ex-UK index over one, three, five and 10 years and the dividend has been increased each year since the trust's inception in 2004; the current dividend yield is 2.0%.