Best and worst

Investing in unit trusts that focus on overseas markets always carries a degree of risk, as some markets will head downwards at the same time as others show significant growth.

Over the past year this has been the case with the international growth unit trust sector. Funds in this sector are distributed throughout the world's markets and may also include more specialised overseas equities.

The result can be big swings in performance, depending on the country - or on which part of its economy - fund managers invest their money.

Funds invested in Latin American equities have been the success story of the past year, while those still in Hong Kong or other parts of the Far East have suffered.

The five top funds of the 154 in this sector over the past 12 months specialise in Latin America or have significant exposure there.

The losers include Prosperity Emerging Markets, which appeared among the top 10 funds in this sector nearly every year in the past seven, until its heavy exposure to Hong Kong caused its value to drop in the past 12 months.

Sue Taylor, investment liaison executive at Prosperity, said: "Last year the trust was doing particularly well, having benefited from a rise in the Hong Kong market. Over the past year, this market has been influenced by what has been happening in China,which has been affected by high inflation and a downturn in sentiment towards the Chinese market.

"Also, Hong Kong has been affected by what is happening in the United States, particularly the rise in interest rates over there."

Although a significant part of Prosperity's fund is still held in the Hong Kong market, it has switched towards Mexico and Brazil in recent months.

A different picture emerges from Framlington's Health Fund, which is currently last in this sector. Anne McMeehan, managing director of Framlington Unit Trust Managers, said: "This kind of fund has always tended to be either top or bottom.

"It is highly specialised, investing in health, medical or biotechnology funds, while 77 per cent of its exposure is in the United States.

"For UK investors, this means that the fall in the value of the US dollar has had repercussions on the value of the fund, while Hillary Clinton's health reform programme depressed shares over the past two years."

Ms McMeehan added that the collapse of the Clinton reforms had taken the fund into the top 10 performers in the past quarter.

INTERNATIONAL GROWTH UNIT TRUSTS The best % 1 Edinburgh Latin American 9.8

2 Providence Capitol Latin American Cos 8.5

3 Abtrust Latin American 7.7

4 Stewart Ivory Emerging Markets 6.9

5 Laurentian International 6.8

The worst 150 PC Temple Equity -11.1

151 Prosperity Emerging Markets -13.4

152 Mayflower International Leaders -13.4

153 Chartered International Growth -14.7

154 Framlington Health Fund -15.5

The table shows the percentage rise or fall over 12 months to 1 December, offer to bid, net income reinvested. Source: HSW

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

    £50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

    Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

    Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

    Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor