Best and worst: Unity trusts

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The Independent Online
THE striking performance of Providence Capitol's European fund was achieved through a system of individual stock picking, rather than through the allocation of assets according to specific geographical regions.

The fund's manager, Talal Shakerchi, scours Europe for shares that look cheap. He said: 'At the moment we are picking up a lot of cheap stock in Finland and the Netherlands. The recovery in these countries' economies is not yet reflected in the share price.'

The fund holds about 70 shares. The biggest allocation of shares, 13 per cent, is currently held in companies in France. He said that the firm's analysts tried to visit the companies the fund intended to invest in. He added that the fund had outperformed the market average.

Providence Capitol's Thailand fund has also managed to outperform the Thai stock market by about 30 per cent. Mr Shakerchi said that this fund was not for the investor averse to risk.

'The fund has done very well over the year, but it is hugely volatile,' he said. The fund is the only unit trust to be entirely invested in Thailand. Other funds invest in Thailand up to a maximum of about 10 per cent. This exposure to only one country also adds to the risk on the fund.

One of the worst performing funds over one year is invested entirely in Canada. The manager of the fund misjudged the sector of the economy that would lead the country out of recession. The higher-risk mining shares outperformed the blue-chip companies in which the fund was invested.

----------------------------------------------------------------- UNIT TRUSTS ----------------------------------------------------------------- The best % 1 Providence Capitol Thailand. . . . . . . . . . . . . 64.14 2 Providence Capitol Europe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45.91 3 Scottish Widows South East Asia. . . . . . . . . . . 40.39 4 Stewart Ivory Emerging Markets. . . . . . . . . . . .39.40 5 Baring Korea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39.23 The worst 1327 Hill Samuel US Smaller Companies. . . . . . . . .-16.97 1328 Thornton American Smaller Co's. . . . . . . . . .-20.02 1329 Jupiter/Merlin American Cap. . . . . . . . . . . -21.92 1330 Waverly Canadian Balanced Growth. . . . . . . . .-26.63 1331 Beckman Biotech. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -37.81 Table shows return over one year to 1 August, offer to bid, net income reinvested. Source: Micropal -----------------------------------------------------------------

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