City File: Electra Investment Trust

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IT IS a measure of the City's optimism that Electra Investment Trust has outperformed the FT All-Share Index by nearly 20 per cent over the past three months. This has been prompted by a feeling that the market is good for selling venture capital investments through flotations, and so many of Electra's investment are undervalued.

But will this optimism persist? The flotation market in both the UK and US has been heavily tapped, and there is little appetite for trade purchases or outright takeovers. So will this mean that Electra is left holding a few babies? Philip Middleton at Smith New Court says no, but adds that Electra is a cheap recovery play even at these prices.