Collapse in Japan hits oldest trust

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The Independent Online
THE 'disastrous' fall in the Japanese stock market caused Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust, the oldest and largest, to underperform rival investment trusts as well as the FTA all-share index during the first six months of the year.

The trust's net assets slipped from pounds 969.4m to pounds 953.1m, a 1.7 per cent fall in NAV per share, to 181.4p. The FTA all-share index rose 2.4 per cent.

Michael Hart, the trust's manager, said the situation in Japan was reminiscent of the UK in 1974. 'There is a complete loss of confidence all round, unrelieved gloom. They are worried about banks going bust and property companies going bust. There is no telling where it will end, but one day the tide will turn.'

The trust increased its interim dividend by 4.7 per cent to 1.12p. It plans a final dividend of at least 2.23p, increasing the total by 5 per cent.