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Henderson reports fall in asset value

Henderson Value Trust, the former SVM Global, which has been under new management for nine months, has reported a 0.43% decline in asset value over the past year, against a 10.51% advance for the world index.

The trust is 0.77% ahead over the past four months, while the index is ahead by 1.87%.

The new managers, Ian Barrass and Paul Craig, have set a target of an absolute return of 10% a year over a three-year timeframe, according to a note by Simon Elliott at Winterflood Securities.

Mr Elliott said: "The gradual transition to more mainstream, higher quality funds has been well handled, although it will take several years before (the trust) is fully repositioned. However, the fund's continuation vote in December is by no means a foregone conclusion, given that performance remains muted and the discount wide." He said more than 50% of the shares were held by only six institutions and the manager had acknowledged that "the shareholder base needs to be broadened".

The share price's discount to net asset value has widened to 15.5%, from 9.5% in September 2012, when the board decided to move management away from SVM.

More than 5% of the trust's shares remain with 'SVM legacy' investors, according to Henderson, with 37% in the hands of private wealth managers, share-dealing services and individuals.

Colin McLean, co-founder of SVM Asset Management, said: "I handed over something which had performed very well for 20 years."

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