Charities' holdings drop as stockmarket takes hit

The value of charity investments fell by 8.4 per cent in the first six months of this year, according to the latest figures from the WM Company.

Charity funds enjoyed a better second quarter, however - in the three months to June, they posted a return of minus 1.6 per cent.

But the apparent recovery does not take into account the heavy falls on the stockmarket that have occurred in recent weeks.

UK equities, in which more than half of charity funds are invested, dropped by 1.4 per cent in the second quarter. UK bonds posted a return of minus 3.6 per cent. Cash and alternative investments, such as hedge funds and absolute-return products, enjoyed a positive return of 1.3 per cent.

John Hildebrand, head of charities at Investec, said that the overall results for the second quarter were pretty flat, but individual charities would have experienced large disparities in performance.

"Within UK equities, there could also be quite a divergence," he said. "If you are in oil stocks or energy sectors, you'll have done pretty well, but if your portfolio is full of financial companies and retailers, you could have had a nightmare."

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