Charity investments down by 7 per cent in first quarter of 2010

Latest figures from WM Company reveal large fall in the value of equities

The value of charity investments fell by more than 7 per cent in the second quarter of 2010 and has fallen by more than 2 per cent in the year to date, according to figures produced by market analyst the WM Company.

The figures are based on data provided by charity investment managers covering their investments up to the end of May, and on estimates based on market averages for June.

They show that although charity assets lost 2.2 per cent of their value in the six months to the end of June 2010, they have increased by 17.2 per cent on the same period last year.

Equities and property showed the largest movements. UK equities fell by 11.8 per cent over the past three months and by 6.1 per cent over the past six months, but rose by 21.1 per cent over the year.

Property rose by 3.7 per cent over the quarter, by 9.7 per cent over the past six months and by 24 per cent over the year, which makes it the best performing asset class over the year.

But property prices are still down by 7.7 per cent compared with their position three years ago.

Andrew Pitt, head of charities at investment house UBS, said growth was slow, partly because of worries about the European market and partly because the previous year had seen large growth in asset values. "I'd expect markets to be choppy over the next few months," he said. "But we still think that equities will do pretty well over the medium term."

John Hildebrand, an investment manager at Rensburg Sheppards, said the recent fall in the UK equities market was due to steep drops in the value of mining, banking and oil stocks.

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