The total value of charity investments fell by 1.8 per cent over the past 12 months, according to new figures from the market analysis firm the WM Company.
The figures show that UK equities owned by charities – 37 per cent of all the assets owned by charities – fell in value by 3.1 per cent. Overseas equities held by charities, which make up another 26 per cent of the total, fell in value by 7.3 per cent. The value of UK bonds held by charities, which make up 9 per cent of their total assets, rose by 15.9 per cent over the same period.
The figures show that UK equities held by charities rose in value by 3.3 per cent in the past six months, overseas equities by 4.6 per cent and UK bonds by 1.9 per cent.
John Hildebrand, an investment manager at Investec Wealth Management, said that investors had been uncertain throughout 2012 as they waited to see what would happen in European economies.
"We had a strong start to the year, which tailed off as people became concerned about what was happening in Europe," he said. "Investors were willing to take on risk at first, but then, as Spanish bond yields rose, people worried and the market fell back."
He said troubled European economies would continue to dominate investors’ concerns: "We seem to be inching towards a solution, but we’re not there yet."