(Alliance News) - Polar Capital Global Financials Trust PLC on Friday said a challenging period for investors and the financials sector had continued as it reported a fall in net asset value.

The trust invests for income and capital growth in financial companies globally. It is managed by Polar Capital Holdings PLC.

NAV per share declined 4.9% to 158.1 pence as at November 30 from 166.3p a year prior.

NAV total return was negative 2.8% for the financial year ended November 30, underperforming against its benchmark, the MSCI ACWI Financial index, which returned positive 0.3%.

Further in comparison, the MSCI world index returned positive 6.9% while the FTSE all share index returned positive 1.8%.

Despite the results, the company raised its total dividend for financial 2023 by 2.2% to 4.55 pence per share from 4.45p a year prior.

Chair Simon Cordery said: "The highest interest rates in more than a decade have offered investors an almost risk free safe haven in the form of government bonds and even cash, with an appealing headline return (before the effects of inflation). This has provided a credible alternative to equities and corporate bonds; investors currently seem happy to wait for a better time to invest their cash."

He added: "Looking to the year ahead, we remain constructive on the outlook for the Financials sector despite an uncertain backdrop. Clearly there remain significant geopolitical issues further complicated by elections in the US and UK, which may well weigh on the markets. However there are several signs for optimism. Evidence suggests inflation is at last reducing, economic growth seems to be returning to key markets and the fears of a deep recession appear to be abating."

Shares in the company were 0.4% lower at 153.95 pence each on Friday morning in London.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News slot editor

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