The Sub-Fund's objective is to seek performance through exposure to UK equity markets, by selecting securities on a discretionary basis in an investment scope comparable to the FTSE All Share Index, net dividend reinvested.
European markets ended the quarter in a climate of confidence, temporarily reassured over political risk in Europe, the maintenance of monetary policy by Mario Draghi, and confident in the recent dynamism of the US economy. The economic data published in the euro zone is trending well with growth accelerating on the Eurozone PMI Composite index to its highest level in 71 months, and with good figures from the German IFO. Companies are publishing their seasonal earnings reports in a market on an uptrend. Most major European stocks outperformed their sales forecasts, confirming an acceleration in top-line growth in many sectors and in profit levels. The consensus has continued to issue upgrades week after week, in particular on cyclical stocks (such as Lafarge, Valéo, GKN and Meggitt). Banking stocks were driven upward following Intesa (after giving up on its proposed acquisition of Generali). The consumer discretionary and technology sectors, top performers since the beginning of the year, have continued to grow. On the M&A scene, Amundi launched a capital increase to finance its acquisition of Pioneer. Peugeot is acquiring Opel from General Motors, and Standard Life is merging with Aberdeen AM. AkzoNobel has refused two takeover bids from PPG and has begun procedures aimed at spinning-off its specialty chemicals business. Similarly, Unilever is preparing to sell off some of its food brands for £6 billion, as announced in the last few weeks. Danone, meanwhile, has pledged to divest its US subsidiary Stonyfield in order to finalise its WhiteWave buyout in the United States. We strengthened Qiagen and Dialog Semiconductor during the month, while reducing Telecom Italia and Atos
(1) The rating grades the funds on a scale from 1 to 7. This rating system is based on the average fluctuations of the net asset value over the past five years. It corresponds to the variation range of the portfolio upwards and downwards. If the net asset value is less than 5 years old, the rating is determined by other regulatory calculation methods. Historical data such as those used to calculate the rating may not be a reliable indication of the future risk profile. The current category is neither a guarantee nor an objective. Category 1 does not signify a risk-free investment.