(Alliance News) - RIT Capital Partners PLC on Tuesday reported a fall in its net asset value per share, and noted that it had underperformed its benchmark in its half year.

RIT Capital is managed by J Rothschild Capital Management Ltd, and aims for long-term capital growth while preserving shareholders' capital.

For the half year ended June 30, net asset value per share was down 1.0% at 2,364 pence on June 30, compared to 2,388p on December 31.

NAV per share total return was negative 0.2%, underperforming its benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index, which was positive 11.0%. RIT Capital said that due to economic headwinds, it maintained "low quoted equity exposure" during the period.

"Many of the underlying conditions which made 2022 a particularly difficult year for markets still prevail today... Across the US, UK and Europe, rates have risen significantly, with the fastest average increases in four decades… yield curves remain inverted… which has in the past been a leading indicator of a future recession," said Chair James Leigh-Pemberton.

"Despite this worrying backdrop… the S&P 500 finished the half year up well into double digits, and the Nasdaq had one of its strongest gains in a decade, up almost a third."

Total assets dropped 1.7% to GBP4.10 billion, from GBP4.17 billion year-on-year.

RIT Capital paid a first interim dividend of 19 pence per share in April, and declared a second of the same amount to be paid on October 27.

The company noted that inflation remained materially above central banks' target rates, and that policy rates may not yet have peaked.

"We may not yet have seen the full impact of tighter conditions on consumer demand, credit conditions, corporate margins, earnings and financing costs. We therefore do not believe that the grounds for our moderate levels of quoted equity exposure have changed," said Chair Leigh-Pemberton.

Shares in RIT Capital were down 0.5% at 1,931.08 pence in London on Tuesday morning.

By Will Neill, Alliance News reporter

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