(Alliance News) - Global Smaller Cos Trust PLC on Friday reported a decline in net asset value and provided a mixed outlook.

The London-based investment trust focused on smaller companies said NAV was 153.67 pence per share on October 31, down 7.3% from the 165.7p it had reported for April 30. The company's NAV total return came in at negative 6.3%, worse than its benchmark's negative 3.6%.

Global Smaller Cos Trust said that the recent six months were "perhaps unsurprisingly challenging" for equities, citing a risk-averse mood in markets, with smaller companies lagging in most parts of the world.

Despite the lower NAV, Global Smaller Cos hiked its interim dividend by 7.9% to 0.68p per share, from 0.63p a year prior.

Interim Chair Graham Oldroyd said: "The first half of the 2023/24 financial year saw a continuation of some of the trends from the previous twelve months. In particular, the dominant talking point has been how long the period of heightened inflationary pressures will last, and consequently for how long interest rates need to remain at present or even higher levels."

Looking ahead, Global Smaller highlighted the impact of previous monetary policy tightening, as well as "encouraging inflation data".

"As usual, the investment team continues to monitor the near and medium term outlooks for the existing portfolio, while at the same time looking for opportunities to take advantage of lower valuations in the wider markets," Lead Manager Peter Ewins said.

Global Smaller Cos shares were up 0.1% to 147.60 pence each on Friday morning in London.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News slot editor

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