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Almost 90% of active UK equity funds beat benchmark – report

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Almost 90% of active UK equity fund managers beat the benchmark index last year, far outstripping the performance of other active managers, an S&P Indices report has found.
Almost 90% of active UK equity funds beat benchmark – report

According to a new report from Spiva (S&P Indices versus Active Funds), S&P’s United Kingdom benchmark index bettered active managers only 11% of the time during 2013; over three years the figure was 23%; and over five years 14%.

By contrast, S&P’s Europe 350 equity benchmark outperformed active managers 61% of the time during 2013, 77% of the time over the past three years, and 64% during the past five years .

Tim Edwards, director of index strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices in London, said the better performance in the UK could be due to the dominance of the largest five UK companies in major benchmark indexes.

“Many active managers would not consider putting such a large stake into so few shares, and instead tilt away from large caps in their active management,” says Edwards.

The figures also case doubt on the idea that active managers are better able to add value in emerging markets.

“The significant majority of [emerging markets] funds – regardless of currency denominated – underperformed the benchmark across all three time horizons used in this report,” said Aye Soe, director, global research & design at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Around 60% of sterling-denominated emerging market equity funds were outperformed by their benchmarks over the one, three and five year periods to the end of 2013, according to the report.

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