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Woodford issues warning over Edinburgh Investment Trust

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Neil Woodford has warned investors in his £1.3bn Edinburgh Investment trust that the recent period of strong performance is unlikely to continue if the Federal Reserve tapers bond purchases.

In the company’s latest half-yearly report, Woodford, who departs fund group Invesco Perpetual in April, said while the trust would still deliver a positive return, it would not match the gains of the last three years.

“We expect the pace of withdrawal to be gradual but, like the US Federal Reserve, we do worry about the near-term implications of tapering for our asset class,” he said.

“[The trust] has the potential to deliver an attractive positive return over more sensible, longer time horizons.

“We would caution, however, that returns over the next three years are likely to be somewhat lower than over the last three years, purely as a consequence of the higher valuations that we now see in our market.”

Woodford is on course to hit the trust’s yearly bonus cap of £11.7m should NAV perform in line with the index in the next six months.

In the two and a half years to 30 September 2013 Woodford produced a total return of 45.6% against the FTSE All Share index total return of 22.9%.

The Company produced a total return for the six months to 30 September 2013 of 4.4%, which compares with a total return of 3.8% for the All-Share.

Woodford’s future as boss of the trust remains uncertain following news of his imminent exit.

The trust said no more on the matter today, having previously said: “The board will review carefully with its manager their proposed future arrangements for the management of the company and will make a further announcement in due course.”

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