- Alliance Trust said annual net assets dropped as it undershot its benchmark blaming it on the sharp decline in global stock prices seen last year.

For the 12 months ended December 31, the trust's total shareholder return fell 6.1%, compared with 19.2% growth a year earlier and its share price fell 7.8% to 688.0p, from 746.5p a year earlier.

The trust's net asset value total return fell 5.4%, compared with a growth of 18.5% last year, and its Net Asset Value per share at fell 7% to 723.6p for the year, from 777.7p a year earlier.

The trust's equity portfolio fell 4.2% for the year, compared to the benchmark MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI), which fell 3.3%

The total ordinary dividend was raised by 3.0% to 13.55p, from 13.16p last year.

'2018 was a challenging year for global equities with most markets falling and many active managers struggling to outperform. Like others, we trailed our benchmark, partly due to market returns during much of the year having been driven by a narrow group of very large companies,' said Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of Alliance Trust.

'During the year, we made further progress towards simplifying our business by disposing of many of our remaining non-core investments, and we are in the process of selling, subject to regulatory approval, our subsidiary, Alliance Trust Savings, to Interactive Investor Limited. The rationalisation of our holdings will enable us to focus on global equities which at year-end represented over 97% of our assets.'

At 8:55am: [LON:ATST] Alliance Trust Plc share price was +4p at 740p

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