May 17, 2016 - 6:30 AM EDT
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BLACKROCK GREATER EUROPE INVESTMENT TRUST PLC - Portfolio Update

BLACKROCK GREATER EUROPE INVESTMENT TRUST plc
All information is at 30 APRIL 2016 and unaudited.
Performance at month end with net income reinvested
One Three One Three Launch
Month Months Year Years (20 Sep 04)
Net asset value* (undiluted) -1.1% 1.7% -0.1% 20.6% 221.9%
Net asset value* (diluted) -0.8% 1.6% 0.2% 19.8% 220.0%
Share price -0.3% 0.0% -1.6% 20.4% 206.7%
FTSE World Europe ex UK 0.3% 4.1% -3.9% 18.0% 146.9%
Sources: BlackRock and Datastream
At month end
Net asset value (capital only): 257.08p
Net asset value (including income): 258.57p
Net asset value (capital only)*: 255.57p
Net asset value (including income)*: 256.80p
Share price: 244.50p
Discount to NAV (including income): 5.4%
Discount to NAV (including income)*: 4.8%
Subscription share price: 0.26p
Net gearing: 0.8%
Net yield**: 2.0%
Total assets (including income): £265.7m
Ordinary shares in issue***: 102,586,916
Subscription shares: 20,530,998
Ongoing charges****: 0.89%
* Diluted for subscription shares and treasury shares.
** Based on a final dividend of 3.35p per share for the year ended 31 August 2015 and an interim dividend of 1.65p per share for the year ending 31 August 2016.
*** Excluding 7,225,825 shares held in treasury.
**** Calculated as a percentage of average net assets and using expenses, excluding performance fees and interest costs, after relief for taxation, for the year ended 31 August 2015.
Sector Analysis Total Assets  Country Analysis Total Assets 
(%)  (%) 
Financials 26.4  France 17.2 
Industrials 21.5  Switzerland 11.8 
Consumer Goods 15.3  Germany 10.9 
Health Care 13.0  Denmark 10.4 
Technology 10.3  Ireland 9.7 
Consumer Services 9.4  Netherlands 8.9 
Telecommunications 4.1  Italy 7.8 
Basic Materials 0.6  Finland 5.8 
Net current liabilities (0.6)  Sweden 5.3 
-----  Russia 3.0 
100.0  Turkey 2.6 
=====  Belgium 2.6 
Poland 1.7 
Spain 1.6 
Ukraine 0.7 
Luxembourg 0.6 
Net current liabilities (0.6) 
----- 
100.0 
===== 
Ten Largest Equity Investments
% of
Company Country Total Assets
Novo Nordisk Denmark 5.1
Adidas Germany 3.3
Heineken Netherlands 3.0
Vinci France 2.8
Ryanair Ireland 2.7
Unibail-Rodamco France 2.7
Deutsche Telekom Germany 2.6
RELX Netherlands 2.6
Capgemini France 2.6
Zurich Insurance Group Switzerland 2.6
Commenting on the markets, Vincent Devlin, representing the Investment Manager noted:
During the month, the Company’s NAV fell by -1.1% and the share price declined by -0.3%. For reference, the FTSE World Europe ex UK Index was up by 0.3% during the period.
After a volatile Q1, April saw a marked change in expectations for emerging markets, especially the strength of the Chinese economy. Europe ex UK markets were marginally positive in April (FTSE World Europe ex UK returned 0.26% in GBP terms). In particular, emerging market-exposed sectors (oil & gas, basic materials) performed well over the last rotation benefiting from a weakening US Dollar, a rebound in commodity prices and a recovering Chinese economy following a significant level of stimulus. So far, we have seen a mixed start to the earnings season, leading to further cuts in 2016 earnings estimates at the market level. With only a few weeks to go until the ‘Brexit’ referendum in June, political uncertainties over the direction of the European project also remain in focus.
Unfavourable outcomes in both sector allocation and stock selection impacted returns over the month. The rotation seen in the market year to date has been further exacerbated recently as it appears that China has accelerated its liquidity injection into the economy which is supporting the property market and boosting commodity demand. In this context, the lower weighting to basic materials and oil & gas detracted from performance. However, the higher weighting to financials proved positive for performance, particularly holdings within Emerging Europe.
On a stock specific basis, the largest detractors came from the financial sector. In part, this was driven by not holding banks with Emerging Market revenue exposure, such as Banco Santander, which rallied with other Emerging Market exposed names during the month.
Ryanair was the single largest detractor over the month, with the effect of the attacks in Brussels and air traffic control strikes cited as headwinds to quarterly earnings.
Positively, a holding in Adidas was beneficial for performance. The stock rallied on the pre-release of Q1 results, which were 10% ahead of consensus expectations for revenue and 25% ahead for earnings, leading to upgraded guidance. Russian internet search engine company Yandex, also rallied on the back of strong quarterly earnings and guidance for full year 2016 revenue growth of 15 to 19 per cent.
At the end of the period, the Company had higher weightings when compared with the reference index to technology, industrials, financials and consumer services. The Company had lower exposure to basic materials, consumer goods, oil & gas, utilities and health care.
Outlook
We recognise that the macroeconomic environment in 2016 across the various global regions remains uncertain. However, recently, we have seen some reassuring US industrial data and a stabilisation of Chinese economic data, suggesting that fiscal stimulus is feeding through. In our view, it is the combination of the more supportive macroeconomic backdrop, together with the sharply reduced expectations for European earnings, which offers some hope that earnings for Q1 2016 might surprise on the upside. We believe that we need to see earnings growth coming through in order to drive meaningful upside for European equities and ultimately encouraging investors to reassess the relative prospects for this asset class.  However, we think investors will remain cautious towards European equities until the British referendum is behind us, as this is the most prominent risk event not only for the UK, but also for the broader European Union.
Within this context, we retain a keen eye on valuation and we continue to focus on stock selection against a volatile market. We are sticking to companies that offer attractive earnings momentum and stock-specific drivers and looking to avoid value traps in highly cyclical businesses without momentum.
17 May 2016
ENDS
Latest information is available by typing www.brgeplc.co.uk on the internet, "BLRKINDEX" on Reuters, "BLRK" on Bloomberg or "8800" on Topic 3 (ICV terminal).  Neither the contents of the Manager’s website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Manager’s website (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

Source: PR Newswire (May 17, 2016 - 6:30 AM EDT)

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