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JPMorgan European Fledgeling adds gearing and goes for growth stocks

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The JPMorgan European Fledgeling Investment Trust has added gearing of up to 108 per cent in the last three weeks.

The JPMorgan European Fledgeling Investment Trust has added gearing of up to 108 per cent in the last three weeks.

The move to gearing has been made as the trust’s managers, Jim Campbell and Francesco Conte, continue to capitalise on cheap investment opportunities.

The managers say: "We do not look for sector or index weightings but, based on our bottom up view, we are finding an increasing number of European stocks which are priced very attractively and have sound fundamentals and growth prospects."

The last time JPMorgan European Fledgeling Investment Trust was geared was in February 2007 when the managers removed gearing and moved into cash as a result of seeing much fewer stocks they were interested in buying.

The managers say: "Our portfolio has changed a lot in the last two years. At the beginning of 2007 we were focused on construction and engineering type stocks, whereas today our current exposure is in typically growth sectors, including sectors such as non-life insurance, pharmaceuticals, health care and IT software and services."

Looking at the investment opportunities for the JPMorgan European Fledgeling Investment Trust, Campbell and Conte add: "Europe is a good place to invest, even if growth over the last decade has not matched US, the markets have still done well. In particular a lot of the companies the Trust invests in are very niche and benefit from a global presence or distribution. For example, many European based companies are continuing to benefit greatly from being suppliers to infrastructure projects in emerging markets and these are the kinds of companies we are looking to invest in."

Looking forward the investment managers expect growth sectors to continue to do well over the next two to three years and say they have positioned the portfolio to reflect this.

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