Bolton bullish despite Fidelity falling short of target

LEGENDARY investor Anthony Bolton's new China-based investment trust has fallen short of its fundraising target despite massive interest from investors, it was revealed yesterday.

The 460 million raised by the much-hyped Fidelity China Special Situations trust's share sale missed its 650m target, but still represents one of the most successful new fund listings in the UK market during the last 20 years, Fidelity claimed. It said the success of the fundraising demonstrated strong investor confidence in the China growth story and showed there was demand for Bolton's return to investing.

Bolton is widely considered the most successful investor of recent times, having steered the Fidelity Special Situations fund to an annualised return of 19.5 per cent between 1979 and 2007, compared with FTSE All-Share growth of 13.5 per cent over the same period. Bolton commented: "Fidelity China Special Situations will be the largest emerging markets equity fund new issue since 1990 as well as the largest China equity fund listed in the UK, which is a fantastic achievement. I firmly believe that China is the investment opportunity of the next decade."

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The trust, likely to list on 19 April, will be the largest emerging markets listing in the UK for 20 years and the largest equity trust in the UK. Its size makes it eligible for inclusion in the FTSE 250.

Adrian Lowcock senior investment adviser at Bestinvest, commented: "The sum of 460m does miss the total target of 650m set out in the prospectus but considering the nature of the fund and the fact that this has been launched 12 months after one of the biggest bear markets in history, it should be viewed as a success for Fidelity," said Lowcock. "It is now up to Anthony Bolton and his team to deliver for the thousands of individual shareholders who have backed him."

However, some advisers have criticised Fidelity for high charges on the trust. The management fee is 1.5 per cent and there will also be a 15 per cent performance fee when the trust returns more than 2 per cent above the returns made by benchmark MSCI China.