New Rating

TM Hearthstone UK Residential Fund - New rating

Rating downgraded

Newton Global Income - Downgraded

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Fundsmith Equity - New rating

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CC Japan Income & Growth Trust (CCJI) - New rating

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Legg Mason IF Japan Equity - New rating

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Old Mutual North American Equity - New rating

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AXA Framlington Japan - New rating

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T Rowe Price US Smaller Companies Equity - New rating

Suspended

City Natural Resources High Yield Trust - Rating suspended

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Vanguard FTSE Developed Europe ex-UK Equity Index - New rating

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Vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-UK Equity Index - New rating

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Vanguard FTSE UK Equity Income Index - New rating

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Vanguard UK Government Bond Index - New rating

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Vanguard UK Inflation-Linked Gilt Index - New rating

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Vanguard US Equity Index - New rating

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Fidelity Index Pacific ex Japan - New rating

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Fidelity Index Japan - New rating

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Fidelity Index Emerging Markets - New rating

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Insight Strategic Bond - New rating

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Henderson Fixed Interest Monthly Income - New rating

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Fulcrum Diversified Core Absolute Return - New rating

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JPM Multi-Asset Macro - New rating

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F&C Responsible Global Equity - New rating

Rating downgraded

Aberdeen Ethical World Equity - Downgraded

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Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust - New rating

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ETFS Physical Gold GBP - New Rating

Rating upgraded

BlackRock Gold & General - Upgraded

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JPM Emerging Markets Income - New rating

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Loomis Sayles US Equity Leaders - New Rating

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Old Mutual Global Equity - New rating

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Jo Hambro CM Global Opportunities - New rating

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Fidelity Global Enhanced Income - New rating

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Ardevora Global Long Only Equity - New rating

Rating downgraded

British Empire IT - Downgraded

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F&C Real Estate Securities - New rating

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Morgan Stanley Diversified Alpha Plus - Downgraded

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Ardevora UK Income - New rating

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Old Mutual UK Equity Income - New rating

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Newton Global Emerging Markets W - New rating

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RobecoSAM Smart Materials Fund - New rating

Rating downgraded

Blackrock World Mining Trust - Downgraded

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Aberdeen Global Indian Equity - Downgraded

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Aberdeen Asian Income Fund - Downgraded

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Aberdeen Global Asian Smaller Companies - Downgraded

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Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies IT - Downgraded

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Edinburgh Dragon IT - Downgraded

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Aberdeen New Dawn IT - Downgraded

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Aberdeen Asia Pacific & Japan Equity - Downgraded

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Aberdeen Asia Pacific Equity - Downgraded

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Aberdeen Global Asia Pacific Equity - Downgraded

New launch

P2P Global Investments C-share issue

Rating downgraded

Murray International - Downgraded

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Aberdeen World Equity Income - Downgraded

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Aberdeen World Equity - Downgraded

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Artemis Global Income - Rating upgraded

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Threadneedle Dynamic Real Return - New rating

Suspended

BlackRock UK Special Situations - Rating suspended

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Templeton Emerging Markets Trust (TEM) - Downgraded

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iShares S&P SmallCap 600 UCITS ETF - New rating

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SSGA SPDR Barclays 1-5 year Gilt UCITS ETF - New rating

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Standard Life UK Smaller Companies IT - Downgraded

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Standard Life UK Smaller Companies - Downgraded

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Schroder UK 250 Mid Cap - Downgraded

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Montanaro UK Smaller Companies - Downgraded

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Artemis UK Smaller Companies - Downgraded

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Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies - Downgraded

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Franklin UK Smaller Companies - Rating upgraded

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Newton Asian Income - Downgraded

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F&C UK Property fund - New rating

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Lazard Emerging Markets - Downgraded

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Fidelity Emerging Markets - New rating

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F&C European Small Cap ex UK Fund - New rating

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Templeton Emerging Markets Investment Trust - Downgraded

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Fidelity UK Smaller Companies - New rating

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AXA Framlington UK Smaller Companies - New rating

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Tritax Big Box - New rating

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Woodford Patient Capital Trust - New rating

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Artemis Global Income - New rating

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Empiric Student Property - New rating

Rating downgraded

TM Sanditon European fund - New rating

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UK Commercial Property Trust - Rating suspended

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BlueCrest BlueTrend (BBTS) - Downgraded

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BlackRock UK Special Situations - Rating suspended

BlackRock has announced that Richard Plackett, manager of its UK Special Situations fund, has decided to retire. He will be stepping back from the fund in September, and departing BlackRock in December.

Going forward the fund’s managers will be Roland Arnold (currently co-manager) and Luke Chappell. Chappell is a large cap specialist and is responsible for the BlackRock UK Focus fund, essentially a FTSE 100 mandate.

BlackRock UK Special Situations has a strong track record under Plackett’s stewardship but has had a tricky few years, particularly in 2014 when the manager took a six month sabbatical. The fund has staged something of a recovery since Plackett’s return, though attributing this return to form to his return is, we think, unfair.

Following Ralph Cox’s recent departure, Plackett will be the second senior member of the small cap team to leave this year. Given that this is a small / mid cap orientated fund, we are suspending the three-star rating with immediate effect. Investors looking for an alternative multi-cap UK equity fund could consider AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities or Liontrust Special Situations, both of which carry five star Bestinvest ratings.

The value of investments, and the income derived from them, can go down as well as up and you can get back less than you originally invested. Different funds carry varying levels of risk depending on the geographical region and industry sector in which they invest. You should make yourself aware of these specific risks prior to investing. Smaller companies shares can be more volatile and less liquid than larger company shares, so smaller companies funds can carry more risk Current or past yield figures provided should not be considered a reliable indicator of future performance. This article is not a personal recommendation or advice to invest.