January 23, 2009 / 8:17 AM / 10 years ago

Belgium's Quest for Growth books 48 mln euro loss

BRUSSELS, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Belgian investment company Quest for Growth (QUFG.BR) reported a 2008 loss of 48.4 million euros ($63 million) as its total asset value plunged more than 40 percent to 67.7 million euros.

“Because of the general regression of the stock markets after an increasingly severe financial crisis and worldwide recession, the fund’s results coloured deep red,” Quest for Growth said in a statement on Friday.

The 2008 loss of 4.10 euros per share, came after a 2007 profit of 620,575 euros, or 0.05 euro per share.

The Leuven-based group’s portfolio includes a slew of listed and unlisted technology, health care, biotechnology, energy and resource companies.

The listed companies include Belgian metals and specialty materials maker Umicore (UMI.BR) and Belgian cancer diagnosis and therapy firm Ion Beam Applications (IBAB.BR).

Quest for Growth said it reduced the importance of the telecommunications sector to its portfolio during 2008, saying it was increasingly looked upon as a defensive sector.

Meanwhile, so-called “clean technology” companies like Germany’s SolarWorld SWVG.DE gained clout, which Quest for Growth said fitted with its strategy to focus on growth sectors.

“Nevertheless, the companies active in alternative energy and new materials were also hit severely on the stock markets, among other things because of the brutal decrease of the oil prices in the second half of the fiscal year,” it said. (Editing by Dan Lalor) (anne.jolis@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: anne.jolis.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; +32 2 287 6811)) ($1 = 0.7719 euro)

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