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Aegon refocuses on UK and Euro stocks

Aegon Asset Management is shifting its investment strategy away from the US and Japan and moving into UK and European markets.

The strategy will apply to most of its managed pension and global equity funds run for sister company Scottish Equitable.

The strategy will see Aegon move to a positive weighting in the UK and Europe, having previously had a neutral weighting. It still remains positive in Japan and US but money has been shifted to reduce its overweight position.

It has traded £150m each in futures from the US and Japan while Europe has received a positive £170m boost and £180m has been switched into the UK from new and existing investments. The change follows strong market performance. Aegon says there is no longer much to differentiate between the major developed markets.

It believes the US continues to face tough conditions and the IT spending boom continues to cast a shadow on the outlook for capital investment.

It is expecting a further cut in interest rates in the US and one or two more cuts in the UK and Europe before the end of the year.

AAM head of investment strategy Alistair Byrne says: “Following the market rally, we no longer see any strong signals to differentiate the prospects of the major developed equity markets.

“As a result, we have upgraded our views on the UK and European markets to positive while scaling back the overweight positions in the US and Japan.”

Aegon has been appointed as the active fixed-interest manager to Escher UK Asset Management. Escher is a multi-manager investment services provider to occupational pension schemes.

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