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Baring looking at Asia and Euro income

Baring Asset Management is considering setting up new Asia and income funds this year.

Marketing director Ian Pascal says the firm is keen to build up in Asia and has sounded out a single-country fund.

He says: “It is a logical addition, given the regional nature of the range we have, such as the Korean trust.”

Pascal says that the company is also looking closely at a European income fund. Baring launched its emerging income fund in December 2006 under the management of Ece Ugurtas.

Hargreaves Lansdown investment analyst Ben Yearsley says: “I think the European income story is a strong one as the equity income market appears to be the preserve of the UK investor. There is no reason that it shouldn’t be the case in other markets, given the yields available.”

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Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.

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