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Charter trust investors reject Henderson bid

Henderson Global Investors has failed in its hostile bid for Dresdner&#39s Charter European investment trust after an unpre-cedented number of the fund&#39s investors turned out for the vote on its future management.

Despite having the support of two other major shareholders – Equitable Life and Standard Life – Henderson secured only 46.2 per cent of the vote compared with Dresdner&#39s 53.8 per cent.

Henderson had proposed to wind up the £400m trust, returning 75 per cent of the fund&#39s assets to investors in cash and merging the remaining 25 per cent into the Henderson EuroTrust.

But Charter countered Henderson&#39s bid with a proposal to wind up the trust, giving investors the option to redeem 100 per cent of their investment in cash or reinvest it in a new Dresdner European trust.

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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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