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Dog days for UK equity income

Almost half the funds in Bestinvest’s latest Spot the Dog survey invest in the UK.

Forty-two of the 92 funds in the doghouse invest in the UK and equity income accounts for 80 per cent of the UK dog assets.

Newton is the biggest mutt in terms of assets, with £2.9bn in the doghouse.

M&G/Prudential is second with £1.8bn of doghouse assets and HSBC Investments is third with £1.2bn. Axa Framlington and Thread- needle are fourth and fifth.

Newton’s presence on the list is due to the underper- fomance of its £2.9bn higher-income fund managed by Tineke Frikkee.

The report shows that around one in seven funds – 92 out of a total of 688 – qualify for dog status after failing to reach the Spot the Dog criteria of beating their benchmark index in each of the past three years and underperforming the index by over 10 per cent in that time.

The worst performers include the £8m Marlborough UK equity growth fund and £71m New Star select opp- ortunities fund which have lost 38 and 35 per cent res- pectively over the past three years.

The Europe and Japan sectors feature 15 and 16 dogs respectively. The £504m Scottish Widows global growth fund makes its 11th consecutive appearance in the list.

Senior research analyst Stephen Marriott says: “The UK has taken a pretty strong hit as managers with finan- cials’ exposure and value managers in general have been hurt, as have those inv-esting in small caps.

“The UK equity income sector has taken a big hit as a number of managers look to financials to achieve their yields. Some have suffered so much that it makes sense to hold on to them.”

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