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Jupiter Euro manager spots a turning point

Jupiter European special situations manager Cedric de Fonclare believes an inflection point has been reached on the continent.

He says we are starting to see a polarisation of quality corporate earnings and that as the global economic slowdown takes hold, it will become essential to identify structural growth drivers and invest in companies that can take advantage of them.

De Fonclare, who celebrates his three-year anniversary on the fund this month, says he spent most of 2007 repositioning by taking profits from the mid-cap area in particular. Profits were invested in firms that he felt could weather the market downturn by offering above-average growth, low volatility and a strong balance sheet.

He says: “Share prices have already discounted some of the poor economic and corporate news emerging. We are alert to opportunities which current market weakness might provide while remaining selective.

“We believe 2008 will prove to be a stockpicker’s year. Our focus will be on companies with winning business models, which are well capitalised and have the opportunity to outgrow their market by investing contra-cyclically either organically or by acquisition.These companies should be able to emerge from the downturn in a stronger position than they were in originally.”

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A shaw thing

Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
All things must pass and this column has reached the end of its useful life. It would be churlish not to mention my final fling on behalf of the Shaws. Between two days of continuous summer downpours, I spent a gloriously sunny day at Newmarket as a guest of fund manager T Bailey in the presence of PRs Martin Stott and Kirsty Wiser. Lanson Ladies’ Day at Newmarket’s July course provided a fitting finale for this column.

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