View more on these topics

Positive feeling

It is interesting to note that most fund managers are bullish about both the UK and Europe but three of the fund firms I respect most are negative about the UK and positive about Europe. These are Fidelity, Schroders and JP Morgan.

Two other top European managers I like, Richard Pease of New Star and Rob Burnett of Neptune, are also bullish. The reasons for optimism are that, in the main, the corporate sector is in good health, shares are attractively priced and the economic environment is sound. Furthermore, confidence is growing and a strong stream of corporate deals will encourage rises in share prices.

All these funds have very different portfolios. Schroders has nearly half its portfolio in French and Swiss shares, with Nestle and Total being the biggest holdings. Fidelity has nearly 30 per cent of its portfolio in UK shares, with the top holdings being ENI and BP. New Star invests in quite a lot of smaller companies as well as bigger firms and its top holdings are in the Netherlands and Ireland, Aalberts Industries being the biggest holding and Anglo Irish Bank second. Neptune has over 40 per cent of its portfolio in the Netherlands and Germany, with the majority of the shares being in industrials and financials.

The two European smaller companies funds I like are Threadneedle European smaller companies and Aberdeen European smaller companies. The Threadneedle fund is mainly invested in industrial shares (over 50 per cent of the fund).

The Aberdeen trust is widely spread geographically, with Swedish, Austrian and French shares accounting for a little above 10 per cent each of the fund.

All these funds are excellent and for bigger portfolios, it would be wise to spread the European part of the portfolio between these funds.

Recommended

Tiner resigns

FSA chief executive John Tiner is to step down in July after six years with the regulator and is aiming for a post in the private sector.Tiner joined the FSA in April 2001 as managing director of the consumer, investment and insurance directorate and was appointed chief executive in 2003.Tiner says: “By the time I […]

Malone is eager to play on

Premier Mortgage Service managing director John Malone has not put a date on when he will hang up his boots after comparing himself to David Beckham.Malone has agreed to stay on at PMS for at least another two years, as he indicated when announcing in June that his eventual successor would be former head of […]

Stampede sees pegged-rate loans withdrawn

Lenders are withdrawing fixed-rate deals by the bucketload as many have run out of funds after a surge in demand that followed last week’s shock base rate rise.At least 17 lenders had withdrawn fixed deals or signalled their intention to do so as Money Marketing went to press, with more set to follow, after a […]

Reed takes on new role at Threadneedle

Threadneedle Investments has recruited Philip Reed as general counsel, a new role in the senior management team responsible for its compliance, legal and company secretariat departments.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment