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Product Matters: Riding the income tide

Can the equity income story – so long a favourite for UK investors – be transported overseas? With Jupiter in the process of launching a Japan income fund and Newton offering a proposed global income mandate, it is interesting to see Britannic’s Argonaut team lining up a European income fund. The fund is likely to be launched in November, subject to regulatory approval, and will aim for a 6 per cent yield.

The fund will be run by the highly respected Barry Norris and Oliver Russ, who have already grown the Argonaut European alpha fund by 21 per cent in their first three months of tenure.

The team are convinced that European equities offer good value, with companies holding big cash balances, which can be a catalyst for mergers and acquisitions, share buybacks or increased dividends. Eurozone equities have a dividend yield greater than the government bond yield and 70 per cent of European companies offer dividend yields above the real yield on eurozone bonds, so there is a big universe of stocks to tap into.

The managers believe income in Europe is sustainable – a key factor given previous launches some years ago, such as M&G European dividend and Merrill Lynch European income, which fizzled out on the back of declining income streams.

Proven European exp- ertise looks like marking this launch as one to watch, particularly as it will give IFAs another means to satisfy clients’ insatiable desire for income.

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