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Brandon Lewis to remain housing minister despite confusion

Brandon Lewis will remain housing minister despite reports he had been replaced. Yesterday, it was being wrongly claimed on Twitter that Mark Francois had been made the new housing minister after he was appointed minister of state for communities and local government. The rumours were fuelled by the fact Lewis’ photo and profile had been […]

Cowley Stewart Old Mutual

Cowley departure prompts OM bond fund downgrade

Morningstar has downgraded the Old Mutual Global Strategic Bond fund from ‘Bronze’ to ‘Neutral’ following the announcement of Stewart Cowley’s upcoming departure. Cowley, who manages the £561m Old Mutual Global Strategic Bond fund, leaves in June and will be replaced on the portfolio by Christine Johnson and John Peta. OMGI chief executive Julian Ide says: “I am grateful to Stewart […]

Hugh Young

Hugh Young: Why Japan deserves another look

Spring is special in Japan. The blossom of cherry and plum trees invites viewings – or “hanami” – across the country. The tradition speaks to the country’s appreciation of nature and the passing of seasons. But as the Japanese economy picks up momentum, will this rebound prove as ephemeral as the spring cherry blossom? For […]

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Steve Owen: Transparency is not always simple

The intention of the FCA’s platform charging rules was to make the way investors pay for platforms explicit and more transparent. At the time, the regulator said the new rules were designed to remove fund manager bias and “allow both investors and advisers to compare the costs of investing through different platforms and make an […]

Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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