• Large Global and UK investment companies remain popular
• Asia Pacific proving popular, particularly amongst income focussed companies
• Income still very much in demand from investors
A recent look into user data from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) website, www.theaic.co.uk, has revealed which investment companies and sectors have been grabbing the attention of investors in 2014 so far. Who has moved into the top twenty since Q1, and which sectors have been of most interest?
Scottish Mortgage, from the Global sector, has remained the most viewed company on the AIC website for five of the six months in 2014 (to the end of June). Murray International, from the Global Equity Income sector, is also proving to be of interest in H1, being the most viewed in January, the second most viewed in February, April and May, and the third most viewed in March and June.
The attraction of large, retail-focussed investment companies and high demand for income from investors continues to be reflected throughout the first half of the year.
Ian Sayers, Director General, AIC, said:
“Two thirds of the traffic on our website is visitors analysing individual profile pages of our member companies, be it performance data, portfolio information, or company overviews. So it’s particularly illuminating to see that the clear theme in the first half of the year is very much income focussed, whilst the large, retail focussed UK and Global investment companies also continue to capture a large share of the audience. Global, Global Equity Income and UK Equity Income sectors accounted for at least half of the top twenty for each month in the first half of 2014.”
The demand for income
Featured repeatedly in the top twenty over H1 in the UK Equity Income sector each month is City of London, which has increased its dividend each year for 47 years, Finsbury Growth & Income, Edinburgh Investment and Temple Bar (30 years of consecutive dividend increases). Perpetual Income & Growth has been in the top 20 each month since February, whilst Merchants (32 years of consecutive dividend increases) has featured every month in Q2.
The Global sector has also been popular, with Alliance Trust, a company with 47 years of consecutive dividend increases, a top twenty company each month so far in 2014 and Foreign and Colonial Trust, which has raised its dividend each year for 43 years, featuring in the top twenty in four of the six months, as has RIT Capital Partners.
Commodities of interest
The Sector Specialist: Commodities & Natural Resources sector has also made repeated appearances in the twenty most viewed lists, thanks to BlackRock World Mining, one of the twenty most viewed investment companies on the AIC website for five of the six months in H1, and BlackRock Commodities Income, consistently in the top twenty each month so far in 2014 and moving higher up the tables as the year progresses, finishing June 2014 as the 4th most viewed company. It is perhaps noteworthy that each of these companies have a higher than average yield, again reflecting the demand for yield.
Smaller companies in and out of favour
Interestingly, smaller companies focussed investment companies have been in and out of favour over the last 6 months: In January, four smaller companies investment companies made the ‘top 20’ most viewed companies, coming down to three in February, one in March, one in April, one in May and two in June. The smaller companies focussed investment company which has stayed in the ‘top 20’ each month this year has been European Assets, and once again, this company has a higher than average yield.
Where in the world?
Whilst the Global and UK sectors remain the most heavily featured, the Asian Pacific has proved popular. Asia Pacific focussed companies with an income focus have proved particularly popular. Schroder Oriental Income from the Asia Pacific – excluding Japan sector is a new entrant for Q2, featuring in the twenty most viewed list in May. The investment company joins Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies and Henderson Far East Income, both of whom make repeated appearances in the top twenty most viewed across H1.
Templeton Emerging Markets from the Global Emerging Markets sector is a consistent entry since February. In March, JPMorgan Russian Securities, from the Country Specialists: Europe sector was the 11th most viewed investment company on the AIC website, perhaps a result of volatility due to rising tensions in the country leading to investors looking for a buying opportunity.