alliance trust cuts holdings by half

Alliance Trust has completed a major portfolio restructuring which has seen its number of holdings reduced by 50% and, for the first time in 27 years, its largest holding a firm listed outside the UK.

alliance trust cuts holdings by half


Announced in July, the restructuring has taken the £2.4bn portfolio near to its target of 100 direct equity investments.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is now the top holding in the portfolio with a weighing of 2.6% of total net assets (£62.5m).

Back in July before the restructure, Royal Dutch Shell was the top holding with 2.6% of net assets (£61.7m) invested in it and BP was the second largest with 2.4% of net assets (£58.4m) invested in it.

Shell has now dropped down to second place, with 2.1% of net assets (£52.4m) the revised size of the holding, while BP has fallen out of the top 50 stocks, although Alliance Trust could not confirm or deny if it had been sold altogether.

Meanwhile, the trust has started to implement an approach of higher conviction, taking the top 20 holdings from a weighting of 30% to 32% in the month of October alone.

Ilario Di Bon, head of equities at Alliance Trust, said: “With the UK market set to be muted at best during 2013 we are looking further afield and are finding stock-specific opportunities which accord with our long-term thematic investment approach.

“Over half the holdings now in the top 20 investments are listed outside the UK as we invest in high quality stocks which will continue to perform during the economic cycle.”

Regional allocation as at the end of October saw 28.6% of the trust’s assets in the UK, while it holds 44.3% in North America, 15.2% in Europe and 11.8% in Europe.

The portfolio’s largest sector exposures remain in financials and health care, with 19.8% and 15.3% invested in these sectors respectively.


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