BNY Mellon cuts dividend on Newton fund

BNY Mellon announced a cut of up to 25% to the dividend of its Newton Higher Income fund.

BNY Mellon cuts dividend on Newton fund

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The decision to rebase the dividend distribution on the Higher Income fund managed by Tineke Frikkee was taken in response to the "challenging market environment", according to Newton.

It said the current dividend payment was unsustainable and a more realistic payout is estimated to be 20-25% lower than those made over the last 12 months.

Jeff Munroe, chief investment officer at Newton, said: "The US Federal Reserve’s indication last month that they plan to hold interest rates at near zero through to mid-2013, has reaffirmed our belief that unprecedented low interest rates will remain.

"Companies will therefore find it more difficult to provide dividend payments in line with those they were able to deliver during positions of strong economic growth."

A change to the dividend yield is designed to allow Frikkee flexibilty to invest across a spectrum of UK equities, which still pay higher dividends than the average in the UK equity market.

In addition the Newton UK Equity Fund and the Newton Growth Fund will be merged into the Newton Income Fund and renamed the Newton UK Equity Fund.

The newly merged fund, which will have £1.3bn assets under management, will be managed by Richard Wilmot and have Ben Russon as alternate manager. 

Newton said the decision to merge the fund was taken to clarify Newton’s suite of funds and help investors make the most appropriate selection for their investment needs.

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