The City of London Investment Trust manager keen on property

The City of London Investment Trust holds Land Securities and British Land

The City of London Investment Trust manager keen on property

Job Curtis, manager of The City of London Investment Trust, appears bullish on the prospects for both UK real estate and domestic housebuilders.

At a recent meeting Curtis told Every Investor that he holds 3.7% of his fund in prime London real estate, with holdings in both Land Securities and British Land. “We’re seeing rental growth and yield compression for prime real estate”, he explained.

He’s also keen on housebuilders, with holdings in Persimmon and Berkeley Group and most recently Taylor Wimpey.

“Worry over possible interest rate rises has led to great opportunities. There are risks but there are moments in the economic cycle to own housebuilders and the employment cycle is favourable for them. Moreover, I only have 1.8% of my portfolio in them,” he explained.

“All three of the housebuilders I own have landbanks of five years, so they are asset backed. I also expect them to be good dividend payers.”

Curtis has been manager of the income trust since July 1991, and the trust has a track record of delivering annual dividend growth going back to 1966.

Over the past ten years his fund has delivered net asset growth of 162.7%, beating his peers in the AIC UK Equity Income Trust sector (157.6%), the FTSE All Share (128.8%) and the rival open ended UK equity income funds (116.8%).

Top ten holdings

 

As of August 31, 2014 the City of London Investment Trust’s top ten holdings were:

  % of portfolio Dividend yield %*
Royal Dutch Shell 5.8 4.5
HSBC 5.2 4.9
British American Tobacco 4.5 4.1
BP 3.7 5.3
GlaxoSmithKline 3.5 5.5
Diageo 2.6 3.0
Vodafone 2.5 5.5
Unilever 2.4 3.3
National Grid 2.0 4.8
AstraZeneca 1.9 3.8

 

*Source:  Bloomberg forecast 9 September 2014 for the 12 months until 9 September 2015

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About Author

Christopher Menon

Every Investor Editor Chris Menon is a financial journalist who has written regularly for national newspapers, magazines and websites about personal finance, with particular emphasis on investing.