Investment Trusts 

Fidelity’s Wright looks to banks for profit

Fidelity’s Wright looks to banks for profit

Alex Wright, who runs the £779m Fidelity Special Values investment trust, is focused on the banking sector for returns.

For the 12 months to 31 August, which is the financial year of the trust, it returned 28 per cent, compared with 16 per cent for the average trust in the AIC All Companies sector in the same time period.

Mr Wright said exposure to financial stocks in the US and UK, including Citigroup and Burford Capital, had been a major driver of returns, while his lack of exposure to the mining sector, which had a good year, detracted from performance.

He retains faith in the financials sector, which accounts for almost 40 per cent of the investments in the trust.

Citigroup is the largest investment in the trust, with Lloyds Banking Group also among the top 10 holdings.

Mr Wright said: “Benefit from potentially lower taxes and a friendlier regulatory environment under (US President Donald) Trump supported banking shares.

"Following the completion of the US Federal Reserve’s latest stress test (in June 2016), Citigroup has now gained approval to significantly increase capital returns to shareholders over the next year.

"The company is over-capitalised, with a core tier one ratio of 13 per cent – the highest of any major US bank. Citigroup stands out globally as a very attractively valued stock."

He has recently added the UK-listed Irish bank AIB, and, more controversially, Royal Bank of Scotland.

The fund manager said RBS was the one UK bank he had been avoiding, but he feels the valuation of the stock is now sufficiently low enough that the potential rewards sufficiently compensate for the risks of buying a stake in the bank.

The Fidelity Special Values investment trust trades at a discount to net assets of 4.9 per cent.   

david.thorpe@ft.com

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