Lloyds, L&G and Aviva get Woodford seal of approval

Added 17th May 2017

Legal and General, Lloyds Banking Group and Aviva are among Neil Woodford’s top holdings in his newly launched Income Focus Fund, marking some of his first financial plays in 14 years.

Lloyds, L&G and Aviva get Woodford seal of approval

Woodford has revealed all 50 stocks held in the new fund, which launched in March this year and raised more than £500m in a matter of weeks.

The fund has a big exposure to financials as well as domestic cyclical stocks, reflecting Woodford’s renewed optimism on the state of the UK economy. 

People have been "too downbeat" on the UK's future, he believes.

Housebuilders and construction firms Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments are new and notable holdings in the fund, again reflecting Woodford’s belief there are opportunities in the domestic market.

It follows news last week that Woodford had shifted his flagship Equity Income Fund towards domestic cyclical stocks which he saw as undervalued. 

Analysts were unsurprised by the star manager's contrarian take on investments when the initial portfolio changes were announced.

“In the run up to the launch of the Income Focus Fund I had said that I believed there was an attractive domestic opportunity, in part because people were too downbeat about the UK economy," Woodford said.

"The new portfolio is a manifestation of this view but in a more income-focused way."

He added the fund was “in a great shape” and that he was confident it would deliver its income target of 5p per share per year.

“The bearish mood has resulted in very big share price falls in some domestic cyclical sectors and it is this opportunity set that I see in the stock market right here, right now.

"I have been taking advantage of some of the depressed valuations in domestic cyclicals, selectively buying stocks in sectors such as house builders, banks, construction, building materials and property for the new fund,” Woodford added.


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