Foreign funds keep flowing in
For exposure to Germany with a regional fund, the Invesco European Growth fund should be on the short-list. The manager Rory Powe is one of the most respected of the European managers and the style of the fund is firmly growth- oriented. His universe of stocks is some 2,000 companies. He tends to maintain a well-diversified portfolio with holdings of no more than 5% in any one stock. Currently over a quarter of the invested assets are in German stocks.
Fleming Flagship's Continental Europe fund has over 20% of its DM500m of assets invested in Germany, while Anthony Parker of Dresdner RCM has 15% of the group's Continental Europe fund focused on Germany.
Funds analysts Forsyth Partners' preferred vehicle for German equity exposure is the CU Privilege Portfolio, German Growth Fund, part of Commercial Union's Luxembourg umbrella. Performance over the last 12 months has been solid and in line with the benchmark. Fund manager Bruno Berry is focusing on telecoms and financial stocks at the moment. In the financial sector, he is most keen on banks that have good dom-estic franchises that can benefit from the trends in the savings industry across Europe, and which have limited exposure to the emerging markets.
The benchmark for the fund is the FAZ Aktien index and for the sake of portfolio construction, the manager will also make use of the FT/S&P World Germany Index.
The investment process is designed to give broad ex-posure to the market. A formal tracking of the index heavyweights is problematic given the investment restrictions which prevent holdings in excess of 10% in any one stock, and which limit the top five stocks to a maximum of 49% of the portfolio. Berry will therefore make use of a broader universe of stocks to generate the appropriate sector exposure.
Forsyth Partners comment: As with all single country funds, it is the timing and degree of the exposure to each stock that adds value and we believe Bruno Berry has successfully mastered this format." Richard Newell"