Old Mutual Investors comment - Oct 04 - Fund Manager Comment25 Nov 2004
October was a very quiet month in terms of new purchases and sales. The only strong action was a material reduction in our holding in Murray and Roberts. While we have not sold all of this holding, we have lost some confidence in management recently. We also trimmed our platinum exposure by lightening our Amplats and Implats holdings. On the buy side, we added a little to Truworths as well as Billiton.
The fund has performed well recently and we are comfortable with our current holdings.
Old Mutual Investors comment - Sep 04 - Fund Manager Comment15 Nov 2004
The Investors' Fund was well positioned to enjoy the strong South African equity market over the past quarter. The fund held less cash than its average competitor over the three-month period and has no foreign holdings.
During the quarter, we continued reducing exposure to the life insurance sector by selling Sanlam and Liberty out of the portfolio altogether. We also reduced the fund's holding in Old Mutual further. We countered the sales of life insurance shares by adding more to Firstrand, Standard Bank and Absa. The fund does not hold any Nedcor shares.
The buoyant consumer conditions continue and we took a small stake in new listing Lewis Stores, while also adding to Edcon and Truworths. We also added to Naspers.
In the mining sector, we sold Impala Platinum while adding to Anglos and BHP Billiton.
Looking ahead, the Investors' Fund is well positioned to continue to benefit from the low inflation and low interest rate environment. The fund is overweight in local shares, especially banks, but has a reasonable exposure to resources as well.
OM Investor-Renewed vigour in the year to date - Media Comment02 Sep 2004
Though the fund is no longer the largest general equity unit trust in assets, it still has thousands more account holders than the newer (and now larger) Allan Gray Equity.
And while Allan Gray is struggling close to the bottom of the tables over three and six months, Investors' Fund has had a revival, moving back into the top third of general equity, which is where it aims to be.
Fund manager Charles de Kock says that Investors' Fund, which closely reflects Old Mutual's institutional equity house view, does not take large bets against either the equity market itself or the peer group. Its most aggressive position is the 17,2% it holds in banks but it is not far off the 16% average for the sector.
In July, De Kock trimmed back the holdings in life assurance from a modest 4,3% by lightening Liberty, Old Mutual and Sanlam. De Kock says the life offices are cheap but will stay cheap as long as premium growth is poor.
His biggest recent purchase, which after years of pouring money into top-line growth is finally talking more about creating shareholder value, is Naspers.
The recent rate cut has provided an extra tailwind to retailers and De Kock has added to Truworths and Edcon since quarter-end.
He says the rand has become so unpredictable that it is best to try to focus on company fundamentals.
He says the outlook for equities in the remainder of the third quarter is favourable as SA rates have not followed US rates upwards. Old Mutual expects inflation to stay within the target range.
The Investors' Fund's mandate is to focus on large-cap funds but it has a 4,1% exposure to the Old Mutual Small Companies Fund. This has added value , as it has given a 34,7% return over 12 months and 8,1% over three months compared with 21,7% and 6,9% from the Investors' Fund. But De Kock says small caps are unlikely to outperform large caps so sharply over the next 12 months.
The fund is a great vehicle for regular investors.
Old Mutual Investors Fund Focus - July 2004 - Fund Manager Comment25 Aug 2004
During July, the fund manager's reduced the funds holdings in all three of the funds major life assurers - Liberty, Old Mutual and Sanlam. Although the shares do not appear expensive, it is the fund manager's view that the industry fundamentals continue to place the profits under some pressure. The fund manager's also lightened the funds holdings of Impala Platinum as well as Barlows.
The largest purchase during the month was Naspers, who reported better than anticipated results, while their new emphasis on cash flow generation is welcomed. The fund manager's also used the opportunity presented by SAB's disinvestment of its holding of Edcon to acquire some of the shares. On a dividend yield of 5%, this stock offers good value. The fund manager's added to the funds holding in Truworths as the consumer cycle looks likely to remain stronger for longer and this well-managed company is positioned to benefit from the good industry fundamentals.
Old Mutual Investors comment - Jun 04 - Fund Manager Comment27 Jul 2004
During the quarter the fund manager's reduced the funds resources weighting with sales of Anglos, Impala Platinum and Anglogold, while some Billiton was added. Among the media, telecoms and technology companies, the fund was sellers of Venfin and Naspers while adding to Didata and Telkom. Telkom shares were acquired at R73 per share in the book build following the disinvestment by the Tintana Consortium. Other sales were confined to the life assurers, where the fund manager's lightened Liberty and Sanlam.
The fund manager's continued to add to SAB-Miller prior to their good results. The funds average purchase price during the quarter was approximately R73 per share. The fund manager's also added to JD Group and Truworths among the consumer shares, and started a new holding in Netcare.
Share prices dipped alarmingly during the early part of May, but have recovered since. The fund manager's expect to end the quarter with a unit price that is largely unchanged.
The outlook for equities for the next quarter is favourable. The fund manager's believe interest rates in the US will continue to rise gradually, but that local rates will not follow suit. The fund manager's base this view of steady domestic interest rates on the belief that inflation will almost certainly stay within the target range. In addition, the rand is very strong, making interest rate hikes unlikely.
The Investors' Fund is overweight in banking shares and has a strong position in Rembrandt. The biggest underweights are the gold sector and small cap stocks.
Old Mutual Investors comment - Mar 04 - Fund Manager Comment03 Jun 2004
The portfolio underwent a few large changes during the month, with the biggest sale being Naspers. Following its very strong run and positive newsflow, we decided to lighten our holding into the strength. Exposure to the strong-performing telecom area was also reduced with some sales of Venfin. We remain overweight the telecom sector, with holdings in MTN and Telkom Group as well. Staying in the technology area, we bought Didata for the first time in more than a year as we now believe the prospects have improved and the share offers value at current levels.
Our biggest purchase was SAB Miller. We are positive regarding the results coming out of the USA where the new management team is getting to grips with the Miller brand and its sales have improved. We also added some Billiton, but sold Angolgold as we feel it far safer to be exposed to the diversified mining companies rather than direct gold shares. We also added a little to JD Group and Netcare.
Old Mutual Investors-Getting stodgy in its old age - Media Comment07 May 2004
Though it has been the top performer over 30, 25 and 20 years, Old Mutual Investors is no longer impressive in its performance. The fund is producing mundane returns and the unit price reflects a 96% correlation with the sector average over three years. By design or otherwise, this indicates a portfolio deviating little from the sector consensus and nothing leaps out to say: "Here's a strategy that offers something really different."
Old Mutual Investors Fund Focus - 19 Feb 2003 - Fund Manager Comment20 Feb 2004
The Investors' Fund is concentrated primarily in large cap stocks in line with the funds mandate. The fund gets its small cap exposure mainly through Old Mutual Small Companies Unit Trust. The fund manager's added to this holding in January. The fund manager's also invested R28 million in Massmart, taking advantage of the book build following the disinvestment of their large overseas shareholder. Other purchases were Sappi and Absa. Overall purchases amounted to almost R100m while sales were a mere R7m.
Old Mutual Investors comment - Dec 03 - Fund Manager Comment27 Jan 2004
Due to recent amendments to the foreign exchange regulations as regards the maximum exposure of retirement and other funds to foreign assets, it has been decided that the fund should henceforth focus exclusively on domestic assets. The fund's mandate has thus been amended to allow only for investments in domestic assets. In order to make the Investors' Fund a pure South Africa only fund, the fund manager's thus disposed of the small dollar cash holding.
The Investors' Fund is concentrated primarily in large cap stocks in line with the fund's mandate. The fund's concentration in large cap stocks, and consequently low exposure to small caps hurt the relative performance during the year as small caps performed very well.
Overweight positions in banks and platinum were maintained throughout the quarter. The fund manager's also added to SAB-Miller, MTN, Venfin, Bidvest and retailers Foschini, Truworths and Shoprite. Major sales during the quarter were Dorbyl, Anglos, Richemont, Tigerbrands, AVI, Sanlam, Goldfields and Coronation Fund Managers.