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Investment trusts for disappointed Vodafone investors

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14/05/2019
Vodafone Group has cut its dividend by 40%, disappointing investors who rely on income from their share portfolios.

Vodafone came under pressure to cut in the face of flagging revenues.

Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said: “Increased competition in some markets has put pressure on revenue growth; this coupled with the high auction costs associated with 5G has reduced their financial headroom.”

While the dividend cut may be good for the business in the longer term, income seekers may need to look elsewhere for the time being.

One option is income investment trusts.

The latest Stifel report on high yielding equity income trusts shows that there is a significant and diverse choice in the sector and this may be an alternative option for investors.

Stifel showed said there are currently 31 trusts investing in the stock market that have a dividend yield of 4.0% or higher, an increase from 28 three months ago.

Equally, the group said, many of the funds have dividend reserves that can help support their payouts even if underlying companies cut their dividends.

The top payers are the Henderson Far East Income, European Assets and Henderson High trusts, which pay 6.3%, 5.8% and 5.6% respectively. For those looking at more vanilla equity income funds, Merchants has the highest yield in this sector at 5.4%.

In terms of longevity, the report shows that the City of London Trust, with a 4.5% yield, has delivered 51 consecutive years of dividend growth.

The sector also offers some eclectic dividend options. For example, among the highest payers are the BlackRock World Mining and BlackRock Commodities Income trusts, which pay 5.5% and 5.6% respectively. The Ecofin Global Utilities and Infrastructure trust has a yield of 4.8%, while the International Biotechnology fund pays 4.5%. The Jupiter Emerging & Frontier Income, which invests in the smallest global markets has a yield of 4.2%.

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