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Spot the difference: Woodford reveals top ten holdings

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Neil Woodford’s top ten holdings in his Woodford Equity Income fund contain few surprises, with AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and British American Tobacco the three largest positions.

Revealed this morning, the top ten positions in the newly-launched fund account for 50% of his total portfolio, and are dominated by the defensive sectors which the manager has historically favoured.

Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, whom Woodford supported in its attempt to stave off a takeover bid from US rival Pfizer earlier this year, represents 8.3% of the £1.6bn portfolio, with peer GlaxoSmithKline accounting for 7.1%.

This is in keeping with a top ten which differs little from those of his former Invesco Perpetual UK equity income funds: eight of the ten positions are also found in the Invesco Perpetual Income top ten.

These are AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, British American Tobacco, BT, Imperial Tobacco, Roche, Rolls Royce and Capita.

That leaves two different top ten holdings: AIM-listed medical investment firm Imperial Innovations (3.6% of the fund) and US tobacco group Reynolds American (3.55%).

“I have been very careful in building a portfolio that avoids sectors that I believe are vulnerable to a faltering global economy. There is significant emphasis in my new fund on the tobacco and pharmaceutical sectors. These two sectors are resilient to falling demand, have strong balance sheets and attractive valuations,” Woodford said.

“The global economy and financial markets both face a tricky time over the next few years, but there are still many undervalued assets in equity markets and it is these opportunities that the fund is seeking to exploit.”
Woodford Investment Management will reveal the fund’s full list of holdings later this month.

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