Kames’ Ryan proves one step ahead of data showing UK recovery

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Recent GDP figures may mark the first concrete signs of improvement in the UK economy, but Kames Capital manager Audrey Ryan proved one step ahead of the data through her earlier conviction in domestic UK names.

The manager of the £39.5m Kames UK Opportunities fund says that exposure to UK-centric equities including consumer names and a number of housebuilders have contributed significantly to performance in the first half of 2013.

The fund currently holds positions in stocks linked to the housing market including Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley group, as well as Howden Joinery and Dunelm.

Ryan also notes that Thomas Cook, originally taken as a holding in December 2012 as part of an increase in exposure to the consumer space, has been a “notable contributor to performance” so far this year.

The recent UK survey data suggesting that the UK economy is recovering has “reassured” Ryan of her already established conviction in the each of these sectors.

She says: “We maintain conviction in the domestic theme and remain positive on the outlook for the housing market, which we expect will see further benefit from increased mortgage availability and supportive government schemes.”

Other recent moves in the portfolio made during the first half of 2013 saw an increase in the fund’s media weighting, with a new position added in ITV. Holdings in media groups Reed Elsevier and Perform were also topped up.

Ryan has also looked to boost the fund’s financials exposure during the final quarter of 2012 and into 2013, with new positions recently made in Brewin Dolphin and private equity group 3i.

Elsewhere the fund has completely sold its position in Rio Tinto, First Quantum Minerals, Petrofac, Shire Pharmaceuticals and Tate and Lyle, all during the first quarter of this year.