Ruffer returns to Japan after profit-taking

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Steve Russell and Hamish Baillie have bought more Japanese equities for the £322.6m Ruffer Investment Company after taking profit in the country earlier in the year.

The managers took profits from their Japanese holdings in March, following the strong gains seen in the country’s stocks over the first four months of 2013. The market then fell during May after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke suggested the US’ quantitative easing could be scaled back later in the year.

“Our visit to Japan in June confirmed the conviction we have in the longer term investment case. Over the course of three weeks, our team of analysts met with politicians, central bank officials and companies,” the managers write in their June factsheet.

“The most encouraging take-away was not that Abenomics is considered a sure thing but that there was unanimity in the desire to make it work. As one company director told us, for the first time in living memory, the government, the central bank, the corporate sector and the electorate are all aligned in terms of what they want to achieve.”

Russell and Baillie have been adding back the Japanese equity exposure they took out of the portfolio in March, at levels around 15 per cent below where they sold. The trust currently has 22 per cent allocated to Japanese equities, up from the 19 per cent seen at the end of May.