Littlewood takes Artemis Strategic Assets’ equity short to record high

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William Littlewood has reduced the £921.1m Artemis Strategic Assets fund’s equity exposure after taking his short position to its highest since launch.

During May, the manager maintained his gross long position at around 62.5 per cent but moved his gross shorts from 14 per cent to 15 per cent – resulting in a net equity exposure of 48 per cent. This is the lowest net equity exposure since the fund’s inception in May 2009.

Littlewood says: “We still believe equities are cheap versus bonds, but not so cheap if bond yields were to rise to historically more normal levels. We have had a lower gross equity exposure before, but our short position is the highest it has been.”

Over recent months, the fund has been adding to shorts in Australian banks, US property REITS and UK-listed
engineering companies.

In May, Littlewood also took profits in his top 10 holdings of Berkshire, Hathaway, Novartis, Microsoft and N Brown.

“Towards the end of the month as the market fell, we began gently buying some shares,” he adds.

“Our caution on equities reflects our negative view on the macroeconomic outlook. Where we have bought, we still prefer to add to large cap stocks, which now account for 74 per cent of the equity portfolio.”

Artemis Strategic Assets’ culumative performance to 24 June 2013

 
Fund 1.04% 10.03% 20.85% 24.88%
-2.77% 5.92% 13.73% 20.77%
3.92% 3.88% 6.26% 3.40%
  9 / 131 21 / 130 13 / 127 38 / 108
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Source: FE Analytics