December Commentary: City of London



​Following November’s decline, the UK equity market rebounded in December, returning 5.0% as measured by the FTSE All Share Index. The more domestically focussed FTSE Mid 250 Index returned 3.3% underperforming larger companies. A notably strong sector was oil & gas, which benefited from the firmer oil price, reflecting optimism about global economic growth prospects and expectations that the OPEC oil producers’ cartel will restrict output. Although Royal Dutch Shell is City of London’s largest holding and BP is the fourth largest, the portfolio is underweight relative to the FTSE All Share Index in these very large companies. 

Elsewhere, the value of the Trust’s stake in Sky rose sharply after a takeover approach from Twenty-First Century Fox, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family. Twenty-First Century Fox already owns 39% of Sky and is in a strong position, with its revenues predominantly in the US, after the fall in sterling. The bid for Sky had a positive effect on ITV’s shares which are also held in City of London’s portfolio. The aerospace sector was notably weak over concerns about future excess capacity of civil aircraft. The Trust’s holding in Rolls Royce was sold in November but BAE Systems  continues to be held given the positive prospects, in our view, for defence spending in its main markets which includes the US.
Dividend growth from UK companies has benefited from the decline of sterling in 2016. The dividend yield from UK equities remains attractive relative to the main alternatives.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested.

The information in this article does not qualify as an investment recommendation.

Important information

Please read the following important information regarding funds related to this article.

The City of London Investment Trust plc

Before investing in an investment trust referred to in this document, you should satisfy yourself as to its suitability and the risks involved, you may wish to consult a financial adviser.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax assumptions and reliefs depend upon an investor’s particular circumstances and may change if those circumstances or the law change.

Nothing in this document is intended to or should be construed as advice. This document is not a recommendation to sell or purchase any investment. It does not form part of any contract for the sale or purchase of any investment.

Issued in the UK by Janus Henderson Investors. Janus Henderson Investors is the name under which Henderson Global Investors Limited (reg. no. 906355), Henderson Investment Funds Limited (reg. no. 2678531), AlphaGen Capital Limited (reg. no. 962757), Henderson Equity Partners Limited (reg. no.2606646), (each incorporated and registered in England and Wales with registered office at 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE) are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide investment products and services. We may record telephone calls for our mutual protection, to improve customer service and for regulatory record keeping purposes.

Specific risks

  • Where the trust invests in assets which are denominated in currencies other than the base currency then currency exchange rate movements may cause the value of investments to fall as well as rise
  • If a fund is a specialist country-specific or geographic regional fund, the investment carries greater risk than a more internationally diversified portfolio
  • Not all the investments in this portfolio are made in Sterling, so exchange rates could affect the value of and income from your investment

Risk rating




Important message

Fund name changes

Please note that from the 15 December 2017 funds previously named Janus or Henderson have been renamed Janus Henderson. This change aligns our product names with our name, Janus Henderson Investors, following the merger of Janus Capital and Henderson Global Investors in May 2017.

This name change does not impact on the management of the underlying funds and investors and advisers are not required to take any action. This does not affect Janus Henderson’s range of investment trusts.