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Aberdeen’s Gillespie sees light on eurozone horizon

by Rachael Revesz on Sep 12, 2012 at 13:02

Aberdeen’s Gillespie sees light on eurozone horizon

With a positive view on the eurozone, Aberdeen Multi-Asset manager Fiona Gillespie is rethinking her defensive strategy, but may add high yield or gold ahead of equities.

Citywire A-rated Fiona Gillespie, manager of the £600 million Aberdeen Multi-Asset fund, is considering whether to soften her defensive view and what asset classes would best express greater optimism.

Speaking ahead of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) announcement of a new bond-buying plan, she said although the eurozone threat had not dissipated, she was encouraged by the bank’s change of language.

‘We have not been acting drastically of late. We have kept a reasonably defensive view,’ she said. ‘But we have been questioning that view and looking at whether there are any small changes in the risk appetite. Economic data has not been great but there are some signs of stabilisation there.’

Gillespie said the odds on the eurozone breaking up had probably reduced. ‘People have been too sceptical,’ she said.

Gillespie said there were several intermediate steps she could take to add risk to her portfolio, like adding corporate or high yield credit or gold, before adding equities. She recently took a tentative step back into gold via an exchange traded fund.

‘If you are highly confident your view is correct, you go straight into equity,’ she said.

September would be a tricky month for markets, she predicted. ‘We have elections in Holland, the ECB and Federal Reserve meeting, and the Constitutional Court decision in Germany [over the ECB’s actions], so it’s fraught with political positives and negatives.’

Shifting allocations

Gillespie recently reduced exposure to hedge funds and hedge fund strategies.

‘[Hedge funds are] a diversifier. We have been reducing our allocation [to them],’ she said.

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