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AAA-rated manager ups stake in surging Close Bros

AAA-rated manager ups stake in surging Close Bros

Citywire AAA-rated UK equity veteran Martin Cholwill has upped his stake in small but diversified banking business Close Bros as sell-side institutions and brokers aggressively up their price targets.

Cholwill increased his investment in the business from 4.43 million shares to 4.52 million of 3.03% worth £64.65 million at a price of £14.31, up 69% over three years versus a FTSE 250 return of 41%.

The shares are held in his £909 million Royal London UK Equity Income fund.

A series of brokers rerated Close at the end of January following a strong end to 2013 and a bullish outlook for the next six months, with JP Morgan lifting its target from £12.42 to £13.57 and Canaccord Genuity from £14.30 to £15. 

In a trading update covering the second half of 2013, the bank reported 4% asset growth in its fund management business to a total £9.5 billion and said it had grown its loan book by 4%.

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