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De Blonay adds to Barclays during 'sceptical' 40 minutes

De Blonay adds to Barclays during 'sceptical' 40 minutes

Jupiter's Guy de Blonay shrewdly scooped up more shares in Barclays while cautious investors were still poring over the details of the bank's final results.

Despite posting a 26% year-on-year rise in adjusted pre-tax profit and unveiling a sweeping plan to cut costs by £1.7 billion, nervous investors initially viewed yesterday's update with 'scepticism' De Blonay pointed out.

It took roughly 40 minutes before Barclays' shares powered ahead on the detailed results statement, which de Blonay said gave faithful investors everything they had hoped for in a single day.

'I bought first thing [yesterday] morning, just before the share price made a sharp rise,' he told Wealth Manager.

'In a nutshell, everything we wanted to hear from the management has come in the one day. Even though we had heard it in bits before, it came with a tone which meant you can believe with conviction Antony Jenkins can do it,' de Blonay added.

As the largest position in his Jupiter Financial Opportunities fund, Barclays has done well for de Blonay (pictured), who bought into the bank as its shares crashed on US and UK rate rigging probes.

Barclays has also helped push the fund back into black; over three years the £465 million vehicle has returned -0.19% versus a 27% gain in the FTSE All World Financials Index and a 26% rise in the FTSE World Financials Total Return Index. 

Over one year, however, shrewd calls like buying into Barclays' dip have helped revive the fund's fortunes. The fund is up 26% over the 12 months to the end of January versus a 25% rise in the benchmark, with yesterday's 9% gain in its biggest holding still to come through in the numbers.

Looking ahead, de Blonay has set the next price threshold for Barclays at 420p.

The bank currently trades at 326p, but the manager believes it can climb higher as new chief Jenkins shows he can secure its cost cuts.

Barclays shares may even push higher still, de Blonay said, pointing out more good news on its strategic shake-up and capital position would be recognised by shareholders.

He explained: 'The next phase will be "can it deliver on cost?"  This is an important point, I think, because consensus is too low on costs and if Antony Jenkins can deliver, with the current economic environment staying the same, the company could be 20% up.

'We think the management is playing a low profile [game]. They do not want to give all the good news at once, even though we have had a lot of it already,' de Blonay added.

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