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Schroders sold 4.5 million Just Retirement shares on Budget day

Schroders sold 4.5 million Just Retirement shares on Budget day

Schroders reduced its stake in Just Retirement on the same day the chancellor unveiled a dramatic overhaul of the pensions industry.

Shares in the pensions group were pummeled after chancellor George Osborne said people would no longer be forced to buy annuities on retirement.

Schroders appeared to have sold into the 42.4% rout in Just Retirement following the Budget, dumping 4.5 million shares in a transaction dated 19 March.

Based on a closing price of 154p following the Budget, the disposal would have netted Schroders £6.9 million.  

The move reduces Schroders holding from 31,274,535 shares to 26,772,010 shares, representing a stake of 4.127%. 

According to Reuters, the stake is held across a range of Schroders funds, including Citywire AAA-rated Julie Dean's (picturedCazenove UK Opportunities and her offshore Cazenove International Fund - UK equity fund, which held interests at the end of January of 1.32% and 0.41% respectively.  

The Schroders International Select European Smaller Companies and Schroders ISF Global Smaller Companies funds also had positions in the firm at the end of 2013.  

The shareholder register also shows AA-rated Paul Spencer, manager of the Franklin Templeton UK Mid Cap fund, held 2% on 31 December.  

At 1.30pm today shares in Just Retirement had lost an additional 5p, or 3.44%, to stand at 143.75p, well below the 268p price they stood ahead of the Budget.

Just Retirement attempted to take the pensions overhaul in its stride in a statement posted on the London Stock Exchange shortly after the Budget.

'Just Retirement also welcomes changes in legislation which improve flexibility for retired people, the firm told the stockmarket,' it said.

'Annuitisation has not been mandatory for several years, yet 90% of consumers continue to choose wisely to secure a guaranteed income for life by annuitising. The proposed reforms suggest more choice for all retirees, ensuring better value for money for those who continue to annuitise.'

In a note on the life sector issued in the aftermath, Panmure Gordon said Just Retirement offered 'exceptional value' after its price slump.The broker has since cut its price target from 320p to 187p, implying 23.5% upside.

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Julie Dean
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106/147 in Equity - UK (All Companies) (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 31.75%
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