FUNDWEB: STUART MITCHELL HIKES SWMC EUROPEAN’S GERMAN EXPOSURE

S.W. Mitchell Capital’s Stuart Mitchell has increased his exposure to German companies after initiating three positions in the country. Mitchell, who left his role as head of specialist equities at JO Hambro Investment Management to found S.W. Mitchell Capital in 2005, has lifted the SWMC European fund’s German exposure from 7.2 per cent to 12.4 per cent by the end of January.

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EURO STRENGTH MAY DERAIL RECOVERY

Fears are Overdone

Citywire + rated Stuart Mitchell, manager of the Essor Euro Opportunities fund, is not overyly concerned by the recent strength of the euro. He said: ‘We think the effects are exaggerated. In contrast to 20 years ago most large eurozone corporates have diversified production abroad to match sales. Secondly the eurozone continues to run a trade surplus and the recovery appears to be accelerating despite the recent strength of the currency. Germany still has a very significant cost competitive advantage relative to the rest of the developed world. We can see this in the continuous market share gains made by the industrial sector. Arguably the currency is still too weak.’

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SW MITCHELL: BANKS TO DOUBLE IN VALUE

SW Mitchell founder and investment manager Stuart Mitchell has described the investment opportunity presented by European retail banks as the ‘kind that comes once in a lifetime’ with 100 per cent valuation growth expected in the short to medium term.

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YOU’RE ALWAYS IMMENSELY LOYAL TO YOUR FIRST JOB

Turning his back on the tough life of a professional concert pianist, he’s since experienced it vicariously through friends, but Stuart Mitchell’s great passion still punctuates his work. For instance his firm, SW Mitchell Capital, offers corporate sponsorship for aspiring classical talent. And there is the immaculate Grotrian-Steinweg piano in the corner of his office.

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WE BELIEVE THAT THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN DOMESTICALLY ORIENTATED COMPANIES IS PARTICULARLY STRIKING

We underperformed the market in November. We remain very optimistic on the outlook for Europe. In particular, we believe that the opportunity to invest in more domestically orientated companies is particularly striking. Many of the best quality international growth stocks are now just too expensive, especially considering a possible slow-down in emerging market demand. Many domestic European companies, on the other hand, are trading at discounts to their American equivalents in excess of 50 percent. More importantly, however, our firm belief has been – and remains – that the Eurozone economies are both fiscally stronger, and more business competitive, than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. One need only look at the modest growth in overall Eurozone government debt over the crisis, or at the German trade account surplus, to appreciate the strength of the region relative to the US and UK.

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