JPM US Equity Income Fund achieves bronze Morningstar OBSR rating
J.P. Morgan Asset Management has been awarded a Morningstar Old Broad Street Research Ltd (OBSR) Bronze rating for the JPM US Equity Income Fund.
According to OBSR, the experienced management and well resourced analyst team has helped to create a diversified portfolio for the JPM US Equity Income Fund, contributing to the recent bronze rating awarded to the fund. The fund is over £600 million in size and has returned 54.16% since inception in December 2008 (to 29/02/12). The JPM US Equity Income Fund is currently yielding 2.2% (as at 02/04/12) and returned 10.51% in 2011, ranking No. 1 out of 96 funds in the IMA North America.
Jasper Berens, head of UK retail at J.P. Morgan Asset Management commented: "This rating marks a great achievement for Clare Hart and the JPM US Equity Income team. The rating comes at an ideal time as recent IMA data shows UK investors have a renewed interest in the US market, as they seek to benefit from the improving US economy and robust US company balance sheets. We are very pleased OBSR has recognised the qualities that make and drive the fund's success. The fund's remit, to invest in high quality, cash generative companies, underpinned with a high and rising dividend, results in a portfolio representing the best of corporate America. We believe this is an ideal portfolio for UK investors who have become very familiar with this method of investing through UK equity income funds in the past, but who are now looking to the US to lead the developed world markets in a sustained recovery."
The strong investment case for the US has continued into 2012 in the wake of improving economic data from the US and two months of strong fund flows. In January and February, the IMA North America sector took £411m in net flows. US Equity markets continued their upward advance and the year to date return of the S&P 500 at 9% marks the best start of a new year since 1991. The manufacturing sector continued to expand and ongoing improvement of US employment data encouraged investors to seek returns.
Clare Hart, fund manager of the JPM US Equity Income Fund said: "The rating acknowledges the robust nature of our investment process and the depth of resource and experience J.P. Morgan Asset Management has in managing US equities. Given increasing levels of business confidence, spurred on by continued improvement in the US economy, we expect US corporate profits to grow at a moderate pace. This will strengthen already healthy corporate balance sheets and provide companies with increased capital spending capabilities thus enabling them to reduce leverage or return excess capital to shareholders; all which would be welcomed by investors."