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Morningstar OBSR awards SLI new ratings for European equities

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Standard Life Investments (SLI), the global fund manager, has been awarded new ratings by Morningstar OBSR for its European equities funds.

Whilst the economic outlook for Europe is challenging, SLI believes its European equities team is finding excellent investment opportunities in companies across Europe, providing solid performance for its funds.

The European Equity Income Fund managed by Will James has produced top decile performance over one, two and three years and a return of 40.6 per cent versus 32.3 per cent for the sector, placing the fund in the top quartile since launch in 2009.

The European Smaller Companies Fund (SICAV) is managed by Ken Nicholson who uses a distinct small cap screening system and close collaboration with other SLI equities teams. It has produced top decile performance over two, three, four years and since inception, with a return of 21.6 per cent versus the sector mean of -16.5 per cent (as at 30 August; source Morningstar).

Both funds have been recognised by Morningstar OBSR and awarded bronze ratings for the first time based on their confidence in the managers and investment process.

Stan Pearson head of European equities, Standard Life Investments, says: "Europe has a number of world class companies operating in many fields if you look beyond the headline problems of the Euro. If you are a good stock picker with a robust investment process you can still make money in this environment.

"The European stock market is not the European economy, and some businesses are market leaders in their sectors, with a large proportion of sales outside Europe, and proven ability to withstand macroeconomic headwinds. They are benefiting from growth in other global markets such as Japan, the US and Emerging Markets, and in some cases from a weaker Euro. Some companies are reporting strong earnings and also attaching a higher priority to dividend payments and growth.

"It’s pleasing to have success for these funds at a time of increased volatility, but we have always had confidence in our team and investment process. All our funds benefit from our Focus on Change investment philosophy with detailed fundamental analysis, company meetings and bottom up stock selection. This is supported by a very effective and experienced European Equities team -we have a total of over 150 years of investment experience between us.

“Morningstar OBSR’s decision to award the bronze ratings for our European equity funds is fitting recognition of our investment performance in what is a core asset class for Standard Life Investments."

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