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‘We sold Shell as its dividend looks shaky’

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Shell’s acquisition of rival company BG is likely to hurt its finances, making its dividend look more uncertain CREDIT: ARND WIEGMANN

By Laura Suter28 OCTOBER 2016 • 8:59AM

Tom Walker, manager of the Martin Currie Global Portfolio, has 59pc of his fund’s assets in American companies. While he is concerned about the outcome of the election, he does not think a Trump win will necessarily be terrible for the American economy or for the companies he invests in.

Mr Walker, who has run the fund since its launch, tells Telegraph Money why he recently invested in one giant Chinese firm and why he cut Royal Dutch Shell from the portfolio.

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We have fairly large holdings in energy firms, which means we have benefited from the big rise in the oil price in the first half of the year. We have taken a bit of money out of those stocks and have sold out of Shell.

We think with oil prices at $55 a barrel Shell can probably maintain its dividend but it is going to rely on asset sales to do so as cashflow from its operations is not sufficient and it has quite a lot of debt following the BG acquisition. I also know a lot of people own Shell just for the dividend so I worry that if it cuts the dividend, that will cause a sell‑off.

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