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Merrion Investments’ Michael Nicol on top stock performers

Despite getting off to a rocky start, the Dublin-domiciled Merrion European Absolute Return Ucits III Fund appears to have found its feet. Speaking to Hedgeweek, Merrion Investment Managers’ Michael Nicol, the fund’s investment manager, said the fund lost 3.5 per cent in the first two weeks when it launched on 18th April. “The initial problem was it was a macro-driven correction. The timing was unfortunate but we’ve recovered well; June returned 1.5 per cent.” Nicol thinks there are a still a number of macro concerns, but from a volatility perspective there are good opportunities for stock picking. “Burberry, Weir Group and AMEC (three of the fund’s top five long positions) are the big movers. Burberry fell 20 per cent initially, but YTD it’s up 20 per cent. Since 28th May, Weir Group’s price has risen 27 per cent, with AMEC currently up 7 per cent.” From a short position, the fund is looking thematically at the UK’s housing market and house builders in particular, to take advantage of overpriced stocks. “We’re hoping the fund will reach USD50 million within the next twelve months,” adds Nicol.

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