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Top Norway stock fund is cutting risk in shift to defensives

The top Norwegian equity fund is shifting into defensive stocks as the market wobbles

“This year it has moved from a cyclical to a more defensive tilt, but with a reaction in the past months,” Leif Eriksrod, head of equities at Alfred Berg Kapitalforvaltning AS, said in an interview on Friday.

In a year marked by concerns over trade war, Brexit and the specter of recession in developed economies, volatility across sectors has made it difficult for stock pickers, according to Eriksrod, who oversees about NOK 13bn kroner (USD 1.5bn).

The fund has boosted its holdings in non-cyclical companies such as telecom giant Telenor ASA, online classifieds provider Adevinta ASA and real estate company Entra ASA. Read about Axiata, Telenor calling off Asian merger talks Alfred Berg Gambak is the top performing Norwegian fund
over the past 10 years with an average annual return of 15 percent, according to Morningstar.

It uses fundamental analysis while following trends and sentiment in the market. But what looks smart one month can seem “very stupid” the
next, according to Eriksrod. “And you don’t manage to change your portfolio as fast as the market swings,” he said.

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