The fund that has held HSBC for 129 years

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

Many fund man­agers talk up the ben­e­fits of long-term in­vest­ment but some take the idea to ex­tremes. By James Con­ning­ton

In the same year that the Bankers In­vest­ment Trust first in­vested in HSBC, the Eif­fel Tower opened, Char­lie Chap­lin was born and Queen Victoria was on the throne. The £1.2bn trust has been a holder of HSBC since 1889, which prob­a­bly makes it the long­est-held stock in the his­tory of col­lec­tive in­vest­ment.

Al­though own­ing a stock for as long as 129 years is not com­mon, many fund man­agers stand by their favourite firms for decades. Here are four ex­am­ples of tak­ing long-term in­vest­ing to the ex­treme. Since 1995, the ear­li­est date from which the fig­ures are avail­able, the to­tal re­turn from HSBC shares, in­clud­ing rein­vested div­i­dends, has been 547pc, de­spite the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

Alex Crooke, the trust’s man­ager, said: “In the first set of ac­counts from 1889, the port­fo­lio was dom­i­nated by wa­ter companies, rail­roads, brew­eries and gov­ern­ment bonds.

“Some names stand out. The Liebig’s Ex­tract of Meat Com­pany was the owner of Fray Ben­tos pies and Oxo cubes – and the enig­matic Gi­bral­tar Rail­way Com­pany must have op­er­ated a lim­ited net­work.” He added that the port­fo­lio in­cluded mul­ti­ple names held for more than 30 years. “Longer hold­ing pe­ri­ods mean lower trans­ac­tion costs and the abil­ity to ben­e­fit from a com­pany’s strat­egy over mul­ti­ple eco­nomic cy­cles,” he said. This £3.7bn global in­vest­ment trust re­cently cel­e­brated its 150th an­niver­sary, and for the past 93 years it has held Royal Dutch Shell shares. The trust’s man­ager, Paul Niven, still be­lieves Shell is an op­por­tu­nity, last ad­ding to his hold­ing in late 2017. He said: “It has some very good-qual­ity oil as­sets. In the past its spend­ing has been poor when the oil price has been

Halma, held by one fund for 29 years, started life in 1894 as a tea pro­ducer in Sri Lanka

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