Everything is relative, but right now Lloyds is the most favouredUK bank among DIY investors, with14% holding itin their private portfolios, according to new figures from Hargreaves Lansdown.
Collectively, DIY investors hold 2.5% of their portfolios in Lloyds. Given that itmakes up 1.9% of the FTSE All Share, they are effectively overweight in the stock.
Jam Today, More Tomorrow
And theyre not the only ones casting a forgiving smile of Lloyds. One in five UK equity income fund managers now own its shares, even though it hasnt paid a dividend since 2008. By comparison, just 14% own Standard Chartered, which currently yields a mighty6%.
Fund managersare looking to the future, of course, and willfeel vindicated now that Lloyds has announced its first dividend in six years, at 0.75p per share.
Theyare buying Lloyds because they reckon its dividend prospects look more promisingthan they do at Standard Chartered.
Artemis fund manager Adrian Frost said: Lloyds has a strong capital position and is achieving its regulatory targets, and as this capital builds it is more a question of when rather than if the dividend rises.
Lloyds offers jam tomorrow, even if it is spread a bit thinly today. By contrast, Standard Chartereds payout could be toast.
DIY Investors Heart Lloyds
Although more private investors, 4%, hold HSBC than Lloyds, HSBC is worth 5.5% of the All-Share, so they are actually underweight. They are also underweight on Barclays as well.
Some of this may be a hangover from the burst of growth Lloyds enjoyed in 2012 and 2013, when it rose around 200%, and private investors leapt on board,hoping to ride high on the momentum.
Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio is nicely on course to return the bank to rude health, which will see the end of government ownership, as the taxpayers remaining 13.5bn stake is sold off. It should also see a steadyreturn of the juicy dividend for which Lloyds was once rightlyfamed.
By December 2016, the bankis forecast to yield 5.2%. It isnt hard to see why investors like the idea of locking into that income stream today.
Horta-Osorio has clipped the banks international wings, and it will now focus on its UK retail offering.
The risks will have been reduced but the rewards remain, making Lloyds one of the most exciting income prospects on the FTSE 100 today.
If you can’t wait until 2016 to bag a juicy 5% yield, don’t worry, plenty of top UK stocks deliver that today.
The FTSE 100 is packed with top stockspaying as much as 5% or 6% a year.
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