‘Most Hated Bull Market Ever’ in Stocks Won’t Burst, Buxton Says

AB's Zlotnikov Sees Markets as 'Fairly Complacent'

U.K. money manager Richard Buxton dismissed concerns of a stock-market bubble, arguing there’s no reason equities can’t climb even higher in 2018.

The chief executive officer of Old Mutual Global Investors predicted mid single-digit returns in global stocks next year as Europe joins the U.S. in a sustainable recovery. Still, he conceded that some sectors of the market had “the characteristics of a bubble,” and said he understands why some investors are concerned.

“But do I think that equity prices are ludicrously overvalued? Absolutely not,” Buxton, who runs the 2.4 billion-pound ($3.2 billion) Old Mutual U.K. Alpha Fund, said a media briefing in London on Wednesday. “This has been the most hated equity bull market ever. There’s no euphoria in the market -- far from it. There is no overall bubble in equities.”

Buxton’s views are at odds with the opinions of money manager Neil Woodford, who earlier this week warned of a bubble that had “grown even bigger and even more dangerous” than in past crises. A survey last month by Legg Mason Global Asset Management showed that many wealth managers have started holding more cash amid fears of a correction. Stocks have climbed to records around the world, even as the global economy has so far lagged behind.

The Old Mutual Global Investors CEO is in the process of trying to buy out the asset-management unit from parent Old Mutual Wealth, backed by private-equity money. He joined the company from Schroders Plc as head of U.K. equities in 2013, before being promoted two years later to his current job, where he helps oversee 39.8 billion pounds of assets.

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