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Heartbleed bug won’t derail tech growth, says AA-rated manager

Heartbleed bug won’t derail tech growth, says AA-rated manager

The ‘Heartbleed' bug has provided a sobering lesson for all tech users, but the IT sector's response to the lapse is up to the challenge, says Citywire AA-rated Anders Tandberg-Johansen.

Johansen said he would not be making wholesale changes to his DNB Fund Technology strategy as a result of the news.

This is despite the Heartbleed bug, which was described as ‘catastrophic’ in some quarters, being viewed as one of the most serious security breaches in recent years.

Speaking to Citywire Global, Tandberg-Johansen said threats from viruses and other malware were becoming increasingly dangerous, but that the IT sector is not sitting on its laurels.

‘Security threats have always been a challenge in the digital world, and probably always will be,’ said the Norway-based manager.

‘Although the Heartbleed bug seems to be one of the more serious threats we have seen in a while, we do not think that this will impact the pace of change that we currently see in the tech sector in a significant way.

‘We are continuously looking for stocks that are well positioned within IT security and, at the same time, keep an eye on companies that are potentially vulnerable.’

As a result of the Heartbleed bug, Tandberg-Johansen said he had actually become more bullish on some stocks in his portfolio.

‘We take notice of the fact that it was Google’s security team who discovered the bug and also very quickly wrote a patch to fix it. For a variety of reasons, Google remains to be one of the largest positions in the fund.’

At present Google accounts for 4.7% of the fund and is the sixth largest position. Bigger holdings are services company Oracle (7.99%) and tech giant Apple (7.3%), which were the two largest bets at the end of March.

The 45-stock fund has 86% allocated directly to the tech sector, while 8% is in consumer cyclicals and 4.4% is in communications firms.

The DNB Fund Technology fund has returned 45.5% over the three years to the end of March 2014. This compares with a rise of 36.35% by its Citywire benchmark, the Dow Jones Global Technology TR, over the same period.

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