Woodford ups Provident Financial backing: Fund manager doubles-down in multi-million-pound trade

Oliver Gill
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Provident's home collection figures are at the bottom of analyst expectations (Source: Getty)

Star fund manager Woodford has rushed to the support of Provident Financial, buying a fresh multi-million-pound stake in the troubled doorstep lender.

Woodford, which previously owned just under a fifth of Provident's shares, snapped up a further one per cent of the firm on Friday, according to an after-hours regulatory filing released this evening.

Depending on the precise timing of Woodford's trade, it is likely the fund manager will have ridden some of the recent share price rise that followed Provident's third-quarter trading announcement on Friday morning.

Read more: Why City analysts aren't excited about Provident Financial's share surge

Provident's stock bounced 18.5 per cent in the wake of Friday's announcement. The Bradford-based lender revealed it had hired 300 new staff and started to make headway on low levels of debt collections.

However, Provident guided the market that 2017 losses may top £120m.

The root of much of Provident's problems lies in its home credit unit. While the firm said collections had risen from 57 per cent reported in August to 65 per cent, this was at the bottom end of analyst forecasts.

Woodford has previously issued statements publicly supporting Provident. A spokesperson for the fund manager declined to comment on the latest shareholding increase.

Read more: Star fund boss defiant over Provident Financial share price collapse

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