North American Dividend Mandate

ScotiaMcLeod Investment Portfolios Update - July 28, 2017

August 3, 2017

In late July the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was considering limiting the level of nicotine allowed in cigarettes, possibly to non-addictive levels, in an attempt to encourage more smokers to quit. While the eventual outcome and timing of this proposal is tough to predict, we did believe that it was meaningful enough to call into question our original investment thesis for holding shares of Altria (MO) in the mandate. Our investment thesis had some key assumptions, one of which was that the regulatory environment was not particularly risky for Altria. We could no longer say this was the case, even if the recent news did come “out of left field.” Tobacco stocks traded down sharply following the announcement. When our thesis has been materially affected we exit positions, as per our investment discipline.

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