Questor: Aviva’s asset disposals pave the way for better performance and a rising dividend

Aviva’s stronger financial outlook means that its plan to raise dividends at a low-to-mid single-digit rate over the coming years is likely to become more realistic. When combined with its forecast dividend yield for the 2022 financial year of about 7pc, the company continues to offer a very attractive income outlook.

Clearly, selling non-core assets may prove to be easier than growing profits in the remaining operations. But in this column’s view Aviva is on a much improved trajectory now it is leaner and simpler. Given its low valuation, investors should keep buying.

Questor says: buy

Ticker: AV.

Share price at close: 428.9p

Update: Polymetal

Shares in Polymetal, the Russia and Kazakhstan-focused gold miner, have almost trebled following this column’s last update on the company on March 9. 

Since then, the business has appointed a new management team following mass resignations in response to the war in Ukraine and has been excluded from FTSE indices (although its shares continue to trade on the London Stock Exchange).

Polymetal’s latest update stated that sanctions had thus far not had a material impact on its operations. We continue to view the stock as a hold given the company’s attractive portfolio of assets, but reiterate that it remains an extremely risky investment after its 78pc slump since our original recommendation in March 2020.

Of course, Questor has not considered the ethical aspect that, for many investors, will override any thoughts of owning a company that operates largely in Russia. Others should hold.

Questor says: hold

Ticker: POLY

Share price at close: 265.5p

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