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Porter ‘learns’ from under-performance

Porter ‘learns’ from under-performance

Securities Trust of Scotland manager Alan Porter has said he has learnt from the fund’s under-performance over the past three years against the Global Equity Income benchmark.

Mr Porter said this was because of two particular stocks: Swedish media company Modern Times Group and gambling company MGM.

He said: “Both have been hit by geopolitical events, so Macau gambling has been hit by the Chinese corruption crackdown.

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“We have had a pick-up in performance for the year to date driven by one stock, which is Kraft, our fifth largest stock, which merged with Heinz which we also own.

“It is always good to know you can learn something, and a poor period of performance reminds you that you are not an absolute genius when it comes to having a good year.”

Last month, the trust announced results which included net asset value increasing 12.5 per cent on a total return basis.

The board also declared a fourth interim dividend of 1.45p, making a total of 4.90p over the year.

Adviser view

Ben Willis, head of research at Bristol-based Whitechurch Financial Consultants, said: “The trust has kept pace with AIC IT Global Equity Income sector, though the past 18 months have proved tricky and seen it give up gains made in 2012/13.

“It is surprising that 2015 performance has been poor as the fund has 50 per cent in Europe, which has been fuelled by ECB quantitative easing, but it has a slug in energy and industrials/materials which have been under pressure from low commodity prices.

“As a contrarian, overweight Europe, energy and mining exposure could make this an interesting trust to invest in now.”