Scottish American trust rallies despite Brexit setback

Scottish American trust rallies despite Brexit setback

Baillie Gifford’s Scottish American Investment trust has outpaced its benchmark after its holdings in healthcare and financial services rallied in the first six months of this year.

According to the company’s half-year results, ending 30 June, it saw its net asset value (NAV) total return hit 14 per cent, exceeding the FTSE All World index, which managed 12 per cent over the same period.

Figures from FE also revealed the trust has outperformed its peer group average, returning 25.8 per cent over the past six months, against the Global Equity Income sector return of 19.7 per cent.

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Trusts within the global equity income sector have struggled over recent months, and - while Scottish American has been an exception to this trend - the companies were found to be the worst performers in aggregate.

The healthy performance of the £398m trust, which is managed by Dominic Neary, was helped by “solid” and “resilient” operational performance from the majority of companies held within the portfolio.

Healthcare and financial services were pinpointed as sectors which were particularly important in helping delivering returns, with holdings in hearing implant company Cochlear, and the Brazilian stock exchange BM&F Bovespa performing particularly well.

According to the update, the trust, known as ‘Saints’, was also bolstered by its equity holdings, which continued to see dividend growth.

However, the trust was hindered by the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, which was described as a “setback” when it came to increasing the share prices of its UK-listed stocks.

But Mr Neary said the portfolio’s overseas stocks have, in sterling terms, benefitted from the currency movements related to the Brexit vote.

Meanwhile, the fixed income portfolio benefitted from a strong rebound in the Brazilian inflation-linked bond.