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Scottish Mortgage increases dividend but warns investors

Scottish Mortgage increases dividend but warns investors

The £8bn Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust will continue paying a rising dividend, despite warning its investors this is not what it aims to achieve.

In the trust's annual report, covering the year to the end of March 2019, its chairman Fiona McBain said the trust’s reputation as an investor in technology and healthcare companies meant shareholders should expect to see returns "primarily come through long-term capital appreciation" rather than significant dividend payments.

She also highlighted that the trust's holdings had not earned enough cash during the year to pay out a dividend and its largest investments - in companies such as Tesla and Amazon - paid no dividend at all.

Despite this, Ms McBain said the trust's dividend for the year would rise by 2 per cent to a total of 3.13 pence per share, funded from the trust's capital reserves.

She wrote: "The board acknowledges that a significant number of shareholders value the modest level of income they do receive, the board has therefore decided not to change the dividend policy.

"The consistent application of this policy allows those shareholders to plan their own portfolio income."

Ms McBain added: "Scottish Mortgage is not intended to be all things for all people and is most suited to those who share its patient, long term approach to investment."

The trust's joint manager, Tom Slater, had previously stated the trust will not make investments based on the potential for the company they invest in to pay a dividend.

Scottish Mortgage is the largest investment trust in the UK and is listed in the FTSE 100.

It returned 14.4 per cent over the past year, compared with 9.9 per cent for the AIC Global sector average.

david.thorpe@ft.com