Investments  

£1.5bn trust manager turns to EM for pandemic protection

£1.5bn trust manager turns to EM for pandemic protection

Bruce Stout, manager of the £1.5bn Murray International investment trust is focused on emerging markets as a protection against the pandemic.

The Murray International trust has about 55 per cent of its capital in emerging market equities, compared with about 7 per cent in UK equities. 

In his latest update to shareholders in the trust, Mr Stout said: “While the world waits eagerly and watches for signs of economic recovery, scant attention seems to be directed towards how the spiralling economic costs of current Covid-constrained conditions will ultimately be addressed.

"For the already chronically indebted developed world the additional burden represents yet another significant headwind to negotiate.

"Yet for the fiscally prudent and savings rich nations within Asia and Emerging Markets the trajectory of recovery in growth, profitability and prosperity is unlikely to be unduly compromised by the legacy of this unprecedented pandemic. It is towards such investment opportunities that the Trust continues to emphasise.”

Mr Stout feels investors in developed markets are being “optimistic” about the pace and scale of economic recovery.

He went on to added: “The consensus view, perhaps formed by the experience post Global Financial Crisis of 2008-2009, believes the deeper the recession the steeper the recovery.

"Such simplicity may prove over optimistic under current circumstances. Objective economic analysis suggests it's the cause of recession that dictates the pace of recovery: restoring normality after severe property collapses, boom/bust phases of over-investment or credit related solvency crises can often take years.

"Having voluntarily shut down a substantial portion of economic society, there is no previous road map as to what happens next. The range of possible economic, and indeed clinical, outcomes remain many and varied, hence great caution continues to be warranted. “

The Murray International investment trust has increased its dividend for each of the past 15 years.  

david.thorpe@ft.com