Investment Trusts  

Scottish Investment Trust posts 24.3% return before merger

Scottish Investment Trust posts 24.3% return before merger

The Scottish Investment Trust saw a return of 24.3 per cent in the year to October 31 as shareholders voted through plans to merge with JPMorgan’s Global Growth & Income trust.

In a statement to the stock exchange today, the trust said its net asset value total return was 15.9 per cent. It does not have a formal benchmark but, by way of comparison, the sterling total return of the MSCI World index was 29.5 per cent.

The trust’s chairman, James Will, said: “A recovery in economic prospects from the depths of the pandemic helped to drive absolute gains in the period.”

In October the firm announced it merging with JGGI to create a trust with net assets in excess of £1.2bn.

The decision came after the trust announced a review of its investment management arrangements in June.

This morning the Will said he expected the merger to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2022, with JP Morgan taking over the management of the trust on January 21 ahead of the formal merger.

Will said one of the benefits of the merger was that the JGGI trust is "style agnostic" between value and growth.

He said: "This affords the investment manager the flexibility to tilt the portfolio further towards, or further away from, value stocks or growth stocks as it sees fit, in a manner which is not possible under the [trust's] current investment strategy."

Earnings per share for the Scottish investment trust increased by 5 per cent compared with the previous year to 22.8p.

The board has recommended a final dividend of 7p, increasing the total dividend for the year to 24.4p, an increase of 5.2 per cent.

The board expects to pay a dividend in the first quarter next year of 6.1p, as well as a final interim dividend before the merger.

sally.hickey@ft.com