Annual report summaries

High-yielding Merchants’ emphasis on value proves profitable

The Merchants Trust (MRCH) is managed by Allianz Global Investors. It invests mainly in large UK-quoted companies for an above-average and consistently rising dividend and long-term capital growth. Its annual report for the year to 31 January 2018 shows shareholders’ assets of £593 million.

Manager Simon Gergel has a long-term value focus and invests in ‑ firms with strong franchises and sound finances he expects to deliver high income and good returns.

Jupiter's Darwall finding European opportunities aplenty

Jupiter European Opportunities Trust (JEO) invests in European equities for long-term capital growth. Although its benchmark is the FTSE World Europe ex UK Total Return index, it generally has a significant UK exposure. Its report for the year to 31 May 2018 shows shareholders’ assets of £873 million.

Cheaper gearing supports Brunner’s share price returns

The Brunner Investment Trust (BUT) is managed by Allianz Global Investors. It o­ffers a one-stop shop for investors looking for a global portfolio of equities and a quarterly dividend. Its annual report for the year to 30 November 2017 shows shareholders’ assets of £318 million.

BlackRock Smaller Companies’ stunning 15 years

BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust (BRSC) targets long-term capital growth through investment in smaller UK-quoted ­ firms, with up to 50 per cent in Aim-quoted holdings. Its report and accounts for the year to 28 February 2018 show shareholders’ funds of £721 million.

Insightful stock selections are generating strong returns

BlackRock Emerging Europe (BEEP) seeks long-term capital growth by investing in companies doing business primarily in eastern Europe, Russia, central Asia and Turkey. Its shares are quoted in sterling, but its accounts are presented in US dollars. Its report for the year to 31 January 2018 shows shareholders’ assets of £145 million*. Sam Vecht has managed BEEP since May 2009, with Chris Colunga as co-manager since March 2016. The portfolio holds 20 to 30 high conviction holdings and derivatives are used for hedging and investment purposes.

Brazil and small caps focus good for earnings prospects - annual report summary

BlackRock Latin American Investment Trust (BRLA) targets long-term capital growth by investing primarily in quoted securities in Latin America. In the year to 31 December 2017 it reports shareholders’ funds of US$280 million (£197 million). Will Landers has managed BRLA since March 2006. He favours mispriced/undervalued companies with proven management, good governance, good medium-term earnings prospects, plus strong balance sheets and cash flows. Investment decisions also incorporate a macroeconomic overview.