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.
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.
If leading stock markets maintain an upwards trajectory through the rest of 2018, the Association of Investment Companies’ 10-year performance tables could witness some significant changes.
Winner: Miton Global Opportunities Trust
Miton Global Opportunities Trust (MIGO) enjoyed a purple patch in 2016 and 2017. It therefore claims the award in this exceptionally varied sector.
Winner: 3i Infrastructure
3i Infrastructure (3IN) claims this award, having been highly commended last year. It invests mainly in unquoted companies involved in infrastructure-related activities and owning their assets in perpetuity. It works closely with them to enhance long-term returns.
Winner: Princess Private Equity Holdings
Launched in late 2007, Princess Private Equity Holdings (PEY) suffered a traumatic start: its shares fell to a discount of around 80 per cent to NAV in early 2009. But it has clawed its way back into favour with steady growth in NAV per share.
Ballie Gifford Shin Nippon (BGS) retains this award with much the best NAV returns of any Japan-focused trust over three, five and 10 years. It focuses on small companies, invests on a bottom-up basis and has a high active share, in this case 93 per cent.