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

BRLA’s closed-ended structure allows it to include more smaller companies in its portfolio than comparable open-ended funds.

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.

BRLA’s closed-ended structure allows it to include more smaller companies in its portfolio than comparable open-ended funds. At end 2017 the portfolio comprised 65 investments. Brazil remained overweight at 65 per cent and Mexico underweight at 25 per cent. Ongoing charges were 1.1 per cent. In US dollar terms, NAV total returns of 29 per cent were ahead of the 24.2 per cent rise in the trust’s benchmark, the MSCI EM Latin American index. Over _ ve years NAV returns are down 11.9 per cent, compared to a 13.7 per cent fall in the benchmark. In sterling terms, one year NAV and share price returns were 17.7 per cent and 19.9 per cent respectively. Earnings per share fell to 13.03 US cents .

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