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Trust's first half

SMIT focuses on IT, biology and energy transition

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Healthcare investments have grown

Baillie Gifford’s flagship Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, said it is seeing a number of opportunities to invest in new technologies that are cutting across a number of sectors.

These include freight, food and finance while investment in healthcare and biology companies has increased from 11.6% a year ago to 21.4%, said the Edinburgh-based trust.

It said it is encouraged by the continuing digitisation of the economy, the intersection of information technology and biology and the “much-needed energy transition”.

In a statement with first half figures, the FTSE 100 company said: “Over short periods, such as the last six months, the market has naturally found various things to worry about.

“A long- term approach is helpful here. It enables us to focus not on the cacophony of the stock-markets but the more predictable drumbeat of deep underlying progress.

“Long-term trends may be too slow to shape financial news headlines in a single period but they compound over time as they grow in impact.

“Moreover, the powerful trends in computing technologies appear to not just be continuing but broadening in utility and application beyond the narrow remits of consumer internet to industries larger and far more diverse.

“This broadening is slowly being reflected in the changing shape of the portfolio. The trust’s investment in healthcare and biology companies for example has grown from 11.6% a year ago to 21.4% today. We are finding and supporting a growing number of businesses that we believe are benefiting from the intersection of biology and information technology.

“Our largest holding, Moderna has been the greatest contributor to this change…its pipeline of programs is both large and growing, targeting diseases such as flu, Zika, HIV, cancer and many more.”

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The trust reported a jump in the value of assets under management in the half year to 30 September. Net asset value surged 16% to 1,381.1p from 1,195.1p.

Over ten years Scottish Mortgage’s net asset value per share with debt at fair value (NAV) has increased by 1,072% versus a 275% increase in the FTSE All-World index (both in total return terms). Over five years it has increased by 341% against 83%.

The board declared an interim dividend of 1.52p, an increase of 5% over last year’s payment of 1.45p.



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