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Latest news and views

Why invest in the trust?

The manager typically runs a focused 35-55 stock equity portfolio that is unconstrained by geography, sector, stock or market capitalisation.

Mark Whitehead, Portfolio Manager
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Latest factsheet

12-month performance

 To end Q3 2020 To end Q3 2019 To end Q3 2018 To end Q3 2017 To end Q3 2016
Share price-0.4%17.8% 7.8%10.0%31.4%
NAV -0.8%12.7% 8.3%12.2%27.6%

Cumulative performance

 One month Three months Six months One year Three years Five years
Share price3.7%-0.6%13.5%-0.4%26.5%82.8%
NAV0.1%2.2%21.5%-0.8%21.0%73.3%
Peer group^0.5%1.0%15.5%-3.8%9.7%54.2%

As at 30 September 2020
Past performance is not a guide to future returns.

Cumulative performance
^On 1 June 2016 Securities Trust of Scotland changed from benchmarking performance against the MSCI World High Dividend Yield index to an unconstrained strategy measured against the performance of the median of the peer group described below. Performance is shown in the table above against this new peer group across various time periods for illustrative purposes only. Prior to adopting a global mandate on 1 August 2011 the company's benchmark was the FTSE All-Share index.
The peer group consists of the AIC Global Equity Income sector combined with actively managed ICVC, SICAV or OEIC funds from Lipper Global - Global Equity Income sector. Performance is measured against the median of this peer group.

Discrete performance
Source: Martin Currie. The NAV basis used is cum-income in £. Please note prior to July 2017 the NAV basis used was ex-income NAV in £. Ex-income NAVs exclude current-year income, while cum-income NAVs include current-year income. These figures do not include the cost of buying and selling shares in an investment trust. If these were included, performance figures would be reduced.

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Managers' commentary

The top performer over the month was Samsung Electronics. Shares in the tech firm continued to do well as investors anticipated strengthening fundamentals in the memory industry as we move into 2021. Samsung is also expected to review its capital return framework during the last quarter of this year, which could result in greater dividends and buybacks in the future. Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) was another key contributor. It has continued to benefit from robust order trends, as evidenced by its monthly sales trajectory. Meanwhile, US semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom was another positive. Its September earnings release confirmed expectations that there would be continued robust sales related to hyperscale and cloud customers.

On the other side, specialist insurer Beazley was the most notable detractor. Shares were weak after it released a statement showing that COVID-19-related losses had increased substantially from a previous update. German reinsurance firm Munich Re also saw its shares fall after a period of outperformance, as there were some conflicting data points on the strength of reinsurance pricing in the market. However, our central case remains that the firm will be able to generate good returns on new business written. US tech giant Microsoft also weighed on returns over the month.

has been held previously but was sold on valuation grounds. A pullback in shares caused by uncertainty due to COVID-related sales trends gave us an opportunity to re-establish a position. We sold UK specialty chemicals producer Victrex, brick maker Ibstock and renewable infrastructure fund Greencoat UK Wind.

As at 30 September 2020

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Sector allocation

  31 Aug30 Sep
Information technology23.8%24.5%
Communication services14.8%14.8%
Consumer staples12.5%12.7%
Industrials11.7%12.1%
Financials11.4%10.1%
Healthcare9.1%9.2%
Materials10.9%7.2%
Real Estate6.9%6.3%
Consumer discretionary3.5%4.6%
Utilities4.8%2.9%
Cash3.0%8.3%
Gearing*-12.4%-12.5%
00.0%0.0%
00.0%0.0%

Regional allocation

 31 Aug 30 Sep
North America47.5%49.2%
Europe42.8%35.2%
Emerging Markets13.2%13.9%
Asia Pacific ex Japan5.9%6.0%
Cash3.0%8.3%
Gearing*-12.4%-12.5%
00.0%0.0%

Top 10 holdings

(43.1% of total portfolio)% of holding
Microsoft6.5%
Taiwan Semiconductor5.9%
Samsung Electronics4.5%
Sanofi4.2%
Crown Castle3.9%
Verizon Communications3.8%
Koninklijke DSM3.7%
Broadcom3.6%
Tencent Holdings3.5%
Air Products & Chemicals3.5%
Number of holdings36
Number of countries13

Key facts

Total net assets£203.5m
Share price (p)189.25
Net asset value per share (p)195.6
Discount (premium)3.2%
Historic net yield†3.0%
Active Options Exposure‡ 

As at 30 September 2020

‡For further information on Options please refer to Important Information overleaf.
*The risk outlined at the end of this document relating to gearing is particularly relevant to this company but should be read in conjunction with all warnings and comments given.
†Source for historic yield: Martin Currie as at 30 September 2020. The historic yield reflects dividends declared over the past 12 months as a percentage of the mid-market share price, as at the date shown. Investors may be subject to tax on their dividends.

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Portfolio Information

  • Top 10 Holdings

    A breakdown of the portfolio’s largest share holdings.

    Find out more

  • News & views

    The latest news and insights into the Trust.

    Find out more

  • Portfolio Manager

    Mark Whitehead is the Portfolio Manager of Securities Trust of Scotland.

    Find out more

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