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About this investment trust

The Company aims to secure long-term capital growth and an attractive total return primarily through investing in quoted securities in Latin America.

Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

Why choose it?

Latin American countries hold a wealth of opportunities for long-term investors keen to participate in the region's growth and diversity. Our experienced team draws on its extensive network in the region to uncover the most compelling opportunities across a variety of countries and sectors.

Diversification and asset allocation may not fully protect you from market risk.

Suited to…

Investors with a long-term horizon who want to include Latin American shares in their portfolio and are able to tolerate periods of market volatility in pursuit of capital growth. This means shares prices may rise and fall more frequently.

What are the risks?

  • Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.
  • Overseas investment will be affected by movements in currency exchange rates.
  • Emerging market investments are usually associated with higher investment risk than developed market investments. Therefore the value of these investments may be unpredictable and subject to greater variation.
  • Investment strategies, such as borrowing, used by the Trust can result in even larger losses suffered when the value of the underlying investments fall.

Useful information

Fees & Charges

Annual Expenses as at Date: 31/12/2018

Ongoing Charge (including any Performance Fee): 1.1%

Management Fee Summary: The management fee is 0.80% per annum of the Company's NAV.

  • ISIN: GB0005058408

    Sedol: 0505840

    Bloomberg: BRLA LN

    Reuters: BRLA.L

    LSE code: BRLA

  • Name of Company: BlackRock Fund Managers Limited

    Telephone: 020 7743 3000

    Email: cosec@blackrock.com

    Website: www.blackrock.com/uk

    Correspondence Address: Investor Services
    BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited
    12 Throgmorton Avenue
    London
    EC2N 2DL

    Name of Registrar: Computershare PLC

    Registered Office: 12 Throgmorton Avenue
    London
    EC2N 2DL

    Registrar Telephone: +44 (0)370 707 1112

    Place of Registration: England

    Registered Number: 2479975

  • Year End: 31 December

    Results Announced: March (final)

    AGM: May

    Dividends Paid: February, May, August and November

Fund manager commentary

31 July 2020

Please note that the commentary below includes historic information in respect of the performance of portfolio investments, index performance data and the Company’s NAV and share performance.

The figures shown relate to past performance.  Past Performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future results.

For the month of July 2020, the Company’s NAV returned +4.1%1 with the share price moving -2.6%1. The Company’s benchmark, the MSCI EM Latin America Index, returned +4.4%1 on a net basis (all performance figures are in sterling terms with dividends reinvested).

Latin American equities were up in July, outperforming developed and emerging market equities. All countries in Latin America posted positive performance and were led by Brazil and Argentina. This was driven by a global rebound and increase in mobility trends after distancing measures continued to be lifted. Latin American currencies strengthened in this environment.

Positioning in Peru contributed most to relative performance, while stock selection in Brazil detracted most on relative returns over the period. The offbenchmark holding of a Brazilian retailer, Via Varejo, was the top contributor on a relative basis as the company continues to see strong gross merchandise volume growth and should be better insulated from COVID-19 impact. The absence in the portfolio of the Mexican retailer, Wal Mart de Mexico (Walmex), was also beneficial to relative performance as the stock declined after reporting second quarter 2020 results. On the other hand, an overweight position in the steel producer Ternium detracted most from relative performance as steel prices declined in the US and the overall steel market in Mexico has been weak given the impact of lockdown on steel demand. The absence of a holding in Weg, a Brazilian company with worldwide operations in the electrical engineering, power and automation technology areas, weighed on returns as the stock rose after reporting good second quarter results.

Over the month we added to Grupo Mexico, the largest mining company in Mexico and one of the largest copper producers in the world, to increase our copper exposure. We participated in the IPO of Vasta Platform, an educational technology provider in Brazil, as we see growth potential via M&A activity and margin improvement as legacy business rolls off. We reduced exposure to Brazil by cutting the holding of CEMIG (Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais), a power generator and distributor in Brazil, following strong relative outperformance in recent months. We sold the portfolio’s holding in Klabin, Brazil's paper producer and exporter, given low conviction in the name. The portfolio ended the month being overweight Brazil and Argentina, while being underweight Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico. At the sector level, we are overweight consumer discretionary and materials. We are underweight consumer staples and financials.

The coronavirus and associated COVID-19 disease have spread throughout the world, prompting ’social distancing’ and often strict government control measures throughout developed and emerging markets, Latin America included. While China has been gradually easing restrictions since late February, most other emerging economies are still passing through the ‘peak lockdown’ phase. Policy responses have been considerable, but many markets in Latin America—notably those reliant on foreign capital flows—face constraints in the scale of their response, in addition to questions about the robustness of their health systems. We have seen lockdowns easing modestly by June and expect more significant easing in the second half of the year. Most governments plan to do so in this timeframe, though it should be noted that almost everywhere, government control measures have been kept in place longer than originally envisaged. Activity in the industrial sector and in parts of services where ‘social distancing’ is less of a concern should rebound relatively quickly. Still, we do not expect most economies to return to their pre-crisis level of GDP until 2021. The extent to which policy action now limits business bankruptcies and a breakdown in the labour market will be an important differentiator of the speed of recovery.

Source: Unless otherwise stated all data is sourced from BlackRock as at 31 July 2020

Source: 1Datastream as at 31 July 2020

Any opinions or forecasts represent an assessment of the market environment at a specific time and are not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. 
This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research, investment advice or a recommendation.

Risk: Reference to the names of each company mentioned in this communication is merely for explaining the investment strategy, and should not be construed as investment advice or investment recommendation of those companies

Portfolio manager biographies

Edward Kuczma, is co-manager of the BlackRock Latin American Investment Trust plc. Ed is a Portfolio Manager for BlackRock's Latin American Equity funds and a member of the Global Emerging Markets Equity team within BlackRock's Fundamental Active Equity business. He is a seasoned veteran of the emerging markets asset class with over 15 years of investment experience across all sectors and countries in Latin America. Ed has a BSc degree as a double major in Finance and Business Administration from Georgetown University and is a CFA charterholder.

Sam Vecht is co-manager of the BlackRock Latin American Investment Trust plc. He is Head of the Emerging Europe, Frontiers and LatAm team within the Fundamental Active Equity division of BlackRock's Active Equities Group and is responsible for managing long-only and long/short portfolios in both Emerging and Frontier markets. He is also co-manager of the BlackRock Frontiers Investment Trust plc and BlackRock Latin American Investment Trust plc. Sam joined BlackRock in 2000 in the Global Emerging Markets Team. He has a degree in international relations and history.

Edward Kuczma profile photo
Edward Kuczma
Portfolio Manager
Sam Vecht profile photo
Sam Vecht
Portfolio Manager

Board of directors

Carolan Dobson (Chairman) was appointed as a Director on 1 January 2016 and as Chairman on 2 March 2017. She is the former Head of UK Equities at Abbey Asset Managers and former Head of Investment Trusts at Murray Johnstone and therefore brings a wealth of industry experience to the Board. She is currently Non-Executive Chairman of JPMorgan European Smaller Companies Trust plc (retiring July 2019), Brunner Investment Trust plc and Baillie Gifford UK Growth Fund plc and a Non-Executive Director of Woodford Patient Capital Trust PLC.

Craig Cleland was appointed as a Director on 1 January 2019 and Chairman of the Audit Committee from 31 March 2019. He is Head of Corporate Development/Investment Trusts at CQS (UK) LLP, a multi-asset asset management firm in London with a focus on credit markets, where his responsibilities include advising and developing the closed-end fund business. He is also a Director of Invesco Perpetual Select Trust plc and Martin Currie Asia Unconstrained Trust plc. He was previously at JPMorgan Asset Management (UK) Limited, latterly as Managing Director, and led their technical groups in the investment trust business. Prior to that, he was a Director and Senior Company Secretary at Fleming Investment Trust Management, transferring to JPMorgan Asset Management after Chase Manhattan Bank acquired Robert Fleming Holdings Limited.

Mahrukh Doctor was appointed as a Director on 17 November 2009. Dr Doctor is a senior lecturer in political economy at the University of Hull, specialising in Latin America. Previously she was Adjunct Associate Professor at the John Hopkins University SAIS Europe in Bologna and Research Fellow at St. Anthony's College and the Centre for Brazilian Studies at the University of Oxford and an Economist at the World Bank. She has been the Brazil expert on the Oxford Analytica International Conference Latin America panel since 2002.

Laurie Meister was appointed as a Director on 1 February 2020. Ms Meister has 32 years of financial markets experience, both in New York and in London, with 28 years dedicated to having led and developed Latin American equity and capital markets businesses and other emerging markets. Her most recent position was as the Director of Latin American equity sales for European institutional clients for Deutsche Bank from 2008 to 2018. Prior to this she worked for J.P. Morgan Chase as a Director with responsibility for rebuilding the Cemea (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) equity business and then became the Senior European Equity Director for their Latin American equity business. Her initial experiences in the Latin American equity arena included the European start up in the early 1990s of the Merrill Lynch Latin American research sales operation. She then moved as a Managing Director to Robert Flemings in 1995 where she co-led the start-up of their Latin American trading sales and research operations across the region. Ms Meister has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in Finance from the New York University Stern School.

Nigel Webber was appointed as a Director on 1 April 2017. Mr Webber’s broad investment experience has seen him lead the design of investment solutions for affluent and high-net-worth individuals across global markets and multiple asset classes. Most recently, he was Global Chief Investment Officer for HSBC Private Banking where he held global responsibility for all investment activity for Group Private Banking. During his time at HSBC, Mr Webber was also Chairman of the Global Investment Committee for Group Private Bank and Chairman for HSBC Alternative Investments Limited. Prior to this, he held a number of blue-chip executive positions around the world for investment and asset management businesses. He is also a qualified accountant.

Investment strategies targeting growth and income
Investment strategies targeting growth and income
Over 25 years of proven experience running investment trusts
Over 27 years of proven experience running investment trusts. (December 2019)
Unparalleled research capabilities
Unparalleled research capabilities and experienced stock pickers
Contact
To get in touch contact us on:
Telephone: 020 7743 3000
Email: cosec@blackrock.com

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