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About this investment trust

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.

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

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.

Image of Kepler Income and Growth rating logo

Kepler Rating: As at 1 January 2022.
Awards/Ratings have not been superseded to date.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and should not be the sole factor of consideration when selecting a product or strategy.

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

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.

Fees & Charges

Annual Expenses as at Date: 31/12/2021

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

Latest company announcements

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.

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To receive email alert notifications once an update to the Trust occurs, please sign up and select the updates you would like to receive via The Association of Investment Companies website here.

The Board's approach to ESG

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.

As a Board we believe that good Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) behaviour by the companies we invest in is critical to the long-term financial success of our Company. The Board recognises the importance to society of the need to invest in companies that are environmentally and socially responsible with clear governance structures. ESG issues can present both opportunities and threats to long-term investment performance. The securities within the Company’s investment remit are typically large producers of vital food, timber, minerals and oil supplies, and consequently face many ESG challenges and headwinds as they grapple with the impact of their operations on the environment and resources. The Board is also aware that there is significant room for improvement in terms of disclosure and adherence to global best practices for corporates throughout the Latin American region, which lags global peers when it comes to ESG best practice. These ESG issues faced by companies in the Latin American investment universe are a key focus of the Board, and it is committed to a diligent oversight of the activities of the Manager in these areas. Whilst the Company does not exclude investment in stocks purely on ESG criteria, ESG analytics are fully integrated into the investment process when weighing up the risk and reward benefits of investment decisions and the Board believes that communication and engagement with portfolio companies is important and can lead to better outcomes for stakeholders and the environment than merely excluding investment in certain areas.

Sustainable investing: BlackRock's approach

Sustainability is BlackRock’s standard for investing, based on the investment conviction that integrating sustainability can help investors build more resilient portfolios and achieve better long-term, risk-adjusted returns. BlackRock believes that climate change is a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects and that it will have a significant and lasting impact on economic growth and prosperity. BlackRock believes that climate risk equates to investment risk and this will drive a profound reassessment of risk and asset values as investors seek to react to the impact of climate policy changes. This in turn is likely to drive a significant reallocation of capital away from traditional carbon intensive industries over the next decade.

Environmental, Social and Governance: integration into BlackRock’s investment management process

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing is often conflated or used interchangeably with the term “sustainable investing.” BlackRock has identified sustainable investing as being the overall framework and ESG as a data toolkit for identifying and informing its solutions. BlackRock has defined ESG Integration as the practice of incorporating material ESG information and consideration of sustainability risks into investment decisions in order to enhance risk-adjusted returns. BlackRock recognises the relevance of material ESG information across all asset classes and styles of portfolio management.  ESG information and sustainability risks are included as a consideration in investment research, portfolio construction, portfolio review, and investment stewardship processes. The Investment Manager considers ESG insights and data, including sustainability risks, within the total set of information in its research process and makes a determination as to the materiality of such information in its investment process. ESG insights are not the sole consideration when making investment decisions and the extent to which ESG insights are considered during investment decision making will also be determined by the characteristics or objectives of the Company. The Investment Manager’s evaluation of ESG data may be subjective and could change over time in light of emerging sustainability risks or changing market conditions. This approach is consistent with the Investment Manager’s regulatory duty to manage the Company in accordance with its investment objectives and policy and in the best interests of the Company’s investors. The Investment Manager’s Risk and Quantitative Analysis group will review portfolios to ensure that sustainability risks are considered regularly alongside traditional financial risks, that investment decisions are taken in light of relevant sustainability risks and that decisions exposing portfolios to sustainability risks are deliberate, and the risks diversified and scaled according to the investment objectives of the Company.

BlackRock’s approach to ESG integration is to broaden the total amount of information the Investment Manager considers with the aim of improving investment analysis and understanding the likely impact of sustainability risks on the Company’s investments. The Investment Manager assesses a variety of economic and financial indicators, which may include ESG data and insights, to make investment decisions appropriate for the Company objectives. This can include relevant third-party insights or data, internal research or engagement commentary and input from BlackRock Investment Stewardship.

Sustainability risks are identified at various steps of the investment process, where relevant, from research, allocation, selection, portfolio construction decisions, or management engagement, and are considered relative to the Company’s risk and return objectives. Assessment of these risks is done relative to their materiality (i.e. likeliness of impacting returns of the investment) and in tandem with other risk assessments (e.g. liquidity, valuation, etc.).

ESG integration does not change the Company’s investment objective or constrain the Investment Manager’s investable universe, and does not mean that an ESG investment strategy or exclusionary screens has been or will be adopted by the Company. Similarly, ESG integration does not determine the extent to which the Company may be impacted by sustainability risks.

Investment Stewardship

BlackRock undertakes investment stewardship engagements and proxy voting with the goal of protecting and enhancing the long-term value of clients’ investments for relevant asset classes. In our experience, sustainable financial performance and value creation are enhanced by sound governance practices, including risk management oversight, board accountability, and compliance with regulations. We focus on board composition, effectiveness and accountability as a top priority. In our experience, high standards of corporate governance are the foundations of board leadership and oversight. We engage to better understand how boards assess their effectiveness and performance, as well as their position on director responsibilities and commitments, turnover and succession planning, crisis management and diversity. BlackRock takes a long-term perspective in its investment stewardship work informed by two key characteristics of our business: the majority of our investors are saving for long-term goals, so we presume they are long-term shareholders; and BlackRock offers strategies with varying investment horizons, which means BlackRock has long-term relationships with its investee companies. For further detail regarding BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship approach please refer to the website here.

Engagement with portfolio companies

The Board receive regular updates from the Investment Manager in respect of activity undertaken for the year under review. Over the year to 31 December 2020, 40 total company engagements were held with the management teams of 17 portfolio companies representing 63% of the portfolio by value at 31 December 2020. To put this into context, there were 43 companies in the BlackRock Latin American Investment Trust plc’s portfolio at 31 December 2020 (31 December 2019: 49). In total 701 proposals were voted on at 74 shareholder meetings.

Fund manager commentary

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.

31 March 2022

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 March 2022, the Company’s NAV returned 15.0%1 with the share price moving 17.2%1. The Company’s benchmark, the MSCI EM Latin America Index, returned 15.2%1 on a net basis (all performance figures are in sterling terms with dividends reinvested).

Latin American (LatAm) equities posted a positive performance over the month with Brazil and Colombia leading the rise.

Security selection in Peru contributed the most to relative performance over the period while security selection in Brazil detracted most from relative returns. An overweight position in the Brazilian steel producer, Gerdau, was top contributor during the month as the company’s ability to generate strong free cash flow in the context of a rising price environment has benefitted the share price. An overweight position in Brazilian financial services group, Itau, also benefitted the portfolio as it was expected that the banking business should experience growth in interest income on the back of the higher cost of borrowing in Brazil. On the other hand, an off-benchmark holding in Copa, a Panamanian airline, detracted most from relative performance following underperformance of the stock. We believe pricing power has increased as the company is navigating through the crisis well and we believe will end up in a better competitive position given multiple regional competitors are going through financial restructuring. An overweight position in Chilean department store, Falabella, also weighed on relative returns following a slowdown of growth in consumption in Chile coupled with poorer margins.

Over the month we added to Brazilian brewing company, Ambev, as we believe the stock is trading at attractive valuations while the company focuses on premiumization, innovation and diversification to bring new consumers on board and strengthen its brands. We initiated a position in Brazilian logistics company, Santos Brasil, as we see the port operator as well positioned in terms of available capacity in one of the largest and most congested seaports in Brazil, which should lead the company to grow volumes above those of the market, despite the ongoing global logistics bottlenecks.  We reduced exposure to Brazilian stock exchange, B3, to take profits following stock outperformance.  The portfolio ended the period being overweight to Brazil and Mexico, whilst being underweight to Colombia. At the sector level, we are overweight financials and health care, and underweight energy and utilities.

Latin American equities are bouncing back from a challenging 2021 as investors learn to live with the region’s political risk and focus instead on soaring local interest rates and commodity prices. LatAm currency remains relatively cheap at current levels as the combination of rising interest rates and low valuations has been attracting investors to increase regional exposure. Latin American central banks were the first to raise rates last year and policy makers in Mexico and Colombia have both surprised markets with steep hikes this year in preparation for Federal Reserve tightening measures. Meanwhile, Brazilian policy makers have increased borrowing costs to the highest levels in almost five years. Latin America has been proactive in hiking rates and is considered to be ahead of the curve from a monetary policy standpoint relative to developed markets. Having been one of the worst performing Emerging Market currencies last year, the Brazilian Real has shown robust appreciation this year with the currency strengthening on the back of higher interest rates while rises in commodity prices have certainly played a role. The prices of oil, soybeans and iron ore (Brazil’s main commodity exports) have increased since the start of the year. What’s more, high interest rates are making local assets more attractive. There is no clear hint that the underlying force behind the rally is fading. Latin America’s high yields compared with peers and relatively cheap local stock markets continue to attract foreign account inflows. Global rotation from growth stocks into value stocks continues to boost performance in Latin America and considering the Federal Reserve’s pace of interest rate rises, this may keep investors away from growth stocks for now. We would argue that for many reasons LatAm would seem well-positioned ahead of rising geopolitical tensions as the region provides:  i)  geographic and economic insulation from the recent conflict; ii) long and wide commodities exposure; iii) cheap currencies; iv) attractive valuation entry points; and v) proactive monetary policy stances..

1Source: BlackRock, as of 31 March 2022.

Source: Unless otherwise stated all data is sourced from BlackRock as at 31 March 2022.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

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.

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 Brunner Investment Trust plc and Baillie Gifford UK Growth Fund 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 the CC Japan Income & Growth Trust plc and was formerly a Director of 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.

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Investment strategies targeting growth and income
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Over 29 years of proven experience running investment trusts (Dec 2021)
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Unparalleled research capabilities and experienced stock pickers
Contact
To get in touch contact us on:
Telephone: 020 7743 3000
Email: cosec@blackrock.com