Murray International Trust suffers from strength of surging sterling

Michael Bow
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Philip Morris was the only US holding inside the trust’s top 10 investments
MURRAY International, the FTSE 250-listed investment trust, fell in value during the first six months of the year after falling victim to the runaway strength of the pound.

The £1.1bn vehicle, managed by Aberdeen Asset Management’s Bruce Stout, has about 90 per cent of its assets invested outside the UK. Sterling’s surge to a seven-year high against other currencies during the period hurt the trust’s portfolio, sending the net value of assets down 2.6 per cent. Publicly traded shares in the group also fell 4.1 per cent over the period.

Mexican airport operator Aeroportuario del Sureste was the trust’s biggest holding, accounting for nearly five per cent of total assets, followed by British American Tobacco and Taiwan Semiconductor. The firm has one US holding in its top 10 – tobacco firm Philip Morris.

“Overweight exposures to Asia and Latin America conversely proved negative as both regional indices declined,” chair Kevin Carter said.

“Although positive stock selection in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and Mexico produced solid capital gains, these were more than offset by weakness in Malaysia, Thailand and most noticeably Brazil.”