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Fund Profile

BlackRock Latin American 11 October 2023


This is a non-independent marketing communication commissioned by BlackRock. The report has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on the dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

Managers’ ambition to take more active positions has so far paid off…

BlackRock Latin American (BRLA) is the only investment trust investing in the Latin American region that is rich in resources and potential. Managers Sam Vecht and Christoph Brinkmann use BlackRock’s deep resources and connections to identify the best growth opportunities in a set of countries which are benefitting from a number of secular themes.

Latin American equities have stood out this year as performing particularly well, and BRLA has added significant alpha to its benchmark index (see Performance). A key reason is the strong performance of domestically-focused Brazilian stocks, which the managers have overweighted for a number of reasons. Christoph joined Sam on the management team in September 2022 as part of a reshuffle, and the pair decided to increase the portfolio’s active bets versus the index. The outperformance this year reflects a promising start to this strategy.

Sam and Christoph think Latin America is particularly well placed compared to other global markets. The Brazilian central bank has started to cut rates, boosting economic activity and supporting equities, and they think other countries in the region will shortly follow suit. Meanwhile, foreign investment is high, thanks to the region’s ability to maintain economic ties with both America and China.

While the managers focus on outperforming the index on a total return basis, the board’s policy is to pay out 1.25% of the NAV in dividends each quarter, equivalent to a running yield of 5% on an annualised basis. To stick to this, they can use capital when necessary, but revenues have been so strong on the portfolio that this hasn’t been necessary in the past two years, and the trust has even paid a special Dividend.

BRLA trades on a Discount of 13.9% at the time of writing versus a five-year average of 10.8%.

Analyst's View

Latin America has been overlooked by many investors for years, as China has attracted capital in the emerging markets universe, while near-zero interest rates have sucked money into speculative assets and equities. This is reflected in the only other investment trust focused on Latin America shutting its doors this year. As is often the way, we think this comes just as the region has really turned a corner, and its attractions are becoming increasingly apparent.

Real returns have become harder to come by, with Latin America one of the only regions to offer significantly positive interest rates as inflation has been tamed and rates are being cut. With inflation looking likely to remain a problem for years, the benefits of investing in commodity-rich economies are becoming clearer. Meanwhile, the geopolitical situation favours countries which can continue to take investment from China and the USA, while exporting to both. The proximity to the American market is a huge advantage in this respect, and the record levels of FDI seen in 2022 should pay dividends for years to come.

The emerging markets index remains heavily exposed to China and North Asia, and to get meaningful exposure to Latin America a specialist fund is likely to be appropriate. Sam and Christoph have a team dedicated to this particular area, which we think makes it a stand-out option. The active approach, use of gearing and the focus of the board on narrowing the discount in the long run mean the trust brings the advantages of the investment trust structure to bear on a region with great potential.


  • Region is well placed in the long term in terms of geopolitics and access to vital commodities
  • Offers a 5% annualised yield on NAV
  • An experienced management team with deep resources to draw on


  • Energy and commodity markets can be economically sensitive which could bring high beta in a global recession
  • Latin American markets and politics can be extremely volatile
  • Any gearing used brings greater exposure to falling markets, as well as rising markets
Continue to Portfolio

Fund History

27 Mar 2024 Results analysis: BlackRock Latin American
BRLA outperformed its benchmark and even the S&P 500 in 2023…
10 Nov 2023 LATAM rate cuts and central bank gold buying
We take a look at some of the highlights of our BlackRock event…
03 Nov 2023 BlackRock Latin American
Chris Brinkmann
Rewatch this webinar which was part of our October and November online event 'The Best of BlackRock'...
Watch Recording
11 Oct 2023 Fund Analysis
Managers’ ambition to take more active positions has so far paid off…
20 Sep 2023 Five questions about emerging markets
We track key developments in the diverse emerging markets universe…
01 Sep 2023 The next chapter for Latin America
Newsflow around Latin America reflects a changing picture…
21 Apr 2023 Latin America: first out of the blocks?
Latin America has been resilient over the past 12 months, and could be early to recover when the inflation environment shifts, says Christoph Brinkmann, portfolio manager on the BlackRock Latin American Investment trust...
06 Apr 2023 Results analysis: BlackRock Latin American
BRLA’s managers argue Latin America is in a strong position for 2023…
08 Mar 2023 The next supercycle
Our research suggests a structrual tailwind could support the prospects for commodities throughout the next decade...
17 Feb 2023 Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity
Is it LATAM’s time to shine?
25 Jan 2023 The toad to recovery
Two of our analysts debate the outlook for China in 2023…
18 Jan 2023 Fund Analysis
Latin America looks set to recover first, according to the managers of BRLA…
24 Jun 2022 Delivering returns in a financial storm
We look at three trusts that have managed to deliver returns for shareholders so far in 2022…
01 Jun 2022 Are emerging markets doomed?
Bunching together different parts of the world leads to an unnuanced view of the opportunities in emerging markets…
11 May 2022 Fund Analysis
The Latin American region seems to be in a sweet spot, benefitting from high commodity prices…
04 May 2022 Time to change the record
We ask whether equities can still offer meaningful diversification or whether investors need to turn to alternatives…
29 Apr 2022 O Canada
The North American market may act as a safe haven for investors in the near future…
27 Apr 2022 Finding value in a haystack
Non-income value strategies are becoming increasingly scarce, but the holdouts represent attractive near-term opportunities…
14 Apr 2022 Has the commodities ship sailed?
The commodities boom may be longer-lasting than you think…
11 Apr 2022 Results analysis: BlackRock Latin American
BRLA was the top-performing investment trust in Q1 2022…
25 Mar 2022 Slides and Audio: BlackRock Latin American
Download the presentation and listen to the audio from our 'Ideas for your ISA' virtual Spring event on 15 March...
23 Mar 2022 Fifteen ideas for your ISA
Slides and audio from our event last week, featuring fund managers running money in every major market in the world...
17 Mar 2022 It's the end of the world as we know it
We examine five potential themes for investors seeking long-term returns in a troubled and uncertain world...
23 Feb 2022 Regime change
Ahead of our spring conference, we ask whether investors need to junk their portfolios and start again…
13 Oct 2021 Beyond the Middle Kingdom
As momentum falters in the emerging markets powerhouse, we examine the options for investors outside China...
29 Sep 2021 Slings and arrows
Our analysts argue over whether it’s better to take arms against volatility in a portfolio, or to simply suffer it…
28 Sep 2021 Fund Analysis
BRLA offers an annualised yield of 5% from a region which should benefit from a global recovery…
01 Sep 2021 Winter is coming
Summer was a welcome opportunity for exhausted investors to turn their backs on the legion threats they face, but they haven't gone away and the days grow short - we examine four in detail...
30 Jun 2021 Inflation – a real threat or hot air?
Two of our analysts ask whether recent high inflation numbers indicate something long-lasting and troubling is happening…
05 May 2021 Vive la revolution
For thirty years quality has had a structural tailwind; but revolt is in the air and value is on the barricades…
28 Apr 2021 Latin America and the commodities supercycle
Commodity prices have been rising fast. Ed Kuczma, Co-Manager of the BlackRock Latin American Investment Trust plc, says Latin America should be a key beneficiary and he is positioning for a long-term trend.
06 Apr 2021 Results analysis: BlackRock Latin American
We look at how BRLA has performed, and what 2021 might have in store for the trust…
24 Mar 2021 Shoot to Thrill: ISA targets for long term growth
We all intend to invest for the long-term but can often be distracted by the news...
16 Mar 2021 Fund Analysis
The managers of BRLA are highly bullish on their region’s prospects in a global recovery from the pandemic…
11 Mar 2021 Slides and Audio: BlackRock Latin American
Download the presentation and listen to the audio from our 'Ideas for your ISA' Spring Conference on 02 March...
10 Mar 2021 Spring Conference '21
Audio and presentations from 21 of the UK’s leading investment trust managers…
10 Dec 2020 Fund Analysis
BRLA invests in Latin America, which has historically seen strong returns in global recovery periods…
09 Dec 2020 A bumper harvest?
Agricultural and industrial commodities have rallied strongly, but what are the implications for emerging market allocations...?
13 Aug 2020 Underground bangers
We look for hidden gems in the smaller end of the investment trust universe...
12 May 2020 Fund Analysis
BRLA invests in Latin America, where valuations could indicate a generational buying opportunity…
06 May 2020 Latin America: discovering new growth
Latin American markets have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. However, says Ed Kuczma, Co-Manager of the BlackRock Latin American Investment Trust plc, there may be opportunities amid the gloom...
01 Apr 2020 Back in Brazil
As global markets have suffered in 2020, Brazilian stocks have been no exception. Could this be a good time to consider buying?
16 Jan 2020 Drifting apart: how emerging markets have become less correlated
We examine how correlations between different emerging markets have evolved, and whether single country strategies could diversify returns going forward....
10 Dec 2019 Fund Analysis
BRLA has raised its gearing in anticipation of a Brazilian market rally...
04 Sep 2019 Time to pay attention to Latin America?
07 May 2019 Fund Analysis
The trust's high profile new managers are bullish on the outlook, particularly for Brazil, and the discount has narrowed sharply...
22 Mar 2018 Fools rush in
The strong performance of emerging markets has seen investors flooding into ETFs, but the evidence shows that active managers produce far better results...
View all

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