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Fund Profile

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Disclosure – Independent Investment Research

This is independent research issued by Kepler Partners LLP. The analyst who has prepared this research is not aware of Kepler Partners LLP having a relationship with the company covered in this research report and/or a conflict of interest which is likely to impair the objectivity of the research and this report should accordingly be viewed as independent.

Overview
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Overview

Murray International Trust (LON:MYI) offers investors a differentiated investment solution which incorporates both global equities and bonds to achieve capital growth and an attractive yield. MYI is managed by longstanding lead manager Bruce Stout who is supported by fellow portfolio managers Martin Connaghan and Samantha Fitzpatrick. This experienced trio sit within the income focused team which is within the broader global equities team at abrdn. As discussed in Portfolio, their process is centered around bottom-up stock picking, leading to a portfolio focused around identifying the strengths of the underlying companies. Profit taking over the last 12 months has resulted in a slight rotation away from Asian equities and China and into Europe where valuations have become more attractive due to the effects of national lockdowns and geopolitical uncertainties.

The trust’s underlying yield is boosted by the emerging markets fixed income allocation which currently makes up 6.9% of the portfolio. However, this allocation has declined over the past 12 months, reflecting the better opportunities the managers are seeing in the equity markets. MYI offers a progressive Dividend, which has not been fully covered over the past couple of years, however underlying revenues are trending up following the coronavirus lows.

As discussed in Performance, MYI has underperformed its global sector, and global high dividend yield indexes over the long-term. However, over the past 12 months it has been the strongest performer in the sector, generating a NAV total return of 7.8% versus the sectors unweighted simple average total return of -0.1%. This is reflective of the trust's diversified allocations to sectors that perform in cyclically driven environments, in addition to the commodity driven sectors which have rallied on the back of supply chain constraints and Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. MYI now trades at a 1.9% premium - the narrowest in the sector and narrower than its long-term average.

Analyst's View

MYI’s performance has benefitted from the structural changes to the economic environment that have taken place over the past 12 months resulting in it becoming the leading performer within the global equity income sector. This period has seen investor sentiment shift away from high growth, high risk strategies, into more valuation sensitive and diversified investment strategies. MYI’s valuation sensitive and flexible, benchmark agnostic approach, which includes a relatively high allocation to emerging markets and a dedicated fixed income allocation compared to alternative global equity strategies, may mean it is well placed to benefit. However, MYI’s performance still lags the global income sector average over five-years which can in part be attributed to its underweight allocation to the US and technology sectors.

Despite the rally in its share price, MYI still offers investors an attractive yield generated by the portfolios underlying investments. Although the trust’s ability to fully cover the dividend has waned in recent years, revenues have started to recover following the coronavirus pandemic and the use of its revenue reserves in the interim has maintained dividend growth.

The trust is currently trading on a premium in absolute terms but also to its longer-term average which may present a hurdle for some investors. MYI’s discount has been volatile over the last 12 months although the board’s approach to managing the discount has usually kept it rangebound over the longer term and the shares trade at a 1.9% premium at the time of writing - narrower than the long-term average of the trust and the peer group. MYI’s charges remains one of the lowest in the sector as it continues to benefit from its size as the largest trust within the sector.

Bull

  • 17 years of consecutive dividend growth and high yield compared to benchmarks
  • Diversified geographical and sector exposures relative to peers and benchmarks
  • Sector leading short-term performance may continue in structurally different economic environment

Bear

  • Performance has lagged the peer group average and reference index over the longer term
  • Currently trading at a premium compared to the peer group and long-term average discount
  • Two consecutive years where the dividend was not fully covered
Continue to Portfolio

Fund History

22 Dec 2023 Fund Analysis
MYI’s diversified approach may offer stability in an uncertain environment...
18 Aug 2023 We’re all going on a summer holiday
Sustained tourism demand has fund managers looking to the sector…
11 Jan 2023 Fund Analysis
MYI’s benchmark agnostic approach may continue to benefit as the same structural economic challenges persist into the new year despite its current premium rating…
02 Nov 2022 The stability dividend
Our analysis shows that trusts paying a regular income suffer less discount volatility...
26 Jan 2022 Fund Analysis
MYI offers investors one of the highest yields in its sector, coupled with a unique approach to income investing and a historically wide discount…
28 Jan 2021 Fund Analysis
MYI offers a high income from a highly differentiated approach…
20 Jan 2021 Kepler's top-rated investment trusts for 2021
We update our annual quantitative ratings for investment trusts…
22 Jul 2020 Fund Analysis
MYI offers capital growth and an attractive level of income through an equity and fixed income portfolio of global companies…
05 Jun 2020 Deep impact
Audio and presentations from our conference this week, where fifteen of the world's best fund managers described a profoundly altered investment landscape...
13 May 2020 Braving the new world
Join 15 of the UK's best known fund managers at the Kepler Trust Intelligence Virtual Summit to find out how they see the world after the pandemic...
08 Oct 2019 Fund Analysis
With a global portfolio skewed towards emerging markets, Murray International looks to invest in high quality companies with strong growth prospects at a reasonable price...
25 Jul 2018 Fund Analysis
Bruce Stout remains resolutely bearish and the portfolio continues to underperform against a momentum driven backdrop...
08 Nov 2017 Fund Analysis
A global equity income trust which has grown its dividend for more than years, with significant exposure to emerging markets and other-non sterling assets...
12 Oct 2017 Roaring back…
We analyse the drivers behind the significant outperformance of global active managers in 2017, following what was a very poor year for them in 2016...
22 Feb 2017 Into the wilderness...
In this detailed study of the global equity sectors, we analyse how managers are positioned in a world of high valuations and seismic political changes...
22 Mar 2016 Discounts in focus: AIC Global Equity Income
In our third edition of our discount in focus series, we analyse the AIC Global Equity Income sector and look at Murray International which currently trades at a much wider discount to its historic norm
View all

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