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SAINTS still marching in with dividends for investors



The Edinburgh-managed Scottish American Investment Trust – known as SAINTS – has reassured shareholders over future dividend payouts despite the global economic hit from coronavirus.

The Baillie Gifford managed trust, which has grown its dividend every year for the last 40 years, said although it expects to see revenues fall this year it has significant reserves at its disposal to continue to pay dividends.

The £560 million trust, which owns stakes in companies including Coca-Cola and Microsoft, is also taking advantage of share price falls to add to holdings at “attractive prices”.

At 31 December the trust’s revenue reserves stood at over £17 million, equivalent to roughly nine months of dividend payments based on the level of its latest payout.

“The board remains confident in the long-term prospects of SAINTS’ investments. Taken with the support available from reserves, the board is therefore also confident in its ability to pay a reliable dividend to its shareholders,” the trust said in a statement.

Although the board said there was significant disruption to the global economy being caused by the coronavirus, it was encouraged by updates from its fund managers.

“In the current environment Baillie Gifford’s emphasis on operational resilience and dependability in selecting stocks is proving helpful,” it said.

“Similarly, the property manager’s emphasis on long leases and strong covenants is providing a good level of protection, although the board is also conscious of its responsibility to act as a responsible landlord in the current testing circumstances.”

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The trust delivered total returns for its latest financial year of 22.9%, ahead of its benchmark, and is the best performing fund in its global equity income peer group over the past five years.



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