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BlackRock Latin Am (BRLA)

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Wednesday 19 April, 2017

BlackRock Latin Am

Portfolio Update

BLACKROCK LATIN AMERICAN INVESTMENT TRUST PLC (LEI: UK9OG5Q0CYUDFGRX4151)
All information is at31 March 2017 and unaudited.

Performance at month end with net income reinvested   

One
month
Three
months
One
 year
Three
years
Five
years
^^Since
31.03.06
Sterling:
Net asset value^ 0.5 12.5 42.1 18.3 -5.6 85.6
Share price 0.3 12.1 41.0 15.9 -12.8 71.5
MSCI EM Latin America 0.1 10.8 42.1 19.2 -5.4 103.3
US Dollars:
Net asset value^ 1.0 13.9 23.5 -11.3 -26.0 34.0
Share price 0.8 13.4 22.6 -13.1 -31.7     23.7
MSCI EM Latin America 0.6 12.1 23.6 -10.6 -26.0 46.5

^cum income

^^Date which BlackRock took over the investment management of the Company.

Sources: BlackRock, Standard & Poor’s Micropal

At month end
Net asset value – capital only: 503.30p
Net asset value – cum income: 504.22p
Share price: 434.00p
Total Assets#: £204.3m
Discount (share price to cum income NAV):  13.9%
Average discount* over the month – cum income: 14.7%
Net gearing at month end**: 4.3%
Gearing range (as a % of net assets): 0-25%
Net yield##: 2.8%
Ordinary shares in issue***: 39,369,620
Ongoing charges****: 1.2%

#Total assets include current year revenue.

## calculated using total dividends declared in the last 12 months as at the date of this announcement as a percentage of month end share price.

*The discount is calculated using the cum income NAV (expressed in sterling terms).

**Net cash/net gearing is calculated using debt at par, less cash and cash equivalents and fixed interest investments as a percentage of net assets.

***Excluding 2,071,662 shares held in treasury.

**** Calculated as a percentage of average net assets and using expenses, excluding finance costs and taxation, for the year ended 31 December 2016.

Geographic Exposure

% of Total Assets % of Equity Portfolio * MSCI EM Latin American Index
Brazil 66.3 65.4 57.0
Mexico 25.4 25.1 27.6
Peru 4.1 4.0 2.8
Argentina 3.8 3.8 0.0
Chile 1.3 1.3 9.4
Colombia 0.4 0.4 3.2
Net current liabilities (inc.Fixed interest) -1.3 0.0 0.0
----- ----- -----
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0
----- ----- -----

   

Sector % of Equity Portfolio * % of Benchmark
Financials 30.0 30.2
Consumer Staples 19.6 17.1
Materials   15.1       15.2
Energy 13.4 8.4
Industrials 6.8 6.7
Telecommunication Services 5.0 5.9
Utilities 4.1 6.5
Consumer Discretionary 3.9 6.0
Information Technology 1.1 1.5
Real Estate 1.0 1.5
Health Care 0.0 1.0
----- -----
Total 100.0 100.0
----- -----

*excluding net current liabilities & fixed interest

Ten Largest Equity Investments (in percentage order)


Company
Country of Risk % of
Equity Portfolio
% of
Benchmark
Petrobras Brazil 9.4 5.5
Banco Bradesco Brazil 8.5 6.3
Itau Unibanco Brazil 7.3 6.6
Vale Brazil 6.1 5.0
AmBev Brazil 4.0 4.6
BM&F Bovespa Brazil 4.0 2.1
Femsa Mexico 3.9 2.8
Telefonica Brasil Brazil 3.0 1.1
Grupo Financiero Banorte Mexico 3.0 2.4
Grupo Mexico Mexico 2.7 1.9

Commenting on the markets, Will Landers, representing the Investment Manager noted;

Performance
 

For the month of March 2017, the Company’s NAV rose by 0.5% and the share price rose by 0.3%, whilst the Company’s benchmark, the MSCI EM Latin America Index, rose by 0.1% (all performance figures are in sterling terms). 

Stock selection in Brazil was the largest contributor to returns.  An overweight to Argentina also contributed positively to returns.  Argentina has rallied this year following the lifting of capital restrictions, the growing potential for index inclusion and improving economic data.  An overweight to Arca was the largest individual contributor to performance.  The stock is seeing strong growth in Mexico and better margins in South America overall.  An underweight to Chile weighed on returns as the country outperformed due to better sentiment with respect to the outcome of their presidential elections.  An overweight to Brazil detracted from returns as the country underperformed due to a fiscal shortfall and risks to social security reform approvals.  An underweight to America Movil weighed on returns as the stock performed well given improved sentiment towards Mexican equities.

Transactions/Gearing
 

During the month we exited Cielo due to concerns regarding short term results and medium term regulatory pressures.  We added to Iguatemi, which stands to benefit from lower interest rates and improving liquidity in the name.  Finally, we added to BM&F Bovespa while reducing exposure to BRF.

Net gearing was approximately 4.3% at the end of March. 

Positioning
 

We enter the second quarter of the year maintaining overweight positions in Brazil, Peru and off-benchmark Argentina, while maintaining underweight positions in Chile, Colombia and Mexico.  Short-term drivers for Brazilian equities should be: a) the continued aggressive easing cycle by the Central Bank which should help to bring forward the needed economic recovery; and b) progress on the reform agenda, especially pension reform, which should help to bring stability to government accounts in the medium term.  Meanwhile, despite a more conciliatory tone from the US government on the trade front, we maintain our cautious view on Mexican growth, and therefore our underweight.  Despite slower than expected progress on the infrastructure front, we continue to favour Peru among its Andean neighbours, and see improving economic activity in Argentina as a positive for that country’s stock market.

19 April 2017

ENDS

Latest information is available by typing www.blackrock.co.uk/brla on the internet, "BLRKINDEX" on Reuters, "BLRK" on Bloomberg or "8800" on Topic 3 (ICV terminal).  Neither the contents of the Manager’s website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Manager’s website (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.


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