May 22, 2017 - 11:31 AM EDT
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BlackRock Latin American Investment Trust Plc - Portfolio Update

All information is at 30 April 2017 and unaudited.

Performance at month end with net income reinvested   

Net asset value^ -3.1 0.6 31.5 12.5 -2.2 79.8
Share price -3.3 1.3 29.4 5.7 -9.4 65.8
MSCI EM Latin America -3.3 1.4 32.2 13.6 -3.5 96.5
US Dollars:
Net asset value^ 0.2 3.5 16.0 -13.8 -22.0 34.3
Share price 0.1 4.2 14.2 -19.0 -27.7     23.8
MSCI EM Latin America 0.0 4.2 16.7 -13.0 -23.1 46.6

^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: 485.40p
Net asset value – cum income: 488.52p
Share price: 419.72p
Total Assets#: £200.9m
Discount (share price to cum income NAV):  14.1%
Average discount* over the month – cum income: 13.6%
Net gearing at month end**: 4.4%
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 performance fees and interest costs for the year ended 31 December 2016.

Geographic Exposure

% of Total Assets % of Equity
Portfolio *
American Index
Brazil 65.4 65.4 57.0
Mexico 25.1 25.1 27.8
Argentina 3.9 3.9 0.0
Peru 3.8 3.9 2.7
Chile 1.3 1.3 9.3
Colombia 0.4 0.4 3.2
Net current assets (inc.Fixed interest) 0.1 0.0 0.0
----- ----- -----
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0
----- ----- -----


Sector % of Equity Portfolio * % of Benchmark
Financials 30.2 30.4
Consumer Staples 19.8 17.4
Materials   14.4       14.8
Energy 12.9 8.1
Industrials 7.5 6.7
Telecommunication Services 5.2 6.2
Consumer Discretionary 4.3 6.0
Utilities 3.7 6.3
Information Technology 1.1 1.6
Real Estate 0.9 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)


Country of Risk
% of
Equity Portfolio
% of
Petrobras Brazil 8.9 5.2
Banco Bradesco Brazil 8.7 6.5
Itau Unibanco Brazil 7.4 6.8
Vale Brazil 5.5 4.6
AmBev Brazil 3.9 4.6
Femsa Mexico 3.9 2.8
BM&F Bovespa Brazil 3.9 2.1
Telefonica Brasil Brazil 3.0 1.1
Grupo Financiero Banorte Mexico 3.0 2.5
Kroton Educacional Mexico 2.9 1.1

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

For the month of April 2017, the Company’s NAV declined by 3.1% with the share price declining by 3.3%. The Company’s benchmark, the MSCI EM Latin America Index, declined by 3.3% (all performance figures are in sterling terms).

Our off-benchmark allocation to Argentina was the top contributor for the month as the market gained on positive macro headlines and declining inflation. As a result, online retailer Mercadolibre and integrated oil company YPF performed well, the latter also benefitting from the government’s announcement to increase gas prices in the Greater Buenos Aires area by between 20% and 37%. Our overweight to Brazilian education provider, Kroton Educacional, was the top contributor for the period amid strong enrolment numbers from both their on-campus and distance learning platforms. An underweight to Chile also added to the Company’s relative performance as the broader market declined on the back of weak activity levels and low business confidence. For similar reasons, our overweight to Peru weighed on performance. An underweight to America Movil detracted as the company posted strong first quarter results, while our overweight to Petrobras was the largest detractor for the month as the stock suffered along with lower oil prices.

During the month, positioning remained relatively unchanged, however we did marginally increase our Brazilian exposure. Specifically, we participated in the successful IPO of Brazilian airline, Azul, while also increasing our Banco Bradesco position.

We entered 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 were expected to 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.  This positive agenda has been put at risk by the recent accusations and potential removal of President Michel Temer.  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 (we are also watching the State of Mexico's election for governor in June carefully as a barometer for next year's presidential elections).  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.

22 May 2017


Latest information is available by typing 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.

Source: PR Newswire (May 22, 2017 - 11:31 AM EDT)

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