Data as at: 22/02/2024

Gearing

Gearing policy

The two equity portfolios may use bank borrowings, the proceeds from which can be invested, gearing up exposure to the stock market with the aim of enhancing returns to shareholders.

Borrowing limits

As part of the Company’s Investment Policy, the approved borrowing limits are 25% of the net assets of the UK Equity Portfolio and 20% of net assets of the Global Equity Income Portfolio. The Balanced Risk Allocation Portfolio does not use borrowings, but is geared by means of the derivative instruments used to implement its investment policy. The Managed Liquidity Portfolio does not use borrowings.

Ways in which investment companies can magnify income and capital returns, but which can also magnify losses.

At its simplest, gearing means borrowing money to buy more assets in the hope the company makes enough profit to pay back the debt and interest and leave something extra for shareholders.

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how gearing works table

However, if the investment portfolio doesn’t perform well, gearing can increase losses. The more an investment company gears, the higher the risk.

Investment companies can usually borrow at lower rates of interest than you’d get as an individual. They also have flexible ways to borrow – for example they might get an ordinary bank loan or, for split capital investment companies, issue different classes of share.

Not all investment companies use gearing, and most use relatively low levels of gearing.

An indication of the maximum and minimum levels that the company would expect to be geared in normal market conditions.

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