Data as at: 17/06/2024


Gearing policy

Our Investment Trust structure allows gearing, which will enhance long-term returns, even if future equity returns are closer to the long-run average than we have experienced over the last five years. The Board’s strategic borrowing target is 10% and it is expected that gearing will be maintained in the range of minus 15% to plus 15%.

Borrowing limits

New borrowings will not be taken out if this takes the level of effective equity gearing to over 30% of shareholders’ funds

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.

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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