THE Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust expressed its optimism about the potential for technological change to “power sustainable increases in share prices” as it posted a first-half total return adrift of that on the S&P 500 index.
The investment trust highlighted the fact that Amazon, its largest holding, had seen an acceleration in its North American retail sales as consumers continued to “shift spending from offline to online”. It contrasted Amazon’s progress with “lacklustre US retail sales”.
Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust noted it had been encouraged by a “new generation” of corporations including Shopify, which it declared was “one such company that is becoming the retail operating system upon which other businesses are built”. It also flagged Stripe, one of its new unquoted investments, describing it as a company that is building the commercial infrastructure of the internet.
The trust, which had total assets of £344 million at November 30, said: “While Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft have established themselves as the dominant companies of the current technological paradigm, we are encouraged by a new generation of companies that are emerging with equally large opportunities, establishing themselves at the platform layer.”
Baillie Gifford US Trust posted a 7.5 per cent total return on net asset value for the six months to November 30. This was adrift of a 12.3% total return on the S&P 500 Index in sterling terms.
The trust achieved a total return on net asset value of 38.5% between its launch on March 23, 2018 and November 30 last year. This is slightly ahead of a total return of 37.3% on the S&P 500 Index in sterling terms.
Baillie Gifford US Trust said: “We have a long-term approach, and would ask shareholders to judge performance over periods of five years or more.”