Baillie Gifford adds new trust to £45bn China funds

Edinburgh-based investment giant Baillie Gifford on Thursday officially added its new £236 million China Growth Trust plc to the £44.6 billion its funds have invested in Chinese public and private companies.

The new fund was previously known as the Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc.

“Now under Baillie Gifford’s management, the Trust’s investment objective is to produce long-term capital growth by realigning the portfolio into a ‘best ideas’ strategy consisting of between 40 and 80 listed and unlisted Chinese stocks from across the market capitalisation spectrum,” said Baillie Gifford.

The Trust will be managed by Sophie Earnshaw and Roderick Snell, both prominent members of Baillie Gifford’s emerging markets team.

At the end of June 2020, Baillie Gifford had over £44.6 billion invested in both Chinese public and private companies through its global and regional funds and trusts, and now has a local presence through a research centre in Shanghai.

Baillie Gifford announced in July it would take over the management of the Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc and change the closed-end fund’s investment objective to invest predominantly in shares of Chinese companies.

The name of the investment trust was changed to the Baillie Gifford China Growth Trust plc.

Baillie Gifford China Fund, the firm’s open-ended Chinese equity strategy, has achieved top quartile performance over 1, 3, 5, 10 years and since inception eleven years ago to end of July 2020.

Differing from the open-ended strategy, the closed-end Baillie Gifford China Growth Trust plc will have the ability to access growth opportunities in private companies.

Headquartered in Edinburgh, Baillie Gifford has £260 billion of assets under management and more than 1,300 staff. It also has offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dublin, Frankfurt and Krakow.

James Budden, Director of Retail Marketing, Baillie Gifford & Co, said: “The Baillie Gifford China Growth Trust sits snugly within our retail offering alongside the successful open-ended Baillie Gifford China Fund.

“We believe the realignment of the portfolio from Witan Pacific’s Pan Asia mandate to invest in our best Chinese growth ideas together with Baillie Gifford’s access to private companies should enhance the appeal of the Trust and attract new investors over time.

“As a firm we see China as a compelling opportunity and a region that increasingly cultivates great companies with incredible franchises domestically and internationally. 

“Our newest trust gives another option to those investors keen to allocate directly to Chinese equities.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.