Baillie Gifford’s Edin Worldwide in ‘eye of storm’

Baillie Gifford's current Edinburgh HQ

Baillie Gifford’s £1 billion Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust said its net asset value per share fell 34.1% in the six months to April 30, 2022, as the stocks favoured by the fund became caught “in the eye of the storm.”

Over the six month period, the fund’s comparative index, the S&P Global Smaller Companies Index, fell 6.8%.

Edinburgh Worldwide’s share price fell 38.5% over the six months. Over a five year period, the fund’s net asset value per share increased by 80.7% while the comparative index increased by 40.7%. 

Edinburgh Worldwide’s share price increased by 79.1% over the five year period. 

“The past six months have been a been a challenging one for stock markets,” said Edinburgh Worldwide.

“This has been most acute for those listed companies where their commercial activities have yet to scale and consequently their profits skew to outer years.

“The stocks favoured by the company have been in the eye of the storm.

“Of the stocks held in the portfolio, 19 generated positive absolute returns in sterling terms over the six months to end of April. Conversely, 35 stocks fell more than 50% …

“The current aggressive sell off (including that since 30 April 2022) is more synonymous with growth being mistakenly viewed as an intrinsic fragility within a business.

“For companies where the growth potential largely sits outwith the influence of macro trends and geopolitics this seems both odd and short sighted, but ultimately a source of investment opportunity for the future.”

Edinburgh Worldwide is managed by Douglas Brodie, Svetlana Viteva and Luke Ward.

At April 30, the fund’s 10 largest holdings were Space Exploration Technologies, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, PsiQuantum, Ocado, Novocure, MarketAxess, STAAR Surgical, Upwork, Zillow and Akili Interactive Labs.

No interim dividend is being recommended at Edinburgh Worldwide.

As at April 30, the fund’s investment in unlisted companies was 19.3% of total assets, up from 7.9%.

Edinburgh-based Baillie Gifford’s assets under management and advice have fallen more than 30% to £240 billion since the start of 2022 amid the brutal global sell-off in technology and growth stocks, which feature heavily in the fund management group’s portfolios.

Baillie Gifford had previously reported assets under management and advice of $455 billion — roughly £365 billion — as of December 31, 2021.

A number of high flying funds and investment trusts managed by Baillie Gifford came back down to earth with a bang in the first quarter of 2022.