- Equities investor Murray International Trust posted a negative first-half performance that missed its benchmark, but held its dividend steady.

The company's net asset value total return per share for the six months through June was negative 10.7%.

That compared to a 4.7% fall on its reference index, which comprised the FTSE All World TR Index from 27 April and prior to that a composite of 40% FTSE World UK and 60% FTSE World ex UK.

Murray International Trust kept its first-half dividend at 12p per share.

'As I have stated previously, the board intends to maintain a progressive dividend policy given the company's investment objective,' chairman Kevin Carter said.

'This means that in some years revenue will be added to reserves while, in others, revenue may be taken from reserves to supplement earned revenue for that year to pay the annual dividend.'

Carter said proffering a near-term outlook was made difficult by fluctuating clinical, political and economic events.

'Without greater clarity on how the pandemic evolves and ultimately impacts health and recovery trajectories throughout the world, most forecasts are merely speculative,' he said.

'The longer term implications for the global economy, capital markets, future dividends, and even normal day to day living, are also largely unknowns at this stage.'

'However, some potential financial consequences must be considered now ahead of events.'

'Current widespread economic contractions will likely produce credit defaults, bond rating downgrades, equity capital raisings, on-going profit warnings and dividend cuts.'

'The manager's investment approach seeks companies which offer stable long-term earnings and dividend growth prospects in combination with management teams focused on shareholders' interests.'

'During the adversity of the last six months opportunities have been taken to reallocate assets from defensive fixed income holdings into equities with these long-term earnings and dividend growth characteristics, all within the diversified global nature of the company's portfolio.'

'Such repositioning increases confidence in the delivery of the long term income and growth investment objectives of the company.'

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