- Equities investor Smithson Investment Trust reported a positive first-half return that came in underneath its benchmark.

The company's net asset value total return per share for the six months through June was 5.9%.

The MSCI World Small and Mid Cap Index returned 12.4% over the same time period.

Smithson Investment Trust did not declare any dividends, in line with its focus on long-term capital appreciation, rather than income.

'The board remains positive on the outlook for global small and mid-cap equities despite the impact on the global economy and financial markets from the Covid-19 pandemic,' chairman Mark Pacitti said.

'Whilst good progress is being made on the rollout of vaccinations globally, across many countries rates of infection remain high and vaccination levels low.'

'New variants of the virus continue to emerge, and the pandemic may continue to have social and economic impacts for some time to come.'

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