City knocks Scottish Mortgage off top spot

City of London the most popular trust on AIC’s website as income piques investor interest

Photo by Ali Yaqub on Unsplash
Photo by Ali Yaqub on Unsplash


Dividend heroes received the most attention from investors during 2022, according to data published by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), as City of London Investment Trust pipped Scottish Mortgage as the most-viewed company on its website.

City posted a share price total return of 9.4% in 2022, and has the longest track record for consistently increasing its dividend, having done so for the last 56 years.

To reach ‘hero’ status, trusts must hit the 50-year payout mark.

Scottish Mortgage had to settle for second having topped the viewing charts for the last five years, capping a 2022 to forget for the trust. Despite its strong long-term record, the £10.3bn trust suffered a loss of more than 45% in 2022, making it comfortably the worst-performing company in the AIC’s list.

Merchants, another dividend hero, took third place, while global equity trust Murray International and F&C Investment Trust rounded the top five.

In all, 11 of the 20 most-viewed investment companies were dividend heroes.

Blackrock World Mining was the most-viewed of the new entries, placing 11th. The trust has a market capitalisation of £1.4bn, and its 26% return in 2022 was the highest of any company in the top 20.

Another new entrant, Abrdn Equity Income, followed close behind in 12th, while Aberdeen Diversified Income & Growth (18th), TR Property (19th), and CQS New City High Yield (20th) also entered the list.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director of the AIC, said: “With the cost of living crisis continuing to bite, it’s understandable that investment companies with long track records of dividend growth were most popular with investors last year.

“Investment companies have strong income benefits which can help them continue to pay dividends to investors even during tough times. However, it’s important to remember that dividends are never guaranteed.”

AIC: Top 20 most-viewed investment companies

2022 rank2021 rankCompany nameAIC sectorShare price total return %Yield
1 yr5 yrs10 yrs%
1 ↑2City of LondonUK Equity Income9.419.398.14.87
2 ↓1Scottish MortgageGlobal-45.765410.50.5
3 ↑5MerchantsUK Equity Income5.549.2144.14.88
4 =4Murray InternationalGlobal Equity Income20.732.296.84.12
5 ↑6F&C Investment TrustGlobal-0.952.22331.48
6 ↑13JPMorgan Global Growth & IncomeGlobal Equity Income-557.2266.63.99
7 ↓3BankersGlobal-17.825.6165.22.2
8 ↑9Henderson Far East IncomeAsia Pacific Equity Income0.81.457.88.71
9 ↑14CaledoniaFlexible Investment-5.249.3201.11.8
10 ↑16Scottish AmericanGlobal Equity Income-3.559.9205.82.62
11 ↑BlackRock World MiningCommodities & Natural Resources26131101.96.24
12 ↑abrdn Equity IncomeUK Equity Income6.20.474.66.41
13 ↓12Law Debenture CorporationUK Equity Income0.451.4155.63.76
14 ↓7Alliance TrustGlobal-5.840.1204.72.53
15 ↑Murray IncomeUK Equity Income-4.131.687.64.32
16 ↑19European AssetsEuropean Smaller Companies-28.5-1.21469.61
17 ↓10BrunnerGlobal-6.147.5211.62.11
18 ↑Aberdeen Diversified Income & GrowthFlexible Investment-2-
19 ↑TR PropertyProperty Securities-35.6-8.1139.74.75
20 ↑CQS New City High YieldDebt – Loans & Bonds3.227.768.28.47
Source: Association of Investment Companies

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