INVESTMENT trust Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon has reaped the rewards of its stakes in online businesses targeting large and under-developed markets in Japan, including food delivery business Yume No Machi and fashion retailer Start Today.

The £256 million Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon flagged the contributions of such holdings to its overall performance as it announced net asset value per share had risen 34 per cent over the year to January 31. Its comparative MSCI Japan Small Cap index advanced 34.9 per cent in sterling terms.

The trust flagged its superior performance over its favoured three-year timeframe. Over the three years to January, Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon’s net asset value rose 87.6 per cent., while the comparative index advanced 69.4 per cent in sterling terms.

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Trust chairman Neil Donaldson says in the annual report: “In our interim management report we commented on the EU referendum result in the UK, along with concerns over global growth (China in particular), rising scepticism over unconventional monetary policy by central banks and further speculation over a rise in US interest rates.

“To this we now need to add the election of President Trump in the US and be mindful that all of these developments are still in their infancy. As such, uncertainty remains and caution in investment decision-making is paramount.”

He added: “That said, our primary focus is on Japan and there have been significant developments in that market. Last year, I highlighted the pace of economic change and the fact that company boards were improving corporate governance. This development is continuing and is to be welcomed.”