THE risks of a no-deal Brexit have “certainly increased” and such a scenario would likely put the pound and domestic UK equities under pressure, the portfolio manager of Securities Trust of Scotland has warned.

Mark Whitehead sounded the warning as Securities Trust, run by Edinburgh investment house Martin Currie, unveiled an 11.4 per cent total return on net asset value for the year to March 31.

This was ahead of the total return of 8.5% achieved by the international investment trust’s peer group. Securities Trust had net assets of £191 million at March 31.

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Rachel Beagles, who chairs Securities Trust of Scotland, flagged slowing global growth and US-China trade tensions, as well as Brexit uncertainties.

She said: “The year under review has been characterised by increasing volatility as the period progressed, as markets responded to the evidence of slowing global growth against a backdrop of tightening monetary conditions. This unappealing cocktail was further spiked by the threat of increased trade barriers, whether Brexit-related, or those of a US-China trade war.

“Consequently, whilst the overall total returns achieved were good, almost all of the return achieved in the year was made in the first half.”

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Mr Whitehead said: “In Europe, Brexit is now delayed to October 31. Much will depend on who becomes the next UK prime minister and what their stance will be regards this date being immovable.”

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He added: “The risks have certainly increased that Britain could be heading for a no-deal Brexit. Were this to be the case we would likely see pressure on sterling and UK domestic equities.”