Probably the most important company that nobody has heard of.

ASML is a world-leading supplier to the semiconductor industry.

Why do we own it?

The electronics you use every day wouldn’t exist without the microchips produced by the semiconductor industry. ASML is the dominant manufacturer of the lithography equipment used to make these microchips.

Demand for semiconductor chips looks set to grow with artificial intelligence, the electrification of vehicles, 5G technology and the Internet of Things, meaning ASML has several rapidly expanding global markets to grow into. It is heavily integrated into the processes, research and development plans of many of its biggest customers – TSMC, Intel and Samsung, to name a few. Lithography is one of the most critical and expensive steps in integrated circuits’ production, and ASML has consistently gained market share through superior innovation to the extent that weaker players have become uncompetitive, leaving an effective monopoly. However, the company does not rest on its laurels and is always striving to make giant leaps in progress with the strapline “Just tell us we can’t. We dare you.”

Who is key?

CTO Martin van den Brink is a visionary who has been described as the “main driver of our generation's Moore's Law”. This is the idea that computing power doubles every two years. van den Brink is perfectly aligned with the key components of Scottish Mortgage’s philosophy, advising young engineers to “stay curious and never stop learning. Be ambitious and step out of your comfort zone. Challenge the status quo. And know that you too can change the world through innovation.”

First bought

in March 1996.

Not just at the forefront of the next big thing, rather the next several big things.


The company showcased on this page is part of a diversified portfolio. The commentary should not be taken as advice on an individual stock.

Investment trusts are UK public companies and are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You may not get back the amount invested and please bear in mind that past performance is not a guide to future performance.