FondsAnbieter- GAM: Weekly Manager Views

29. Oktober 2014 von um 11:00 Uhr
Wie beurteilen FondsAnbieter ihre Anlagerreigionen ? Wie fällt die Analyse der Kapitalanlagegesellschaften (KAG) über Fundamentaldaten, Währungen und Kapitalflüsse aus? Informationen direkt aus dem Research Centern der FondsBranche finden SJB FondsBlogger in der Kategorie "Anbieter. Berichten."

unabhaengigkeitFondsAnbieter-GAM: The forthcoming results of the ECB’s stress test of banks are becoming a much-talked about issue. By way of background, the ECB has spent the past year reviewing 120 banks in Europe, representing around 85% of banks’ balance sheets across the continent. One aim of the ECB’s new supervisory function is to harmonise the definitions of the types of assets and risks that each bank has on its balance sheet. Previously, it was up to each bank’s home country to define these. Given that the ECB is not biased to any one country, the new rules and their enforcement should benefit from stronger credibility across the industry.

• On Sunday, the results of the stress test are published and some banks will have failed. We assume that the media will publish more column inches on these few names to highlight their shortcomings, rather than on the overwhelming majority that will have passed the test. In any case, failure of the test does not have immediate consequences, as the banks have nine months to get their books in order before being tested again.

• For us, the increased transparency and comparability of banks’ balance sheets across Europe is definitely a positive sign longer-term. Even more important though is the ECB’s ultimate goal of this exercise, which is to strengthen these institutions’ balance sheets. Their stated aim is for an increased capability for credit provision that should then lead to a rebound in lending and growth. This is why we maintain our low duration and high weighting to floating-rate and fixed-to-float bonds.

• Over the forthcoming five years, until Basel III is fully implemented in 2019, banks will be adding layer after layer of buffers on top of their equity capital to withstand future crises and downturns. With banks overall becoming safer, their junior debt will also become safer, which is positive for our portfolios’ assets and should support further increase in capital gains.

• The difficulty for investors with the current Fed and ECB policy is that the banks are keeping rates lower for longer, meaning that short-dated paper earns almost no yield. At the same time, going further out on the yield curve towards 10 years or more is risky, as central bankers are trying to bring inflation back up to their targeted levels of close to 2%.

• Hence, we stick with our strategy of investing in the high-coupon paper of top-quality companies that is further down in the capital structure. At the same time, we hold around 50% of assets in fixed-to-float or floating-rate notes, as we believe that they provide effective protection against higher inflation, which is likely to

materialise in a few years’ time if central banks are successful in their pursuit of growth.

• Looking at the performance in light of the volatility seen over the past few weeks, our funds have hardly moved. We tend to be less impacted during equity sell-offs driven by earnings slowdowns since we invest in stable investment-grade names. This distinguishes us from high-yield bonds, with their leveraged balance sheets, which tend to be more vulnerable to an earnings slowdown in that scenario.

• Part of our approach is to take advantage of indiscriminate sell-offs that are not linked to the credit quality of our holdings. For example, shortly before the Scottish referendum, 7.25% RBS bonds sold off as some investors panicked following an opinion poll that Scotland might vote in favour of independence. Even if that had been the case, it would not have affected the credit quality of RBS, hence we were quick to add to our position at prices below par. The bond has meanwhile recovered as expected, trading again at above-par levels. Should there be similar sell-off after the stress test results are released, we will again be trying to exploit opportunities.

 

 

Japan’s economic indicators remain lacklustre but the yen has weakened, providing a tailwind for Japanese corporate profits and offsetting weakness in the domestic economy.

• The earnings momentum of Japanese corporates has been robust for some time, in contrast to the rest of the world.

Valuations based on price-to-earnings (P/E) and price-to-book (P/B) ratios indicate that the Japanese equity market is trading very cheaply. The Topix is trading at 13.5x earnings this year and 15x next year, which is low by historical standards.

• As an example of how cheap the market is, we can look at the largest holding in GAM Star Japan Equity, Toyota Motor. The company’s combined free cashflow to shareholders for the four quarters to March 2014 is JPY 2 trillion on our calculation, or USD 20 billion, for a company with a market capitalisation of USD 200 billion. This represents a 10.3% free cashflow yield, which is a very impressive level of cash generation. Toyota is also very cash-rich – it has JPY 6.5 trillion or USD 65 billion in cash and marketable securities on its balance sheet, excluding its finance business. Toyota’s stock trades at 8.5x earnings, which is, in our view, very cheap considering how cash-rich it is. Toyota used its surplus cash to undertake stock buybacks earlier in the year. In  general, however, the company, like many others in Japan, appears to be aware that investors are expecting it to use its cash more productively. In November, Japanese companies will release their first-half results and this may provide an opportunity for them to announce share buybacks or other measures that could boost share prices.

• There has been extreme volatility in the equity market recently, which is difficult to explain. It could perhaps be due to the low volatility and variance of Japanese stocks in July and August, which encouraged investors to make larger and larger bets in the market. As volatility has started to increase over the last two months, investors may well have panicked and sold out of their positions, further increasing volatility. This has pulled the market below its average valuation. We do not see an earnings slowdown in the near future and therefore think that the current valuation of the market looks attractive.

• The leading (March 2016) P/E ratio of GAM Star Japan Equity is currently 8.9, which is very low historically, having only been reached three times previously. On two of these occasions – in April 2014 and September 2012 – the market subsequently rallied. The fund is currently trading around 14x March 2011 earnings when the Japanese economy was weak and earnings were depressed.

• The Japanese market has not rewarded value investing this year – low P/E and P/B stocks have not performed strongly, in contrast to previous years. As a result, fund performance has not been as strong as expected. As an example, Kao Group, a Japanese consumer goods company, has experienced 2% compound growth in operating profit over the last 13 years and has historically traded around 20x earnings. This year, its earnings per share (EPS) forecasts have remained flat, yet the stock price has increased by 30% relative to the market, despite no fundamental improvement. We find it difficult to understand why investors would want to pay double the market level and treble the price of some other good companies. MUFG, the portfolio’s second-largest holding, provides another example. Its EPS estimates have been revised upwards by around 5% year to-date, yet its stock price has fallen by approximately 20%. These share price movements are difficult to explain and it may be due to investors’ willingness to pay a premium for high-quality defensive stocks in the current low bond yield environment.

• Our philosophy remains to purchase companies that have strong free cashflow yields and that are attractively valued. In terms of the fund’s top holdings, very few have double-digit P/E ratios and their P/B ratios are low, so we expect the valuations of these companies to appreciate.

 

 

 

Über GAM

GAM wurde 1983 als FondsTochter der UBS gegründet. Von 1999 bis 2005 gehörte die Gesellschaft zum Bankhaus Julius Bär. Seit September 2009 ist GAM selbständig. Fonds: 450. Verwaltetes Vermögen: 36,9 Mrd. Euro. Anzahl der Mitarbeiter: 760. Geschäftsführer: David M. Solo.

Kategorien: Anbieter. Berichten.
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