FondsAnbieter- GAM: Weekly Manager Views.

05. März 2014 von um 10:30 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."

Bei der FondsAuswahl zählt die Unabhängigkeit vom Anbieter!FondsAnbieter-GAM: A number of negative issues in China have entered the spotlight of late. Mixed policy signals from the government have caused some angst and volatility in the market and have dogged valuations. The central bank has drained some liquidity from the system and has engineered a weaker currency. There has also been market talk of intervention in banks to SJB Fonds Echo. Analysiert.tighten their lending practices regarding property companies. In addition, there is the perennial issue of the possibility of impending defaults on wealth management products in the shadow banking system.

All this has meant a tricky environment for the market to perform in, but nonetheless we continue to find some interesting businesses to invest in. One good news story for GAM Star China Equity has been strong performance from a Macau casino operator, which features in the fund’s top 10 holdings. Its revenues last year outpaced the combined revenues of all of the Las Vegas casino operators, which gives an idea of what one company has been able to achieve in Macau.

In the gaming sector, we also own three other Macau casino operators. The Macau theme now accounts for around 17% of the fund and continues to perform very well. We have also added a lottery business to the portfolio. China’s lottery industry continues to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 10%, with two distinct areas: welfare lotteries and sports lotteries. Sports lotteries are seeing the majority of the growth, at a rate of around 25% a year. The company is exposed to the growth of this sector, and to the move away from traditional selling channels into mobile distribution and internet selling channels. We feel this is a theme that is not particularly correlated to the economic cycle. We already had a holding in the same sector from last year, which doubled in value in 2013, and we see further upside in the theme.

Another area that has done well for the fund has been our investments in the technology space, in particular in software and the internet. Companies such as a Chinese internet conglomerate, which is up 16% year-to-date, and a leading search engine operator, which is up 28% year-to-date against the backdrop of a falling market, have been positive performance contributors.

Within the internet space we are seeing big companies trying to get even bigger by attempting to create their own ecosystems. Facebook buying WhatsApp is a good example of this, and similar deals are taking place within China. There are two other instant

messaging platforms in Asia, one operated by a Korean company, Line, but which generates most of its customer base from Japan. Line is owned by a Korean company, which is a holding in our other Asian portfolios. There is also a comparable business to WhatsApp called WeChat, which is owned by the Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent. In combination with its other social messaging site, QQ, it has over 800 million subscribers. Its ability to monetise that user base is creating opportunities for Tencent to diversify away from being a pure online gaming business. It is using cash flows from that business to create what we feel will be a very sticky user base, by combining services such as WeChat to enable users to book restaurants, airline tickets or hotels, as well as gaming.

Companies such as Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba are all participating in this ‘land grab’. We are playing this theme via an internet conglomerate and a leading search engine operator, which we feel is a takeover target for Alibaba. Additionally, we have added some interesting smaller companies to the portfolio over the course of the last two to three months. These include an online flash retailing business – there is a lot of excess capacity in this industry, and those retailers with unsold inventory utilise the services of such companies to discount product prices over time and clear their inventory. The company has also expanded to buy an apparel and cosmetics business, which adds another string to its bow.

We used the weakness in the market on the back of the accounting dispute between the SEC and the Chinese regulators, when many stocks pulled back by 10–15%, to take positions in stocks such as the flash retailer and an online travel agency. Another key feature in China today is the amount of travel people are doing en masse, and online travel agencies will be a beneficiary of that increase.

In the area of mobile payments, we added a company, which is a facilitator in the mobile payments industry, which outsources its terminals to a Japanese company, focusing on the technology behind the system to ensure mobile payments are conducted securely. Year-to-date, GAM Star China Equity, as well as our regional portfolios, GAM Star Asian Equity and GAM Star Emerging Asia Equity, are performing well on a relative basis and are up on an absolute level as well (to 25 February). We are pleased with this result against the backdrop of markets that are down.

The upcoming National People’s Congress should be a positive for the Chinese equity market and may provide more clarity on the reformist agenda. This could provide some underpinning to what we view to be a cheap market. We are also in the midst of the reporting season. By and large, companies are reporting in line with expectations, which typically equates to around 10% earnings growth for last year from Chinese companies. We expect to see at least that rate of growth continue for the 2014 financial year.

For the past four years, European equities have suffered from lacklustre to declining earnings growth. Earnings downgrades also remain prevalent. 2014 to-date has proved no exception to this trend, as growth estimates for the year only a few weeks ago were 12–13%, whereas now they have fallen to 8–9%. With the euro at current levels, which will hinder the translation of foreign profits back into the reporting currency, even these revised estimates seem ambitious. As such, growth levels of the average European company are likely to be lacklustre at best this year. While this sounds rather unattractive for investors, the current environment suits our strategy of earnings differentiation well, as companies that are truly delivering convincing earnings growth stand out from the crowd, while the ones that miss are punished.

This is reflected in the performance of GAM Star (Lux) – European Alpha (EUR class), which is up 0.9% year-to-date (25 February), and returned 10.0% for 2013 with much lower volatility than the market due to the strategy’s non-directional composition.

We manage our positions actively, and can draw on some recent examples that highlight the kind of earnings disparity we look to capitalise on. In the utilities section, we have been positioned long EDF (France) and PPC (Greece), whose stocks rose notably in 2013 following earnings developments. In contrast, within the sector we held short positions against a Czech and an Austrian company, on the basis of their greater exposure to spot electricity prices, which have been falling. The two stocks fell by some 15– 20% in 2013 in response to their poor earnings‘ trends, highlighting the disparity of earnings within the sector. We have seen similar scenarios play out in the financials and cyclicals sectors.

Looking at performance year-to-date, January delivered a market correction, which would typically have a negative impact on momentum-driven strategies such as ours, as investors react by taking profits on their winners. However, the fund managed to post positive performance based on two factors: first, earnings reports were very supportive for our holdings, particularly Logitech, a manufacturer of PC accessories; and second, profit-taking on some of our long-standing positions allowed us buy on weakness, so we built our positions in names such as Sika and Rightmove. These stocks subsequently returned to their previous highs.

In February, our longs have primarily provided positive performance, although profit warnings on two short positions we hold in a Finnish construction company and a Finnish media name have also aided performance. However, one negative surprise was a profit warning on the Dutch name PostNL, which we have long exposure to. We were not expecting this update nor the subsequent sharp decline by the stock, so we are currently reviewing the position following its positive performance last year.

On a sector basis, it seems that downgrades are being implemented across the board, primarily due to currency reasons. However, the one anomaly that is experiencing positive revisions is the financials sector, particularly the insurance sub-sector. We are positioned long the insurance sector, where we focus on companies that represent stable businesses with strong pricing power and balance sheets, such as Swiss Re and Tryg Vesta, as well as growth and restructuring plays, such as Prudential and Unipol. Within the banking sector, we have recently adjusted our long exposure to more neutral levels, balancing our longs on select Italian and Nordic banks with tactical shorts against some European names with emerging markets exposure.

Looking at our long book more broadly, we have exposure to growth opportunities in the healthcare and services sectors. We are also involved with several interesting investments in the technology sector, which we can split into two distinct categories. First we have the turnaround stories, namely Nokia, Logitech and Temenos, while the second area is payments. We are seeing this sector move further into the mobile technology market, hence our longs in Wirecard, Gemalto and Atos. We anticipate Atos benefiting from a re-rating later this year, following the spin-off of its mobile payments business.

Collectively, our long book trades at around 14x consensus earnings for 2014 (the average for Europe), yet the market is expecting only 17% growth from the collective. We believe this level of growth can be beaten, with performance exceeding expectations, while the broader European market will deliver very little in terms of earnings growth.

Looking at the short book, consumer staples is currently an interesting sector. It is suffering from the most extreme negative revisions (despite valuations typically being at historical highs) for two reasons: the currency impact and an over-penetration of companies’ products in the emerging markets (EM), combined with low EM growth rates. We believe this scenario will ultimately lead to disappointing performance. We are also short companies in the energy sector that represent value traps in our view, as well as those names that are suffering from cuts in oil giants‘ capital expenditure. Our short book collectively trades on 14x 2014 consensus earnings, but we believe expected growth at above 20% is too ambitious in light of the companies’ structural problems.

With our long and short book on similar consensus valuations but completely opposite earnings prospects, we should continue to benefit from strong alpha generation.

 

 

 

 

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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