FondsAnbieter- GAM: Weekly Manager Views.

30. April 2014 von um 11:00 Uhr
Anbieter. Berichten.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: Markets have been volatile in the first quarter of this year. The Chinese economy continues to look soft, and the data points we track, such as PMI, GDP and property market transaction volumes, appear to confirm that this is the case. We have always taken the view that the economy is slowly deleveraging and therefore the argument to buy value or cyclical stocks in China did not make sense. So, despite the rebound in these types of stocks during March, we continue to stick with the themes we have always favoured and where we have strong conviction levels.

• We continue to look for businesses with strong free cash flow generation and attractive valuations. These include areas such as Macau gaming, the internet and technology, the environmental services sector, and financials (including real estate and non-bank financials on the Hong Kong stock exchange). The Hong Kong and Chinese governments have announced a scheme which will allow shares to be traded on both Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges, which should benefit the Hong Kong exchange.

• The key economic message to note is that the Chinese government is trying to promote growth through structural reform, relying less on the old tried and tested measures of pumping money into the economy. The economy is slowing down and the government is willing to accept growth below its official target of 7.5%. It has also shown a willingness to tolerate some volatility in the economy.

• The full year reporting season has just finished and we are now kicking off the first quarter season. The prognosis so far is that things have not been very positive for the old economy sectors. China Mobile, for example, reported service revenues up 6% but net profits down 9%, due to the cannibalisation effect associated with competing technologies such as WhatsApp and WeChat. Old economy and cyclical sectors continue to face headwinds, and this is being reflected in their first quarter results. We are not expecting fireworks from the banks either in terms of improvements. The trends of net interest margin pressure will persist. Write-offs for the first two months of this year represent 60% of the total for last year, so that process is accelerating.

• We have made no material changes to the portfolio of GAM Star China, and continue to invest in those growth areas where we have a high degree of confidence in the stability and strength of businesses’ balance sheets.

 

 

Year-to-date the Japanese market has delivered disappointing performance, with the MSCI Japan down 10.4% in yen terms (to 22 April). At the same time, company fundamentals have remained reasonably strong, with earnings estimates revised up by 1% since the start of the year. By comparison, earnings estimates in the US and Europe continue to be revised down. Valuations in Japan have therefore become much more reasonable, although there are few obvious catalysts for change in the region. We expect the yen to continue to trade within its current range for the foreseeable future.

• GAM Star Japan is trading at 11.1x earnings for March 2014 and 10.5x for March 2015. We believe there is still significant value in the Japanese market, although economic data released in the last month has been relatively disappointing. We need to keep a particular eye on export data which, despite the yen being weak, has failed to pick up. One of Japan’s largest export areas is China, which has been somewhat fragile of late. The weak currency has been very beneficial for corporate earnings, but on an economic basis weakness usually results in an increase in exports, which in turn leads to a commensurate rise in industrial production and capital expenditure. That is not happening at present, but we expect exports to start picking up. We are looking, for example, at orders for machinery companies which are big exporters.

• The portfolio continues to look cheap, and we maintain the view that buy-backs will be a big story going forward. We fully expect to see a rise in buy-back announcements over the next couple of months and are monitoring the market closely for signs of activity.

• We recently made a few changes within the fund. The position in Toyota has been reduced by a modest amount, and at the same time we have taken a position in Fuji Heavy Industries. Fuji is the owner of Subaru. A large amount of its sales are in the US, where gasoline prices have been modestly reducing. The mix of auto sales in the US shows that buyers have been moving more to SUVs and trucks, and away from passenger cars. Fuji Heavy gets around 80% of its sales from SUVs and four wheel drive vehicles and has done very well in the US. With the weakness in the yen it has also been exporting a lot from Japan. Given the fact that European auto sales are also picking up, the company should start to grow its market share there too.

• We have increased our position in Bridgestone. Global tyre sales have been improving, particularly in Europe following a weak couple of years. This has already been reflected in Michelin’s numbers, although less so for Bridgestone to-date. Its valuation

looks cheap, at around 9x earnings. It is a global Japanese company with a good balance sheet.

• We have also increased our exposure to Hitachi. This stock did well for us towards the end of last year, then less well at the beginning of 2014. We have taken advantage of this weakness to take the position size back up. Hitachi has very high market shares in a number of areas in Japan, in particular power generation, rail infrastructure, IT, traffic management, lifts and elevators. It has been looking to expand overseas but the strength of the yen over the last five years has made this difficult. It is now starting to make good headway with this plan. It has, for example, built a new plant in County Durham in the UK to supply rail cars to East Coast Mainline and First Great Western. That has been helped partly by the technology that Hitachi owns, as well as the currency weakness.

• Japanese companies have been criticised for corporate governance issues but Hitachi is unusual in that it has four notable foreigners on the board. One is George Buckley, the former chief executive of 3M in the US. During his tenure at 3M he turned the business around into a strong global company.

 

Emerging markets continue their ups and downs in the short to medium-term. In the last four and half years the market has gone plus or minus 15% with a flat return. That has resulted in valuations coming down to a very attractive level and at some point the relative performance of emerging market equities versus, for example, US indices, will turn in our favour.

• GAM Star Emerging Equity has performed reasonably well given this backdrop, and is modestly ahead of the MSCI Emerging Markets index for the year to-date (to 22 April). The asset class remains volatile, at around 13–14%, making equity Sharpe ratios unattractive on a relative basis against emerging market credit. We need a longer period of positive performance with lower volatility for equity Sharpe ratios to become more attractive compared to other regional asset classes.

• The first two months of 2014 saw a slump in emerging markets as a result of tapering concerns, a harsh US winter and the US debt ceiling debate. This followed a sound rally in the fourth quarter of 2013. In the opening weeks of the second quarter of this year we have seen a bounce and a sharp sector rotation. Sector leadership is an important area to focus on, more so than other aspects such as the geopolitical situation. High growth areas such as technology, gaming and the internet were favoured by many people, particularly in China and Brazil, and were hit heavily in the short term. The question now is whether this presents an opportunity for investors to go back into them now some of the froth has been taken out of the market. This again highlights the importance of a diversified portfolio.

• There are many drivers having an effect on emerging market equities at present. The asset class is essentially underloved, underowned and undervalued; this for us should prove a positive

moving into the third quarter of 2014. It is important to remember, too, that post the credit crunch in 2008 emerging market equities led the rally. Now, following three years of consolidation, valuations are as cheap as they were at the bottom of the credit crunch. We feel we are on the cusp of top-line growth, and increasing operating margins and return on equity, benefiting the underlying valuations and earnings stream. When that happens, emerging market equities could lead the next leg up.

• In terms of geopolitics, the most interesting market in our view at present is Indonesia, where we currently have a 4% weighting. The country’s current account deficit concerns are abating and while there has been a bumpy political ride in the lead up to elections, we remain upbeat. Similarly, we are positive on Thailand, and have been increasing our exposure for around six months now.

• The frontier markets of Panama and Argentina also continue to appeal to us at the margin, particularly where we can exploit technology opportunities in those markets. In Panama we also like Copa Airlines, the ‘easyJet’ of Latin America. Overall, we are overweight frontier markets. Periphery plays in areas such as Greece have also benefited the portfolio, as well as opportunities in Africa played via Portugal.

• In Russia, Sberbank is down around 50% from its pre-credit crunch highs. However, the company’s fundamentals do not make it an attractive opportunity to us. Instead, we are playing financials via Bank of Georgia. Any sanctions imposed on Russia will hit the oil sector. Gazprom, for example, is down 17% from its high in October 2013. The question is whether this discount is deep enough to warrant an investment. In general we feel we should not be underweight energy in this environment, particularly based on our outlook that stronger growth will come through. We are not hung up on the 4.8% index weight in Russia, with our weighting at around 3.0%.

• As ever there are many moving parts to the puzzle of emerging markets equities. Yield remains one of the most powerful drivers and emerging debt markets are in our view the sweet spot for yield opportunities. At some point investors will flip over into equities. The challenge always is to express your views while not opening up your portfolio to too many risks. We hope the growth profile embedded in our portfolio gives us some cushion for shocks and when the spring unwinds leaves us well placed to achieve alpha from the upside.

 

 

Over the past month, we have seen a significant shift in the markets – last year’s losing stocks have started to appreciate, while 2013’s strong performers have weakened. Our approach is to typically be positioned long winners and short losers, so this shift has created a challenging trading environment for us. The atypical behaviour (which is occurring on a global scale) may well have been triggered by the geopolitical tension in Russia, and

 

market participants have moved to lock in gains on winners and buy up some of the laggards. However, we do not see this current trend as marking a more significant / unexpected shift in overall economic conditions.

• Indeed, the current environment is providing us with new investment opportunities. We have increased the gross exposure of GAM Star (Lux) – Emerging Alpha from approximately 110% to 125%, so roughly back to the centre of our typical range. The fund’s net exposure is around 27%, with a beta of 0.1.

• Looking to Russia, we had very low exposure to the market as a whole, but did hold positions in three local names. We have since sold these holdings as the market turbulence has impacted our ability to invest on a fundamentals basis, so we prefer to remain out of the market until things settle down.

• Elsewhere, we have reduced our net short exposure to banks and remain long the consumer discretionary sector as we favour its growth prospects, based on the resilience of emerging market consumers and the region’s low unemployment levels. We are also net long the IT sector, specifically component suppliers to the growing smart phone industry. In the healthcare industry we like selected Saudi Arabian names, while we are net short the shipping sector, particularly names related to oil exploration, as we believe the industry cycle has peaked.

• On a country basis, our book is fairly balanced with no standout biases. We do like the Philippines as a whole, both for its supportive macro environment and rich levels of liquidity. We would anticipate 2014 and 2015 being strong years for the Philippines economy. We are also gaining emerging market exposure through net long positions in developed markets, targeting European-listed companies that generate the bulk of their revenues in emerging markets, such as Swatch.

• Overall, our view remains that there are pockets of growth to target in our markets, despite the lack of a strong expansionary trend.

 

 

 

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.

 

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