FondsAnbieter- GAM: Weekly Manager Views.

21. Mai 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."

unabhaengigkeitFondsAnbieter-GAM: While 2013 was all about Abenomics, we predicted 2014 would be the year when Japanese companies began to utilise their earnings to reward shareholders. And five months in we are starting to see signs of this manifesting. To illustrate, in 2013 107 Japanese companies with a collective market capitalisation of JPY 19 trillion announced share buybacks valued at JPY 757 billion, while to date for 2014, 164 companies with a market cap of JPY 82 trillion have announced share buybacks valued at JPY 2.5 trillion – which is roughly equivalent to 3% of these companies’ outstanding shares and a three-fold increase on last year’s activity level. In addition, the magnitude of buybacks has also increased significantly.

To illustrate the momentum behind this shift at a company level, we can highlight two of Japan’s leading trading houses. Mitsui announced a JYP 50 billion buyback programme in February, which lifted its share price by 7% overnight. Mitsui’s main rival is Mitsubishi, which announced its own, slightly larger, buyback programme only last week, valued at JYP 60 billion. This example illustrates the momentum being created by companies competing to keep up with one another. We believe that this could start a snowball effect, with companies beginning to do what shareholders want and the government addressing stewardship codes in shareholders’ favour.

While many investors continue to look for a clear catalyst in the Japanese market ahead of investment, we do not believe this is required. Valuations are cheap, earnings momentum is good and we are seeing a notable change in management attitude, all of which reinforces our belief that things are finally changing in Japan for the better.

The large-scale product recalls by Toyota Motor over the last year or so are not a worry for us, despite the stock being the largest position in GAM Star Japan. Toyota has a prudent policy of recalling vehicles even for fairly modest faults, and – like all of its competitors – provisions a sizeable amount per year to cover the cost of this activity. Hence, we do not view the recent large numbers as an investment-impacting issue.

We are currently in a challenging environment for active managers in China. There has been a much tighter dispersion of returns from active funds than we would normally expect to see. China always has an issue with noise and misinformation at times of stress and that scenario is repeating itself right now. This has had a major impact on two of the largest sector positions in GAM Star China Equity: technology and Macau gaming.

In the technology space, we have suffered from the fallout of the technology sector rotation that has been occurring in the US. While it is right to have some concerns about valuations on US tech companies, we feel that the companies we hold in this area remain in rude health and are substantially cheaper than their American counterparts both before and after the recent correction.

Mobile internet remains a key driver. Asia has embraced the internet, and mobile internet could be as significant as the development of the PC was in the West. The ability to download apps has given many people a way round structural rigidities, and allows them to access goods and services wherever they are. It has changed the livelihoods, lifestyle and spending patterns of a large portion of the Chinese population. Companies such as Tencent, which we own in the portfolio and which has around 700 million customers, are beginning to find ways to monetise their popularity. The end game, in our view, will be ecommerce and efinance. It seems inevitable that cash will be superseded in the future by the ‘digital wallet’, and our view is that companies like Tencent will be the beneficiaries.

There has been no appreciable slowdown in the Macau gaming space, however, more people are looking at the sector and trying to extrapolate trends. Macau generates around USD 50 billion in gross gaming revenues a year compared with around USD 7 billion for Las Vegas. Revenues could double again over the next five years as penetration levels are still relatively low. We remain committed to this as a long-term theme. We will also watch regulations closely. Macau, for example, has banned mobile debit card point-of-sales terminals that book the sales in China, although they do still allow terminals that properly book the sales in Macau.

Within the technology sector we have sold some of our holdings in a PC / smartphone manufacturer and bought into some internet stocks. We have also sold a luxury goods stock to fund an increased weighting in Macau gaming stocks following the sell-off, which has created a substantial valuation gap, in our view.

We plan to participate in the IPO of a major Chinese ecommerce player, which is effectively an online electronics retailer. We have been monitoring its progress for a number of years and it has active plans to diversify across China into higher margin products outside of electronics.

The Chinese government remains committed to the idea that reform is the only path it can follow given the amount of debt that has been built up in the economy over the last five years. It is now focused on trying to engineer an orderly deleveraging of the economy, and that can only come through a certain degree of ‘tough love’.

The government is also committed to capital market reform and financial sector liberalisation with the aim of eventually having a free floating currency. China is also very focused on tackling corruption, and sectors such as luxury goods may be vulnerable to the anti-corruption campaign.

A large number of financial sector companies reported their results in April. The positive message is that, although the results across the sector as a whole were mixed, the overall theme was one of banks becoming safer and sounder, in order to comply with regulations. This was echoed in the speeches of senior management, who appeared committed to bolstering their respective banks’ balance sheets. On an additional positive note, those companies that our funds invest in announced predominantly strong sets of figures.

Our portfolios typically have a much higher yield to maturity than their respective benchmarks. For example, GAM Star Credit Opportunities (USD) has a yield to maturity of 5.4% compared to that of the benchmark of 3.0%. At the same time, the fund’s duration is 4.0, while the benchmark’s is 6.8. This is the result of the portfolio consisting of high coupon fixed-rate bonds and lower duration discounted floating rate notes or fixed-to-floaters in roughly equal parts.

Performance so far this year has been generated by accrued income at about 2% and additionally good performance from our exposure to fixed-rate bonds, as 10-year interest rates have declined. Meanwhile, the prices of floating rate notes, which did well last year when interest rates went up, have remained stable.

We continue to find, and crucially are able to buy, attractive legacy bank bonds in the secondary market. Compared to the new-style contingent convertibles (CoCo bonds) that are issued in large sizes by banks nowadays, the old-style issues provide better investor protection should the issuer bank get into trouble. One important element of this protection is that these bonds also rank senior in the capital structure compared to the new ‘CoCos’. Our advantage in this market is that many participants tend to buy single positions in large quantities of typically USD 20

million or more, which does not allow them to take advantage of the attractive secondary market paper that we favour. This paper is often only available in small batches of less than USD one million per trade.

One example of such a trade is the 7.195% BNP Paribas perpetual. Interestingly, just the fact that it is listed as a perpetual on Bloomberg means that many investors are unwilling or unable to buy it. This means that there is little demand for this type of bond, and we were hence able to buy several batches relatively cheaply over consecutive months earlier this year. However, a closer look at the prospectus reveals that in practical terms under new Basel III regulations it becomes a callable bond in 2022 at par. Due to the high coupon it is almost certain that the bank will in fact call it, so we treat it as a straight-forward bond with a maturity of eight years. Trading at 112%, it gives a yield of 5.3%. A comparable unsecured BNP bond maturing in 2023 only yields 3.5%. So all things being equal, we strongly prefer our perpetual, and remain keen to pick up these types of paper as and when they are offered to us.

We are confident that the structural tailwinds in our market will allow our funds to continue to generate solid performance. Regulatory pressures on banks to become safer will support bond prices as balance sheets are cleaned up and capital ratios are strengthened. The strong operating results do their bit to increase investors’ confidence in banks. Meanwhile, our funds offer very good income visibility for years to come based on the positions that we hold. The funds are positioned for higher interest rates over the coming years, with our floating rate notes poised to benefit outright from this scenario, while our high-coupon fixed-rate bonds will continue to provide stable income.






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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