FondsAnbieter- GAM: Weekly Manager Views

17. Dezember 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: We continue to have a negative view of oil stocks and have consequently had very little exposure to them in GAM Star Continental European Equity for the last five years. We do not believe economists have fully discounted the impact of the oil price fall. We think the fall is a highly significant positive for Europe, which is a net oil importer. It is particularly beneficial for four countries that have been historically weak – Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland. For example, the Spanish Ministry of Finance estimates that Spain’s 2015 GDP could be boosted by 1–1.5% if we have a perpetuation of cheap oil prices. In Europe, the main economies that have and will continue to be negatively impacted are Norway and Scotland.

Prices at USD 65–70 a barrel mean oil producers are effectively destroying value. The inability to originate cash will inevitably result in balance sheet issues for these companies. Given that oil forward prices are currently below USD 80 a barrel, and that the breakeven price for many producers is over USD 100 a barrel, we are comfortable not owning any of the integrated oil stocks for at least the next two-to-three months. Many of these companies have high operating leverage, meaning a five dollar drop in the oil price will have a disproportionate effect on profitability (as much as a 25% drop for emerging market oil producers).

When the oil price was around USD 90 a barrel, shale oil producers had some spare capacity. However, now that the price has fallen, we expect some capacity to be taken out of the shale oil industry in the next two-to-three years. Many oil producers, including Statoil, are now reducing their capital expenditures for the next five years, some by as much as 20%. Others will not be able to do so given that they are in the advanced stages of investment in large-scale projects.

It is not possible to predict where the oil price will be even six months from now, although we can look at forward oil prices as an indicator, as well as considering supply / demand dynamics. The issue recently has been that OPEC has not agreed on final production levels. Output from Saudi Arabia has contracted as the nation does not want to be in the position of marginal producer. We have also seen weaker demand from China and Europe. China’s oil import volumes have fallen considerably in recent weeks and Chinese stock levels remain at five-year high

average levels, so we think that there is significant room for adjustment, particularly if Saudi Arabia continues to engage in an oil price war in Asia and the US. We anticipate the oil price will recover once investment from the major producers eventually slows down. Saudi Arabia has historically had a significant influence on the future oil price. The country could continue to export oil at USD 35–40 a barrel and remain profitable, unlike many other oil-exporting regions.

Oil producers, like companies in other sectors, usually try to delay dividend cuts until as late as possible. We feel that the major oil producers will have to cut dividends at some point or conduct major asset disposals, which will be very challenging in the current environment.

Most European airlines that have healthy balance sheets have hedged against the rise in the oil price for the last 12–18 months so the pass-through to cheaper fares will take a few months. It is unclear what the impact of the low oil price is on the airline industry. On one hand, a lower price represents a large drop in costs and allows airlines to pass on cost savings to consumers and thus increase demand. Equally, the low-cost carriers (Ryanair and Easyjet) may prefer a higher price at times because it drives higher cost competitors out of business.

Alongside the fall in the oil price, there has also been a fall in the price of solar technology, largely driven by China, the world’s largest solar cell producer. The cost of solar energy has fallen by approximately half over the last two-to-three years. Solar energy is now as competitive as LNG was prior to the oil price fall, and this is without government subsidies. This should help China to reduce its energy import bill in future years. Renewable technology has come a long way in recent years and we expect this theme to also influence future prices of traditional energy sources.

GAM Star Continental European Equity has outperformed the index by 4–5% since the turnaround in October, and this has largely been a result of our core themes playing out; there has been little turnover in the portfolio since then. We have benefited from the oil price fall directly through not owning oil stocks, but also indirectly through our holdings in the industrials and materials sectors, which have performed strongly on the back of cheaper oil input prices. Furthermore, we think some of our more cyclical holdings, including World Duty Free and Adecco, will perform strongly if we see a pick-up in European growth, which we expect particularly in the periphery.

The world uses approximately 32 billion barrels of oil per year and the oil price has fallen by USD 35 a barrel since June. This equates to USD 1.1 trillion, or 1.5% of global GDP, providing an overwhelming boost to consumers globally.

There has been a rapid growth in sovereign wealth funds, largely in oil-producing nations in recent years. Essentially, there has been a mass leakage out of the world economy as income from consumers in the developed world has been converted into savings by sovereign wealth funds. This has been detrimental to the consumption-led recovery of many regions. The oil price fall is a big positive for global consumption, in our opinion. It will be a particular positive for Japan, given that the country is resource-poor. SMBC, a Japanese bank, estimates that Japan’s 2015 GDP will be boosted by 1.8% as a result of the fall in the price of mineral fuel imports.

In 2014, we have seen a weak yen by historical standards, which can be interpreted as a tax cut for companies and a tax hike for consumers. Including the impact of the consumption tax hike earlier in the year, one can see how corporates have generally enjoyed a strong year, whereas consumers have had a difficult one. This explains Japan’s apparently contradictory economic statistics showing poor GDP figures for the last two quarters, while the corporate sector has returned to record profitability.

Looking to 2015, the planned second consumption tax hike has been abandoned with the possibility of a hike in early 2017 if the economy is perceived as being sufficiently robust. We expect the weakened yen and the fall in the oil price to continue to be major themes next year. If the yen stays at current levels (USD / JPY 118–119) this would add 7–8% to Japanese corporate earnings in 2015 over and above organic growth, according to data from Nomura. Japan already has the strongest earnings momentum of all developed markets. Furthermore, consumers will benefit as the year-on-year impact of last year’s consumption tax hike falls out and the lower oil price manifests in consumer demand and sentiment data. Overall, we are therefore very positive on Japan’s outlook for next year.

We visited Japan last week and met officials from the Bank of Japan and the Ministry of Finance as well as one of PM Abe’s economic advisors. As far as the BoJ is concerned, it is committed to entrenching inflation expectations around 2%, meaning that we do not see an end to loose monetary policy in Japan in the foreseeable future. Speaking to Abe’s economic advisor confirmed that the government now has a much more flexible stance on fiscal policy. In 2006–7, the government came close to eliminating its primary budget deficit without having to increase taxes because the economy was strong. We think Abe will be trying to follow the same path of encouraging economic growth going into next year. In some respects, we see a return to the environment of 2013 with the Bank of Japan loosening monetary policy, the government easing back from fiscal tightening, a voting majority for Abe, and lower oil prices all indicating strong corporate earnings growth next year. Therefore, we are confident on the outlook for Japanese corporates. We

expect them to maintain existing high dividends and to increase share buybacks to record highs.

In terms of valuations, based on the current strength of the yen, the TOPIX is trading at a price / earnings ratio of approximately 13x, which is at a discount relative to other global markets.

It is difficult to predict whether the yen will strengthen or weaken next year. Interest rate differentials between Japan and the US, for example, are so negligible that they negate any argument that a 50 bps difference in 10-year yields should lead to the annual 25% yen depreciation we have seen. Many investors in Japanese stocks have shorted the yen almost by default, based on the impact of monetary expansionary policies on the yen in the last two years. Much of this shorting has been carried out by US-based global macro funds, rather than Japanese companies or investors. Looking at Chicago Board of Trade figures, there are currently a record number of short yen positions but investors could soon start buying the yen at these levels. The yen at 120 against the US dollar is a good and stable level for Japanese corporates and they would not necessarily want further weakening.

Following the market’s expensive spring / early summer run, the whole spectrum of convertible paper was written down from June to mid-October 2014 as brokers called their bids down for fear of sellers on prices. This impacted the performance of the fund, although valuations rebounded in October as negative equity sentiment hit the market, triggering our overlay hedge.

Japan remains a heavy overweight exposure in the portfolio. Since June, we have held a long synthetic position in the Nikkei 400 index, as we were unable to access our preferred exposure in convertible format. In addition, we have hedged, versus the Nikkei 225 index, our exposure to the Japanese market and will do until the macro players start to use the Nikkei 400 futures. We have a significant overweight exposure to Toray Industries, which produces carbon fibre. The company recently released positive news relative to its contracts with Boeing and we booked a portion of the profits on our exposure. We are positioned to profit from any post-election equity market rally in Japan, reflecting our conviction in the market. If this does not manifest, however, our overlay hedge remains in place with the puts now 3% out of the money.

In regard to the falling oil price, as with most other commentators, we see lower prices as providing a significant boost to GDP growth. In this regard, we have added to our consumer cyclicals exposure in the US, such as Ford, General Motors, Amazon and Target, in anticipation of stronger performance within the next six months. Within the oil sector, our recent exposure is light, while historically we had been overweight. We bought Technip in October – the bond was trading around its floor with one-year duration. At the purchase date, it was trading on a 60% premium, which reduced to 40%, but is now back to the purchase level, and the yield on the convertible is higher than the fixed income paper. We also own Premier Oil whose share price has taken a hit. The company, however, has a reasonably strong balance sheet. We are monitoring the position for an attractive exit point.

We owned a sizable position in International Consolidated Airlines Group but have recently booked profits following its rally, and re-hedged the exposure. We also took advantage of oversold markets in mid-October to buy the Lufthansa convertible exchangeable into JetBlue as a short-term position. The equity returned 20% for us over two weeks and we have now closed out of the position.

We have bought into CapGemini, despite some brokers being negative on the stock due to the company’s lack of exposure to cloud computing. However, we anticipate the company experiencing continued contract growth as corporates invest in IT.

We recently booked a small profit on Derwent London following strong performance in the UK property sector. We exited Balfour Beatty following the profit warning, but we will revisit once the KPM report is published and we have more transparency in their numbers.

Issuance levels have been reasonably healthy, dominated by the US and Japan, while Europe and Asia have lagged. Nevertheless, we expect to see an issuance pick-up in 2015.

 

 

 

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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