AsianInvestor won two awards yesterday (November 25) at the State Street's Asia-Pacific Institutional Press Awards. Jame DiBiasio and Hugo Cox were commended for articles addressing financial literacy and investments, respectively. Leigh Powell, editor of AsianInvestor, also contributed to one of the winning stories.
In both cases, AsianInvestor was covering the changes, risks and opportunities reshaping investors' options in global fixed income.
DiBiasio, editorial director at Haymarket Financial Media, of which AsianInvestor is part, was recognised for two stories about global fixed income. On July 21, AsianInvestor published his web article 'A rate hike will be a 'bear flattener', say bond managers'.
DiBiasio explained what is likely to happen when the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates and the implications for owners of US fixed income. This remains relevant, as the Fed is preparing to vote on the matter next month.
He was also acknowledged for his story in the November print edition, 'Faith in the Fed is misplaced', a precursor to the previous article. DiBiasio argued that the initial impact of a US Fed rate hike will not have an immediate impact on investors, and that even once the first rate hike is initiated, the current trends in bond markets will linger.
At the time of writing, most bond fund managers and institutional investors were bracing for an end to the long-standing bond bull run, but DiBiasio said the status quo would continue – an argument that has so far proven correct. The feature was partly based on an earlier web story, 'Bond managers expect a prolonged cycle', published on October 20, 2014.
Hugo Cox was commended for the 'Liquidity lost' feature in the October, 2014 edition of AsianInvestor magazine, sharing the byline with DiBiasio and Powell. (Each award can recognise only a single author.) Cox is a regular contributor to AsianInvestor, based in London.
The trio conducted interviews with individuals in Europe, Asia and the US to examine the emerging trend of declining liquidity in secondary bond markets, largely due to banking regulation, that has made holding inventory of fixed-income securities too expensive. Banks are the hub of trading in bonds, and if they don't keep inventories, investors have fewer options for exiting a position quickly.
AsianInvestor was the first to explore this development in capital markets, which was later picked up by global media such as the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. A related story that provided some of the research for the feature is DiBiasio's "Bond managers struggle with liquidity risk", which ran online on October 7, 2014.
Cox was also recognised for 'Resilient Asia', a feature in the July edition of AsianInvestor, which argued against the current belief that Asian equities would perform badly. Investors – spooked by slowing growth rates, collapsing commodity prices and fears of a US interest rate hike – had been pulling money out of emerging-market funds. Cox made the case that the region's investment story is stronger than held by common wisdom.
The short-term picture since this article was published has been mixed, but some markets in the region have done well. And in the upcoming December edition of AsianInvestor, deputy editor Richard Newell re-argues the case that emerging Asian equities are in fact attractively valued and should reward investors. Out of favour often means a buying opportunity for those willing to accept short-term risks.
What these stories share is a desire to provide balanced, sober investment views to our audience of asset owners, fund selectors and industry executives.
The State Street Institutional Press Awards, now in their fourth year in Asia Pacific, are decided by an independent panel of five judges from journalism, publishing, academia and non-profit bodies with investment expertise.
Both DiBiasio and Cox have been recipients of these awards in previous years.