After two tenures, AsianInvestor's 2021 Standout CIO Jang Dong-hun looks back on the past six years at Korea's Poba with satisfaction.
With stubbornly high oil prices reinforcing fears of low growth and high inflation in the worldÆs major developed economies, investors removed another $7.4 billion from equity funds that invest in the US, Japan and Europe. They also reversed their contrarian bets on Mexico and the financial sector, pulled $900 billion out of global bond funds and extended net outflows of high-yield bond funds to 10 straight weeks.
Investors committed some fresh money to emerging markets funds, however, with the biggest share going to global emerging markets equity and emerging markets bond funds. They also committed solid amounts of new money to real estate sector funds and broke the seven-week losing streak for technology sector funds. At the country level, Russia continues to stand out among the emerging markets and Switzerland among the developed ones.
Europe, Japan and US equity funds extended their losing streaks to 25, 10 and five weeks respectively, as year-to-date outflows from these three fund groups pushed over the $74 billion mark. In the case of both the US and the Eurozone, recent economic data is raising the spectre of stagflation as high energy prices fuel inflationary expectations despite slowing economic growth, limiting the options for further interest rate cuts. Inflation in the Eurozone is currently at a 14-year high of 3.2% while prices in the US are growing at an annualised rate of over 4%.
Worries about the full scope and impact of the US subprime debt crisis on EuropeÆs financial sector and its ability to lend are also dogging investor sentiment towards this region. Europe Equity Funds have been hit with net redemptions totalling $40.6 billion and their collective performance year-to-date is off some 11%. At the country level, Swiss country funds fared much better than their French, German, Dutch and British counterparts, absorbing a net $334 million for the week.
Performance among Japan equity funds rebounded during the third week of February as the prospect of sticky US and Eurozone interest rates dispelled fears of further erosion in the yenÆs competitiveness. But that wasnÆt enough to stop investors pulling money out of these funds for the 46th time in the past 47 weeks. Japan is currently viewed as a country dangerously dependent on exports that has slipped into reverse when it comes to structural reforms, fiscal discipline and the unwinding of cross-shareholding deals that insulate corporate managers from activist shareholders, EPFR says.
Three of the four major emerging markets equity fund groups posted inflows during the third week of February, with the diversified global emerging markets equity funds faring best in dollar terms, and Europe, Middle East and Asia equity funds faring best in percentage terms. Latin America equity funds just managed to break their six-week losing streak. But Asia ex-Japan equity funds posted outflows for the tenth straight week.
Brunei Investment Agency names head of real estate; Former Temasek CEO Ho Ching joins EQT Future's mission board; APG managing director for global real assets relocates to Hong Kong; Manulife Hong Kong appoints chief financial officer and chief product officer; Wayne Swan commences as Cbus chair; AXA IM appoints head of client group alts Asia; and more.
Census experts say China's population will start to decline at least five years earlier than expected - investors are being warned to keep a weather eye on inflation and structural shifts.
Family offices in Hong Kong want to do more impact investing, but the paucity of ESG talent and the lack of uniform reporting standards are real issues for them.
An impending series of interest rate increases and the deterioration in relations between Russia and the West over Ukraine have worried investors in recent weeks, hence the volatility in US equities in particular.