The Dutch pension asset manager's Asia Pacific head of real estate says his team has just had one of its busiest years ever and that 2021 is looking similarly promising.
The latest spike in the oil price reflects worries about oil production in Nigeria at a time when demand for oil from emerging countries remains strong and stockpiles in the US are low.
However, the Sydney-based Oliver believes that while the long-term trend in the oil price will remain up - well above $100 in the years ahead as supply struggles to keep up with long-term demand from developing countries - the short term slowdown in global growth now underway will lead to a fall in the oil price into mid-year to around $85 a barrel providing some
Higher oil prices will add to inflation globally in the short term, but with global growth slowing down and the US teetering on the brink of recession, inflation will ultimately fall this year, he says.
Increased fuel costs will add to the pressure on US households to cut back their spending, which will only intensify the downside risks to the US economy and the need for retailers to discount their goods if they want to maintain sales. The latest spike in the oil price does make life tougher for central banks though - particularly the US Federal Reserve. The Fed should be cutting interest rates aggressively, but short term inflation worries largely on the back of the oil price surge are slowing it down, Oliver says.
The key global themes for 2008 are likely to be the downturn in global growth, but with an improving outlook through the second half of the year, a fall in inflation as growth slows, falling global interest rates and soggy industrial commodity prices early in the year giving way to renewed strength in the second half, Oliver says. Uncertainty about the global growth outlook is likely to result in a continued rough and volatile ride for investors during the first half of the year. However, he notes an improving trend should become apparent during the second half as global growth prospects improve on the back of central bank efforts to reflate their economies.
After a rough first half of the year, global shares should provide reasonable, but unspectacular, returns of around 9% in 2008 as a whole, Oliver says. ôFor long-term investors its best to just ride it through. We don't see the recent and continuing volatility as the start of a new major bear market,ö Oliver says. ôThe Fed is far more proactive than most other central banks and betting against the US consumer continuing to consume for an extended length of time is a dangerous bet.ö
Record low borrowing costs in Australia are feeding demand for the country's real estate, with domestic and global investors raising their allocations into the sector.
Experts have a diversified view on the appeal of private assets across the region, but one thing's for certain - inflows are rising, particularly into China and the US.
Malaysia's Armed Forces Fund hires new CEO; Canada's Omers appoints Asia capital markets managing director; HSBC Asset Management creates alternatives unit, appoints CIO as its head; Bank of Singapore names global wealth head; Aware Super hires IFA head; Hong Kong names acting head for MPFA; Schroders adding to Asia ESG headcount; and more.
Asian fixed income assets – including Hong Kong dollar (HKD) bonds – are luring growing numbers of global investors who are striving for reliable and consistent returns amid macro uncertainty compounded by rising inflation and rates, according to HSBC Asset Management.