Insights

Investment Insights by our experts and thought leaders

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - October 2017

US Treasuries declined in September, prompted by the possibility of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December and Trump's tax reform bill being passed by Congress.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - October 2017

The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index fell by 0.1% in US dollar (USD) terms, underperforming the MSCI AC World Index which returned 2.2%. Profit-taking and currency weakness relative to the USD pressured returns in September.

The Rise of Chinese FDI into ASEAN

Our senior fixed income portfolio manager in Singapore explains why he is bullish on ASEAN currencies for the long-term.

House View: Global Economic and Equity Reflation Despite Less Dovish Central Banks

Despite geopolitical risks and less dovish central banks, the Global Investment Committee remains moderately optimistic about the global economy and equity markets, while being cautious on global bonds.

Note From A Big Country

Perhaps the biggest surprise that emanated from this week’s trip to North America has been the extent to which the topic of secular stagnation has come back onto the agenda, despite all the excitement over the prospect for as yet unfortunately still undefined tax cuts by the Trump Administration.

Germany's Election Results – What now?

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the time it will take before the formation of a new government, we do not think there is risk of major policy change in Germany. The election outcome, however, will likely weigh on the aspirations of France’s Macron for deeper Eurozone integration.

Developed Asia-Pacific: Growth Dynamics in Asia-Pacific – Crucial Differences in the Region

Given the shifting dynamics in the region, for investors interested in Asian equities, there are multiple options depending upon the level of risk they are willing to assume. This paper looks at the outlook for several countries in Asia-Pacific.

The Dangers of Averaging

When there are structural changes, simple data averaging often leads to wrong conclusions.

Japan Equity Outlook: “Investing in Japan vs. investing in Japanese companies”

Investing in Japan is not the same as investing in Japanese companies. Given the increase in their overseas exposure, we believe it is a good time to revisit opportunities in Japanese companies.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - September 2017

The US Treasury (UST) market grinded higher in August. Rising tensions in the Korean peninsula and a lack of direction from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank on the outlook for monetary policy put pressure on US Treasury yields.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - September 2017

The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index rose by 1.3% in US dollar (USD) terms, outperforming the MSCI AC World Index and bringing year-to-date returns to 31.1%. This was the eighth straight month of positive returns.

Forbes: New Info Shows Coordinated Monetary Policy Tightening Ahead

“There was an upward surprise in the US CPI data today, with the CPI exceeding the month-on-month (MoM) consensus estimate”

John Vail, Chief Global Strategist for Nikko Asset Management, contributes a regular column to Forbes.com

“Although Mester and Yellen do not align closely with Trump’s values, they are at least professional central bankers and can likely be relied upon to drive a non-political, non-confrontational but most importantly a safe course for monetary policy and bank regulation.”

John Vail, Chief Global Strategist for Nikko Asset Management, contributes a regular column to Forbes.com

Japan’s “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance

The release of the second quarter data on aggregate Japanese corporate profits confirms my twelve-year theme about improving corporate governance in Japan and how investors should not worry about the slow domestic economy.

Germany's Election Should Be Supportive

Our London-based Global Credit Portfolio Manager lays out the scenarios of the upcoming German election and its ramifications for select German credits.

China's Escapology

We suspect there is a sense in financial markets that China has escaped the banking crisis / credit crunch / balance of payments crisis / economic slowdown that the Cassandras have long been predicting. Moreover, we suspect that it is further assumed that this escape was facilitated through the use of direct controls, state planning and of course the heavy-handed imposition of capital controls. It is of course somewhat ironic that the notionally ‘free markets’ of the global financial system have found themselves applauding China’s decidedly state-controlled economy quite so enthusiastically but markets were ever-fickle…...

The Nikko Asset Management Global Equity team philosophy is based on the belief that investing in ‘future quality’ companies will lead to outperformance over the long term.

Reforming India

Our equity portfolio manager who specializes in India concludes that reforms should have a very positive effect on that country’s growth.

Forbes: Why Global Equity Markets Are Ignoring Political Disorder

“Global investors and corporations should adhere to the model that political spats are no reason to get overly frightened or paralyzed.”

John Vail, Chief Global Strategist for Nikko Asset Management, contributes a regular column to Forbes.com

China: the great disruptor of our time

As China’s economic development enters a more sophisticated and mature phase, it is beginning to challenge many of the status quos that have been taken for granted since the middle of the 20th century.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - August 2017

The MSCI AC Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index rose by 5.3% in US dollar (USD) terms, outperforming the MSCI AC World Index and bringing year-to-date returns to 29.4%.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - August 2017

US Treasury (UST) yields ended largely unchanged in July following soft US inflation print, dovish comments from the Federal Reserve and expectations of an autumn policy shift from the European Central Bank.

Australian housing – Still waiting for the decline

We identify the fundamentals that have supported Australian housing and the signals that investors should look for to determine if this period of positive appreciation is coming to an end.

The Global Economy: Weak Household Income Constrain Outlook

Over the last two months or so, we have travelled quite widely and one factor that has stood out during our travels has been the on-going and seemingly widespread relative weakness in household income trends.

Creating Shared Value

This whitepaper explores the evolution of ESG, how Nikko Asset Management conducts it, and the impact that ESG has had on the investment industry.

Japan Equity Outlook: “Work style reform”

We think Japanese companies are poised for a pickup in capital expenditure, led by productivity enhancing investments.

Forbes: The Fed's Tabooed Tool

“Wall Street seems to have long had a hands-off warning to the Fed, which seems to have been very effective, but does this really deserve to be continued? Can Wall Street effectively regulate against speculative bubbles?”

John Vail, Chief Global Strategist for Nikko Asset Management, contributes a regular column to Forbes.com

Emerging Divergence as Unwinding of QE Gathers Pace

What is the prognosis for Emerging Markets as major global central banks begin to tighten policy?

Forbes: Taming The US And Chinese Goldilocks Twins

“When the two largest economies in the world are signaling that that they don’t want asset prices to rise too much, investors should take note to curtail any excessive optimism...”

John Vail, Chief Global Strategist for Nikko Asset Management, contributes a regular column to Forbes.com

Japan Equity Outlook - July 2017

In a survey conducted by the Nikkei in March 2017, 80% of respondent companies indicated that they were either planning or considering the implementation of productivity enhancing investments.

Equities and Income in an Ageing World — Why Dividends Matter

The ageing world presents significant savings and productivity challenges to this and subsequent generations of investors and workers. Change will no doubt remain a constant, as it has been throughout the last two centuries in particular.

China’s deleveraging – When and how will it end?

China’s dual goals of deleveraging and maintaining strong growth may not necessarily conflict, but they certainly pose a delicate balancing act for the government.

Asia High Grade Credit - A More Selective Approach

The rapid development of the Asia Credit markets provides new opportunities to improve the risk and return profile for investors.

Forbes: Bank Bailouts And Italian GDP Changed Draghi's View?

“ECB rhetoric might waver back and forth, but unless there is a global downturn or a major political revolution in Italy, its monetary policy will become less accommodative...”

John Vail, Chief Global Strategist for Nikko Asset Management, contributes a regular column to Forbes.com

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - July 2017

US Treasury (UST) yields were range-bound for the most part of June, before surging in the last few days of the month. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates by 25 basis points (bps), despite soft inflation data.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - July 2017

The MSCI Asia ex Japan (AxJ) Index rose by 1.6% in US dollar (USD) terms. Year-to-date (YTD), the index returned 22.8%, outperforming MSCI World by over 12%.

Improving Japanese Shareholder Returns Ahead

Our top Japanese Equity staff, including our CIO, report on how Corporate Governance remains on a strong upward trend, which should boost alpha for active managers and beta for the overall market via improvements in ROE and shareholder distributions.

Last Orders At The Liquidity Bar?

It has been our firm contention that financial market liquidity has been booming over the nine months or so, albeit for what might be described as technical rather than strictly official policy reasons. Furthermore, we would fully attribute the recent gravity-defying – and bad news-defying – behaviour of financial markets to these strong liquidity trends. In fact, we would go so far as to suggest that global financial market liquidity conditions have been as lax as at any time since the mid-2000s over recent months.

Japan Equity Outlook - June 2017

In the Japanese equities market, high dividend strategies have significantly outperformed other strategies. We believe that – in a low growth, low interest rate environment where investors yearn for yield – these strategies will continue to outperform.

The Global Investment Committee remains moderately optimistic about the global economy and equity markets, while being cautious on global bonds.

China A-Shares: A New Milestone

Following four years of intense consultation and three failed attempts, MSCI has just added China A-Shares into its international indices. We view this as expected and in some ways, long overdue.

ESG and Credit Investing — What does the future hold?

Changing perception of ESG’s performance impact: An active ESG approach is now regarded as a catalyst for outperformance.

June Gamble Doesn't Pay Off for May

Theresa May’s Conservative Party lost its outright majority in last Thursday’s general election. What are the implications for Brexit and the markets?

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - June 2017

MSCI Asia ex Japan (AxJ) gained 4.7% in USD terms, outperforming the MSCI AC World and MSCI Emerging Markets Indices.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - June 2017

Better-than-expected US non-farm payroll figures and a more favourable FOMC statement were offset by political uncertainties in Washington. FBI director James Comey's firing and investigations into possible ties between Trump's election campaign and Russia increased concerns of a set-back in the president's economic agenda.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Monthly Outlook - June 2017

The European Central Bank (ECB) has taken its first step towards reducing its stimulus programme by omitting the mention of "lower levels" for interest rates in its forward guidance, even as ECB President Mario Draghi denied that there was any discussion of tapering in the latest policy session.

Forbes: After Yellen, An All-White Male Fed Board Ahead?

“Could it be possible that Trump would accept an all-white male Fed Board?”

John Vail, Chief Global Strategist for Nikko Asset Management, contributes a regular column to Forbes.com

Asia High Grade Credit - A Safe Haven within Emerging Market Debt

Asia Credit is significant enough as an asset class to be considered separately, and its high grade segment could be a relative safe haven if EMD flows reverse.

Ethical Investing – Whose ethics are we talking about?

Of course there’s nothing new about ‘ethical’ investing. What’s changed is heightened public awareness of where our private and public savings are being invested, and increasing recognition that a focus on simply maximising short-term profit is not necessarily the best, or most sustainable approach, over the long term.

A Major Turning Point In Global Inflation?

Given the background noise that is always present within financial markets, and which can from time to time confuse even the most seasoned of investors, every so often it can be useful to consider longer term – and relatively simple - charts in order to regain some form of perspective.