Monday 28th July 2014
slib33
FRIDAY ANALYSTS TICKER: July 25th 2014 - According to Adam Cordery, global head of European fixed income, Santander Asset Management, and fund manager for the Santander Euro Corporate Short Term and Euro Corporate bond funds, “Pricing of risk assets doesn’t offer much of a margin for error at the moment. And now Europe is starting to go on holiday, market liquidity may get poorer than normal, and any buys today may well have to be holds until September. It is always interesting to note what yields are required to attract clients to financial products. Twenty years ago, bond funds offering yields of 10%+ could generally attract lots of client interest very quickly. However as rates have come down over the years, so the yields clients demand have fallen. Now 4% seems to be the new 10%, he say. Cordery thinks that unfortunately, investors often want today the yield/risk mix that was available last year, so the products that get launched, sold and bought in size may be more risky than people think. “Products with 4% yield will sell well today, but to get to a 4% yield in Euro you need to invest in a portfolio with an average rating of single-B, and that is far from being risk-free. I get the impression the conventional wisdom today is to think that interest rates must surely go up soon and the main risk to bond portfolios is an increase in bund yields. Because of this many investors are buying short-duration products and floating rate notes, perhaps viewing them as a safe choice, almost like cash. It is possible however that these products may yet prove to have a considerable sensitivity to changes in credit market spreads and/or bond market liquidity, and may prove to be no protection at all.” - Commenting on the RBS share price jump, Dr Pete Hahn of Cass Business School, says “It's hard to tell whether the RBS share price jump today is more about relief or optimism. The former is about fewer fines, fewer losses on loans, and fewer costs in a shrinking business and possibly dividends for shareholders. And there's the rub, owning shares (as opposed to interest bearing debt) should be about optimism and long-term growth in dividends. But from a shrinking business? Few would argue that RBS' retail and corporate bank had efficiencies to be gained and cash flow that might be converted to dividends; yet like most banks, RBS' cost of equity remains stubbornly and appropriately above its ability to provide a return on that equity. For shareholders, current improvements should mean dividends in the medium term but a recognition that RBS may lack any merit for new investment and delivering any long-term dividend growth - not good. While many large retail banks are getting safer, in some aspects, and we often speak of them in terms of moving toward utility type models, banks take risks, are cyclical, face competition, have new business challengers, and are simply are not utilities. Investors shouldn't get ahead of themselves here.” - According to the monthly survey held by the central bank of Turkey, the country’s capacity utilization (CU) rate declined slightly to 74.9% in July from 75.3% in June. Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted (SA) CU also declined to 74.3% from 74.7% in June, writes Mehmet Besimoglu at Oyak Yatirim Research. As for manufacturing confidence, the index declined to 109 from 110.7 in May. On SA basis, the index also edged down slightly to 106.4 from 107.2. SA capacity utilisation was broadly stable in 1H14, averaging at 74.7%. This is the same level with the 2013 average. Despite the political turmoil and volatility in financial markets, activity has been relatively resilient. Export recovery & government spending supported production in 1H. Following the elections, public spending relatively decelerated. The turmoil in Iraq also decelerated export recovery from June. Nevertheless, we still expect 3.5% GDP growth in 2014, writes Besimoglu.

Insurance companies remain committed to private equity says Preqin study

Friday, 15 June 2012
Insurance companies remain committed to private equity says Preqin study Some 60% plan to make new commitments in 2012. New regulations have on a limited impact on allocations. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Some 60% plan to make new commitments in 2012. New regulations have on a limited impact on allocations.

Almost two-thirds of insurance companies are planning to make new private equity investments before the end of 2012, according to the latest Preqin research. “Insurance companies represent an important source of capital for the private equity industry, accounting for 9% of all capital invested in the asset class. Regulations such as Solvency II are likely to impact upon the level of exposure some of these investors will have to the asset class. However, over three-quarters of insurance companies have so far been unaffected by impending regulations and the majority of insurance companies will continue to allocate capital to private equity in order to meet their long-term investment objectives,” explains Emma Dineen, manager, Private Equity Investor Data.

The survey results show that despite impending Solvency II regulatory changes, the vast majority (79%) of insurance companies have not altered their levels of exposure to private equity. Moreover, nearly one-third (30%) of insurance companies are currently below their target allocations to the asset class, and 88% plan on maintaining or increasing their allocation to private equity over the longer term. According to the research 60% have over $250m allocated to private equity, while 60% of firms polled intend to make their next commitments to funds in 2012. Only a marginal 2% intend to invest in 2013 and 16% not before 2014, while 22% remain unsure on exact timings.

According to the research, small to mid-market buyout funds are viewed as the most attractive fund types, with 49% of respondents seeking to invest in these types of funds over the next 12 months. Some 46% of respondents are actively or opportunistically seeking co-investment opportunities alongside fund managers.

The results, say Preqin, are generally positive for fund managers coming to the crowded fundraising market with new vehicles, as 85% of insurance companies will consider forming some new GP relationships over the next 12 months. Also positive for fund managers is that 79% of insurance companies have not changed their exposure to private equity as a result of new regulations.

Looking regionally, some 51% of insurance companies view Europe as an attractive area for private equity investment even in the current economic climate, while 45% view North America as attractive, while 16% see Asia as appealing. Around 31% of insurance companies polled already invest in emerging markets, and a further 29% are reportedly considering the opportunity.

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