Sunday 1st February 2015
NEWS TICKER FRIDAY, JANUARY 30TH: Morningstar has moved the Morningstar Analyst Rating™ of the Fidelity Japan fund to Neutral. The fund was previously Under Review due to a change in management. Prior to being placed Under Review, the fund was rated Neutral. Management of the fund has passed to Hiroyuki Ito - a proven Japanese equity manager, says Morningstar. Ito recently joined Fidelity from Goldman Sachs, where he successfully ran a Japanese equity fund which was positively rated by Morningstar. “At Fidelity, the manager is backed by a large and reasonably experienced analyst team, who enjoy excellent access to senior company management. While we value Mr Ito’s long experience, we are mindful that he may need some further time to establish effective working relationships with the large team of analysts and develop a suitable way of utilising this valuable resource,” says the Morningstar release - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today released a list of orders of administrative enforcement actions taken against banks and individuals in December. No administrative hearings are scheduled for February 2015. The FDIC issued a total of 53 orders and one notice. The orders included: five consent orders; 13 removal and prohibition orders; 11 section 19 orders; 15 civil money penalty; nine orders terminating consent orders and cease and desist orders; and one notice. More details are available on its website - Moody's Investors Service has completed a performance review of the UK non-conforming Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS) portfolio. The review shows that the performance of the portfolio has improved as a result of domestic recovery, increasing house prices and continued low interest-rates. Post-2009, the low interest rate environment has benefitted non-conforming borrowers, a market segment resilient to the moderate interest rate rise. Moody's also notes that UK non-conforming RMBS exposure to interest-only (IO) loans has recently diminished as the majority of such loans repaid or refinanced ahead of their maturity date - The London office of Deutsche Bank is being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), according to The Times newspaper. Allegedly, the bank has been placed under ‘enhanced supervision’ by the FCA amid concerns about governance and regulatory controls at the bank. The enhanced supervision order was taken out some months ago, says the report, however it has only just been made public - According to Reuters, London Stock Exchange Group will put Russell Investments on the block next month, after purchasing it last year. LSE reportedly wants $1.4bn - Legg Mason, Inc. has reported net income of $77m for Q3 fiscal 2014, compared with $4.9m in the previous quarter, and net income of $81.7m over the period. In the prior quarter, Legg Mason completed a debt refinancing that resulted in a $107.1m pre-tax charge. Adjusted income for Q3 fiscal was $113.1m compared to $40.6m in the previous quarter and $124.6m in Q3 fiscal. For the current quarter, operating revenues were $719.0m, up 2% from $703.9m in the prior quarter, and were relatively flat compared to $720.1m in Q3 fiscal. Operating expenses were $599.6m, up 5% from $573.5m in the prior quarter, and were relatively flat compared to $598.4min Q3 of fiscal 2014. Assets under management were $709.1bn as the end of December, up 4% from $679.5bn as of December 31, 2013. The Legg Mason board of directors says it has approved a new share repurchase authorisation for up to $1bn of common stock and declared a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock in the amount of $0.16 per share. - The EUR faces a couple of major releases today, says Clear Treasury LLP, and while the single currency has traded higher through the week, the prospect of €60bn per month in QE will likely keep the euro at a low ebb. The bigger picture hasn’t changed, yesterday’s run of German data was worse than expected with year on year inflation declining to -.5% (EU harmonised level). Despite the weak reading the EUR was unperturbed - The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is providing more information to companies and investors in a new comprehensive disclosure guide. Companies wanting clarity on specific principles and guidelines on corporate governance can look to the guide, which has been laid out in a question-and-answer format. SGX said listed companies are encouraged to include the new disclosure guide in their annual reports and comply with the 2012 Code of Corporate Governance, and will have to explain any deviations in their reporting collateral. - Cordea Savills on behalf of its European Commercial Fund has sold Camomile Court, 23 Camomile Street, London for £47.97mto a French pension fund, which has entrusted a real estate mandate to AXA Real Estate. The European Commercial Fund completed its initial investment phase in 2014 at total investment volume of more than €750m invested in 20 properties. Active Asset Management in order to secure a stable distribution of circa 5% a year. which has been achieved since inception of the fund is the main focus of the Fund Management now. Gerhard Lehner, head of portfolio management, Germany, at Cordea Savills says “With the sale of this property the fund is realising a value gain of more than 40%. This is the fruit of active Asset Management but does also anticipate future rental growth perspectives. For the reinvestment of the returned equity we have already identified suitable core office properties.” Meantime, Kiran Patel, chief investment officer at Cordea Savills adds: “The sale of Camomile Court adds to the £370m portfolio disposal early in the year. Together with a number of other asset sales, our total UK transaction activity since January stands at £450m. At this stage of the cycle, we believe there is merit in banking performance and taking advantage of some of the strong demand for assets in the market.” - US bourses closed higher last night thanks to much stronger Jobless Claims data (14yr low) which outweighed mixed earnings results. Overnight, Asian bourses taken positive lead from US, even as Bank of Japan data shows that inflation is still falling, consumption in shrinking and manufacturing output is just under expectations. According to Michael van Dulken at Accendo Markets, “Japan’s Nikkei [has been] helped by existing stimulus and weaker JPY. In Australia, the ASX higher as the AUD weakened following producer price inflation adding to expectations of an interest rate cut by the RBA, following other central banks recently reacting to low inflation. Chinese shares down again ahead of a manufacturing report.” - Natixis has just announced the closing of the debt financing for Seabras-1, a new subsea fiber optic cable system between the commercial and financial centers of Brazil and the United States. The global amount of debt at approximately $270m was provided on a fully-underwritten basis by Natixis -

Barings backs resources sector equities over commodities

Tuesday, 05 August 2014
Barings backs resources sector equities over commodities Resources sector equities are currently more attractive than direct investments in physical commodities and investors should focus on investing in ‘companies not commodities’ to benefit from an increasing global demand for resources, according to Baring Asset Management (Barings). http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Resources sector equities are currently more attractive than direct investments in physical commodities and investors should focus on investing in ‘companies not commodities’ to benefit from an increasing global demand for resources, according to Baring Asset Management (Barings).

The opportunity in resources equities is as strong as it has been for several years, believes Barings.  Its positive outlook is based on the size of differential between what it sees as positive company specific drivers versus a negative – often macro driven – consensus view. 

The firm has been investing in resource-related equities for nearly 20 years and manages more than $900m in a range of different strategies in the asset class. 



 “After several years of a benign-to-negative commodity pricing backdrop and associated de-rating by shareholders, companies are finally taking action to improve margins and returns driven by self-help and or restructuring,” says Duncan Goodwin, head of Global Resources at Barings.

“To capture this market shift, we are putting more emphasis on the bottom-up element of stock selection and increasing the level of stock conviction in the Baring Global Resources Fund.  That means a reduced emphasis on top-down portfolio construction with more risk taken at the stock level and reduced macro factor risk. 

“We are increasing the level of stock conviction by decreasing the number of investments held in our portfolio. With the right analysis, we believe it is possible to target investment opportunities offering superior returns and better prospects for positive earnings surprises.”

Since March this year, the Baring Global Resources Fund has been tracked against a new composite benchmark, represented by a 60% weighting to the MSCI AC World Energy Index and a 40% weighting to the MSCI AC Materials Index. 

The benchmark broadens the investable universe of stocks in the Materials space beyond solely Metals and Mining to include subsectors such as chemicals, construction materials, containers and packaging and paper and forest products.

In addition to oil and gas production, the processing, marketing, storing and transporting of hydrocarbons is becoming an increasingly important factor for investors as countries and regions look to secure a stable and competitive source of energy to sustain economic growth.

Barings believes valuations for resources companies are currently trading below historical levels and look set to revert to their long term mean – making them very attractive for active investors with a strong understanding of the sector.  On a longer term basis, continued population growth will drive absolute demand for natural resources, energy production and raw materials, which, in turn, will create growth opportunities for resources companies throughout the value chain.

Goodwin adds: “Over the very long term, we are adamant that resource equities retain a valuable role in investment portfolios.  As commodity prices are closely correlated with rises in consumer prices, investment in the resources sector has the potential to act as a hedge against inflation.  We believe the opportunities in the sector are as strong as they have been for several years and expect a positive re-rating of the sector and associated gains for our resources fund irrespective of the macro.”

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