Tuesday 31st March 2015
NEWS TICKER: TUESDAY MARCH 31st 2015 : President of the European Council Donald Tusk’s meeting with Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy today covered many points, but concern over a lack of government in Libya and the causes and consequences of instability and insecurity in the Southern Neighbourhood took up much of the discussion. “The Prime Minister and I had a very open discussion on both the causes and consequences of instability and insecurity in the Southern Neighbourhood. We had a good exchange on what the European Union is already doing - in terms of assistance, counter-terrorism and migration - and how we can better target our efforts to make a real difference,” notes Tusk in a briefing note issued today - Data published today by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) using Matrix Financial Clarity suggests that investment company total purchases on platforms by advisers and wealth managers were 19% higher least year (with purchases worth £452.7m) and more than double the figure in 2012. In Q4 2014, platform purchases of investment companies were at £110.3m, 10% higher than purchases of £100.3m in Q4 2013 and 90% higher than purchases of £58.1m in Q4 2012. Investment company purchases at £110.3m in Q4 2014 were stable when compared to £110.6m in Q3 2014. Whilst 2014 was a strong year for purchases there was also a significant increase in sales, which rose 40% to £290.9m compared to £208.4m in 2013, suggesting some advisers and wealth managers are taking profits and rebalancing portfolios. Ian Sayers, Chief Executive, AIC, said: “Though sales have increased, we should remember that this trading activity all helps to improve liquidity. The AIC has trained over 3,000 advisers in response to RDR, and has recently increased its resource in this area, with the recruitment of Nick Britton, the AIC’s Head of Training. This will help us to increase awareness and understanding of investment companies with a refreshed training programme and the capability to meet and support more advisers.” The Global and UK Equity Income sectors were the most popular for advisers and wealth managers in 2014 overall, accounting for 18% and 13% of purchases respectively. The Infrastructure and Property Direct – UK were the third and fourth most popular sectors over 2014, accounting for 8% and 7% of purchases respectively. Transact and Ascentric continue to be the top platforms for investment company purchases, accounting for 49% and 20% of the market respectively in 2014. Alliance Trust Savings are increasing in popularity with financial advisers, their market share increasing to 18% in 2014 from 12% in 2013 - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended -7.25 points lower or -0.21% to 3447.01, taking the year-to-date performance to +2.43%. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined -0.17% while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined -0.24%. The top active stocks were SingTel (+0.46%), DBS (-0.10%), UOB (-0.99%), Global Logistic (+0.38%) and OCBC Bank (-0.75%). The outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Technology Index (+1.08%). The two biggest stocks of the FTSE ST Technology Index are Silverlake Axis (+1.86%) and STATS ChipPAC (unchanged). The underperforming sector was the FTSE ST Basic Materials Index, which declined -1.88% with Midas Holdings’ share price declining -3.23% and Geo Energy Resources’ share price declining -0.52%. The three most active Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) by value today were the IS MSCI India (+0.13%), DBXT MSCI China TRN ETF (+1.25%), DBXT FT China 25 ETF (+0.28%). The three most active Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) by value were CapitaMall Trust (+0.92%), Ascendas REIT (+1.17%), Suntec REIT (-1.07%). The most active index warrants by value today were HSI25000MBeCW150429 (+6.12%), HSI24800MBeCW150528 (+5.80%), HSI24000MBePW150528 (-7.32%) - Mississippi’s Rankin County School District has issued an online survey meant to gauge public opinion of a potential bond issue to build new classrooms. The bond issue would be used for construction of new instructional facilities, and school board officials have been discussing the possibility for a while. No specific details of the amount or number of facilities have been released, but school board Vice President Ann Sturdivant said district personnel are working to assess the needs. Rankin voters rejected a $169.5m bond issue in 2011 to upgrade and build new classrooms, but Sturdivant said she believes people see the need to remedy overcrowding issues, particularly in the Florence, Brandon and Northwest zones and that tapping the US debt capital markets will be a logical step -

BofA Merrill Lynch says Investor market sentiment slowly improving in Europe

Tuesday, 14 August 2012
BofA Merrill Lynch says Investor market sentiment slowly improving in Europe Bank of America Merrill Lynch today presented the results of their August Fund Manager Survey, reporting a global increase in investor confidence buoyed by expectations of ECB policy initiatives. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Bank of America Merrill Lynch today presented the results of their August Fund Manager Survey, reporting a global increase in investor confidence buoyed by expectations of ECB policy initiatives.

Fully 80% of the 173 fund managers surveyed by BoAML at the start of the month believed that the ECB would engage in additional quantitative easing by the year end (and ~40% within the next month), compared to fewer than 50% who thought the Federal Reserve would take measures in the USA this year.

European equities strategist at the bank, Manish Kabra, said, “Draghi’s statements have been largely successful in removing investor pessimism and have alleviated some pressure on the Eurozone- global asset allocations are still underweight towards Europe, but we have seen the largest uptick in sentiment since early 2009.”



This sentiment has been expressed by increased asset allocation in the Eurozone, whilst fund managers are moving to reduce previously overweight positions in US equities. Kabra states, “Earnings season hasn’t been great in the US- particularly technologies, but we are seeing sentiment to real estate improving on the back of US stabilisation in the sector.”

Less than 10% of managers are now ruling out any form of QE by the ECB due to the promise of policy stimulus, and overall positions are showing small shifts in favour of equities and commodities over bonds. Cash holdings were slightly reduced but remain at historically high levels of 4.7% portfolio value. It is worth noting that despite the improving sentiment, attitudes to Europe are still net 13% negative overall. The ECB’s rhetoric has calmed nerves, but needs to translate into action or the Eurozone equity rally could be short-lived.

Globally, investor outlook has improved in the past month- fears over the Eurozone have diminished (although are still listed as the premier global tail risk) and growth expectation have risen. However, as the January 1st 2013 expiry date for the Bush tax cuts approaches, the fear of the US “fiscal cliff” as number one global risk have increased by 16%.

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