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.
The rapid development of the Asia Credit markets provides new opportunities to improve the risk and return profile for investors.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
MSCI Asia ex Japan (AxJ) gained 4.7% in USD terms, outperforming the MSCI AC World and MSCI Emerging Markets Indices.
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.
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.