Insights

Investment Insights by our experts and thought leaders

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.

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.

Could this be taper tantrum 2.0? Markets are well-conditioned to buy risk on the back of generally dovish encouragement by central bankers, but what are we to make of this new seemingly coordinated hawkish tone across the developed world?

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?

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.

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.

Global Fixed Income & Credit 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.

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.

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.

What does it mean to be a value investor? This question is all the more relevant today. The S&P 500, NASDAQ and Dow have all hit record highs as of the time of writing.

Forbes: Japan's “Show Me The Money” Corporate Governance

“Last night’s release of the first quarter data on aggregate Japanese corporate profits confirms my twelve-year theme about improving corporate governance there and how investors should not worry about the slow domestic economy.”

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

Japan Equity Outlook - May 2017

We believe inflation will pick up gradually in the second half of 2017, in which case the rational expectations of Japanese consumers are likely to shift towards anticipation of even higher inflation.

Forbes: The Future Of Navarro And America First Policies

“Many people are claiming that President Trump’s aggressive trade rhetoric during the campaign has been permanently overridden by the realities of the presidency.”

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

On 19 May 2017, S&P upgraded Indonesia’ sovereign rating to BBB- with a stable outlook from BB+ with a positive outlook.

How would a Korean crisis impact Japan?

While highly unlikely, we examine the potential impact on Japan of a major crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - May 2017

Activity in the US has disappointed relative to the high market expectations when Donald Trump first entered the White House. However, a cyclical recovery remains intact, with potential headwinds from prior fiscal policy tightening reversing and the pace of monetary policy tightening expected to remain gradual.

Forbes: What Was Japan's Bubble Like In 1989?

“Japan's example should always provide a guide to investors to be wary of arguments that surges in risk assets to high valuations based upon huge monetary and fiscal policy stimuli, coupled with excessive confidence, even if long-lasting, are acceptable.”

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

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - May 2017

MSCI Asia ex Japan (AxJ) was up another 2.2% in USD terms, outperforming the MSCI AC World. All AxJ markets ended higher in April.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - May 2017

10-year US Treasury (UST) yields ended the month at 2.28%, about 11 basis points (bps) lower compared to end-March levels. Mixed economic data and rising geopolitical tensions drove sentiment over the month.

Japan in Motion: What does the future hold?

We believe that Abenomics is working, however we feel that its success cannot be determined by viewing government policy frameworks in isolation.

Green Bonds – The Next Global Disrupter?

Steve Williams, the Portfolio Manager responsible for Green Bonds in Nikko AM’s London office, examines how this burgeoning asset class is likely to develop into a mainstream part of global fixed income portfolios.

Macron is the next President of France – finally, a win for the establishment. Macron took 66% of the votes over Le Pen’s 33%, but is this a mandate against populism?

Forbes: Why The Yen Should Not Strengthen In A Crisis

“Any major crisis in the Northeast Asian region, especially one involving a crisis within Japan’s borders, is likely to be handled very aggressively by the Bank of Japan (BOJ), with it bending the rule-book as much as the Fed did during the Global Financial Crisis or as the ECB has done in the past five years.”

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

View on the French Elections

Our team of our Portfolio Managers in London, one of whom hails from France, reviews the prospects and ramifications of this weekend's French election.

Japan’s Inflation and Monetary Policy Outlook

Our Tokyo Fixed Income team explains its view on the Japanese labor market and its effect on consumer inflation and Bank of Japan policy.

“We all have heard of the term 'interest rate repression' for how central banks have kept rates at ultra-low levels, but this has only been successfully maintained due to what I call 'inflation repression.'”

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

Value Investing now back in favour — Will this continue?

During the 2016 December quarter, we witnessed the value style stage a partial recovery after having underperformed for at least two years or so. Is this as good as it gets? Or will value continue to outperform after its initial recovery, after having being in the wilderness for some time?

China started 2017 with real momentum, following the property driven debt-fuelled stimulus of last year, and the blue skies a result of Government directives to curb pollution during March’s Central Government meetings. However, with an expectation of lower steel intensity sectors driving growth this year, what will this mean for Australia’s resource sector?

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - April 2017

MSCI Asia ex Japan (AxJ) was up 3.3% in USD terms, outperforming MSCI AC World. All Asian markets rose over the month, with gains led by India and Korea.

Five Charts to Watch

As commodity prices have risen, the Australian economy is set to benefit from these continuing gains.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - April 2017

US Treasury (UST) yields rose in the first half of the month buoyed by hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve (Fed), a solid US jobs report and possible scale back of quantitative easing (QE) by the European Central Bank (ECB).

With Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections inNovember 2016, the Republican Party succeeded in consolidating control over the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Mispricing of Volatility in a Post QE World

Is Volatility too low and what re-pricing could mean for various asset markets

The Trump reflation trade may have lost some of its shine during the quarter, but any disappointment was more than overshadowed by strong global data as exports and production continued to gather pace.

House View: Continued Economic and Equity Reflation

The Global Investment Committee remains optimistic about global economy and equity markets despite their recent strong equity rallies and increased political risks.

Move over OPEC, there is a new commodity cartel in town... China

China has had a significant impact on the supply side in two key global commodities during 2016. Going forward, look out for further actions from China on the supply side of commodities.

A Conversation on E.S.G. with a CIO

Yu-Ming Wang, Global Head of Investment and Chief Investment Officer, International on why a fundamental manager should care about E.S.G.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - March 2017

MSCI Asia ex Japan (AxJ) was up 3.4% in USD terms, marginally outperforming MSCI AC World. Absolute returns were positive for all AxJ markets except the Philippines.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - March 2017

US Treasury (UST) yields traded in a tight range in February. Risk assets rallied and UST yields rose in the first half of the month, on the back of the prospect of tax cuts and a Dodd-Frank overhaul in the US.

Japan’s “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance: 4Q update

Given the release of the fourth quarter data, we update our decade-long theme about improving corporate governance in Japan.

The Real Trade War

There has been much concern lately about the new US administration’s trade policy. Taking a step back and looking at global trade numbers, we can draw a number of conclusions that might explain America’s new thinking on trade.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - February 2017

With President Trump announcing that he will be releasing his tax plans in the coming weeks, we have shifted to a more cautious position on US duration. The risk is that President Trump announces a sizeable stimulus package, with the backing of the broad Republican base.

Asia Credit - A New Major Global Asset Class

Asia’s Credit market has come a long way since the Asian Financial Crisis of 1998, having evolved into a large, deep and liquid market.

Global Oil: The Recovery Continues

Our Senior Portfolio Manager in New York, who specializes in natural resource equity funds, explains the outlook for oil prices.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - February 2017

Asia ex-Japan (AxJ) equities returned 6.2% in US Dollar (USD) terms, outperforming MSCI World. Singapore, Hong Kong and Chinese equities outperformed while Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand lagged.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - February 2017

US Treasury (UST) yields ended higher in January as weaker-than-expected payroll data led markets to moderate their forecasts for Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hikes in 2017.

Global Equity Quarterly Report - February 2017

Trump...that is the first and last time we will comment on the US president in this update, given the proliferation of such commentary in all main stream media at present.

Why ESG for Emerging Asia

Given the challenges, why bother?

What does Trump's First Week say about the Unorthodox Future Ahead?

Our head of Global Strategy in New York analyzes and forecasts the developments of major topics arising from the new Administration.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Monthly Outlook - January 2017

Credit markets are expected to have another positive year. We expect economic growth in Asia to be stable but see some potential downside risks.

A Dynamic Approach to Managing Credit Risk

Global economic, credit and interest rate cycles are becoming desynchronised. In this paper, we introduce Nikko AM’s first generation default probability model for corporates.

Asian Credit Outlook 2017

In-depth report: Economic growth in Asia is expected to remain broadly stable in 2017. While there will be greater external uncertainties as well as country-specific challenges, Asian economies are, on balance, better equipped to deal with external pressures compared to a few years back.

Emerging Market Debt Outlook 2017

Our Senior Portfolio Manager for Emerging Market Debt in London forecasts that in 2017, this asset class could well match 2016’s achievement.

Turkey on a Knife's Edge

Our London-based expert on Turkey updates his views on the precarious situation there.

Global Credit Market Outlook 2017

As rates could rise further in 2017, we expect that a broad range of investment themes will help generate enough alpha performance to offset the rates impact.

Asia Credit - A Separate Allocation

Why Asia Credit should stand alone from Global Emerging Market Debt.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - January 2017

Asia ex-Japan (AxJ) equities returned -2.0% in US Dollar (USD) terms, underperforming MSCI World and MSCI Emerging Markets (EM). Currencies across AxJ generally weakened against the dollar following the Federal Reserve's (Fed’s) decision to hike rates.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - January 2017

USTs weakened further in December, as caution prevailed following the November sell-off. As widely expected, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates by 25 basis points (bps).

Global trade the key for Japan

As we start 2017, we expect the continued recovery in Japan’s economy will be driven by three factors outlined in this article.

In the continuing aftermath of the US Presidential elections, it is easy to overlook the many other macro-political events that made 2016 such an exceptional year.

Trump as Teddy Roosevelt

Trump certainly is non-conventional, in many ways similar to Teddy Roosevelt. Hopefully, Japan can adapt to this new reality, and instead of blocking Trump's initiatives, be able to have acceptable compromise “deals” ready.

House View: Bullish on Global Equities and the USD in 2017

Nikko AM's Global Investment Committee's 2017 Outlook — More Economic and Equity Reflation, Despite Less Dovish Central Banks

Equities Market Outlook 2017

Previously, capital markets had become highly conditioned to a “lower for longer” world, with the search for yield having implications both within and across risk asset classes.

Japan Equity Market Outlook 2017

We believe that in an increasingly uncertain world, Japan’s less uncertain market will provide a compelling opportunity for serious investors.

Asia ex-Japan Equity Market Outlook 2017

The phrase “lower for longer” could well become unfashionable very quickly after years of central banks combating the forces of deflation and wishing for inflation instead.

Global Multi-Asset Market Outlook 2017

2016 may best be remembered as the year in which Trump won and the world changed. The question becomes which reforms will take centre stage.

Global Equity Market Outlook 2017

The cumulative positioning of investors in companies and asset classes that are deemed safe in a “lower for longer” environment is undergoing a significant test at present.

How Trump seals China’s policy trilemma

Our China Fixed Income expert in Singapore expounds upon how the Trump election is forcing China into taking specific economic policies.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - December 2016

Asia ex-Japan equities returned -2.9% in US Dollar (USD) terms, underperforming MSCI World.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - December 2016

UST yields surged in the month as Trump's election victory prompted expectations of a significant fiscal package and possible upside inflation risk under the new administration.

Asia’s Coming Healthcare Boom

A combination of key regional factors—including demographics, urbanization and existing infrastructure gaps—all point to sustainable growth for healthcare in Asia ex Japan.

Five Charts to Keep an Eye On – Making sense of this unique investment environment

Following the US election, we have seen bond rates continuing to increase, a stronger US dollar, firmer commodity prices, and a US stock market at all-time highs. Is optimism around the US President-elect’s fiscal expansion masking the true deflationary picture?

Italian Referendum: Nikko AM Europe Fixed Income Commentary

We expect Italian assets to underperform until it becomes clear who will be able to form and lead a new government. Nevertheless the outcome of the referendum was already priced into financial markets.

Global Oil: OPEC – Blowout or Busted?

If the deal is adhered to then it is significant and will see the global oil market fall into under supply through 2017.

Japan’s “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance: 3Q update

Given the release of the third quarter data, we update our decade-long theme about improving corporate governance in Japan.

Donald Trump has won and the world has changed. A real estate developer cum reality TV star will soon be the leader of the free world.

Global Emerging Markets: Possible Impacts from a Trump Presidency

Following Trump’s election, our Emerging Market team in London, supported by John Vail, our Global Chief Strategist, discuss what, at this early stage, we can potentially expect to see from the US regarding its relationship with Emerging Market economies.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - November 2016

October was another difficult month for Global credit markets, in particular for Investment Grade bonds. By contrast, more risky High Yield bonds outperformed.

Global Oil: November Could Be Critical

Our oil experts in the US and London analyze the Saudi oil conundrum.

Asian Markets in the Wake of Trump’s Triumph

Our Senior Portfolio Manager for Asian equities reflects on Asian markets in the wake of Trump’s Triumph.

Trump Win: Surprise, but Not an Accident

Neither Brexit nor Trump’s win was an accident – ‘the people’, in particular the working and middle classes, are purposefully and deliberately giving the political elites a thump on the nose.

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