Insights

Investment Insights by our experts and thought leaders

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.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - November 2016

Asia ex-Japan equities returned -1.5% in US Dollar (USD) terms, outperforming the MSCI World which declined by 1.9%.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - November 2016

USTs ended lower in October. Better US economic data and a hawkish statement from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) bolstered expectations of a December interest rate hike.

Political Revolution Hits America

Much like the BREXIT result, Americans surprised the consensus with an anti-establishment vote.

Populism and Strongman Rule - Is Duterte a role model for ASEAN?

Our Senior Portfolio Manager for ASEAN equities reviews the trend towards Strongman rule in ASEAN.

What Challenges Lie Ahead for the Healthcare Sector?

Advances in science and technology are continuously changing and progressing the medical profession and broader healthcare industry. While the industry growth will be strong, not all participants will fare equally.

Earnings recovery is much more achievable in EM Asia than LatAm or EMEA

Our Multi-Asset portfolio manager based in Singapore reviews the prospects for profit margin expansion in the three main Emerging Market regions.

Emerging markets (EM) have endured strong adjustments in commodities and currencies that coupled with reforms makes a good case for better growth ahead.

ASEAN Equity Outlook - October 2016

"Find growth and you will find performance" was our Asian Equity investment mantra in early 2016 as the world grappled with slowing growth and lethargy with monetary experimentaton in low and depressed interest rates.

As we enter the final quarter of 2016, concerns around political risk are at an uncomfortable level. October saw further volatility in the UK Pound, as negotiations around Brexit drove the currency to its lowest level in over 30 years.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - October 2016

Asia ex-Japan equities rose in September, returning 1.6% in US Dollar (USD) terms and outperforming both the MSCI World and MSCI Emerging Markets indices.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - October 2016

USTs ended September mixed. While the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and the Bank of Japan reinforced commitment to monetary easing, the ECB's lack of new stimulus disappointed the market.

It has continued to be a wild roller-coaster ride for investors, and unfortunately, it is not likely to be very calm for the foreseeable future. Investors must keep a keen eye on geopolitical risk and be ready to act if such appear to accelerate into a situation that could significantly impact markets.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, markets have become accustomed to central banks calling the shots. Investors eagerly await each central bank meeting in the hope some new form of monetary policy chicanery can help propel markets higher.

Interpreting Signals in Unprecedented Times - Japan Equity Market Outlook

No turning back — 2% inflation target not only intact but enhanced with a new “inflation overshooting commitment”

'Peak oil' to 'Peak demand': Implications for global investors

Although it is tempting to join the ‘peak demand’ bandwagon, as investors it is important to understand the impact that different technologies (and their timing) have on energy prices.

Will Japan Exit the UK?

Our UK expert on BREXIT and our chief global strategist respond to Japan’s concern about its investments in the UK.

Only central banks can break the cycle of ever-declining bond yields

QE policies have had a material impact on bond yields and valuations. We believe that the evolution of these policies will be more important than fundamentals in indicating when bonds can break the cycle of ever-declining yields.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - September 2016

Central bank policy from the US, Japan and Europe are strongly affecting the current global fixed income markets. New Zealand and Canadian economies also face continued pressure.

More Radical Central Bank Policies and Implications for Stock Picking

Given how important central bank policies are for the pricing of assets, our focus has to be on what they do next. If debt monetisation were to occur, it would have significant implications for equity investing.

Asian Equity Monthly Outlook - September 2016

Asia ex-Japan equities extended its upward momentum in August, returning 3.4% in US Dollar (USD) terms and outperforming MSCI World by 3.3%.

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Email: EMEAenquiries@nikkoam.com
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Nikko AM has been certified as carbon neutral for the first time, after entering into a carbon offset programme with the UK-based international organisation Carbon Footprint Ltd.

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