Insights

Investment Insights by our experts and thought leaders

What Investment Themes Will Drive Credit Markets?

What Investment Themes Will Drive Credit Markets?

A better supply/demand balance in Europe, outperformance of “high yield“ globally, positive event-risk in the telecom sector and opportunities in local currencies, as well as other credit related investment themes, all present interesting opportunities for generating positive returns, even in a challenging environment.

Sifting Through The Ruble: Global Commodity Currencies

Our Nikko Asset Management fixed income experts, led by Simon Down, discuss the prospects for commodity currencies.

G-3 Economies Should Continue Relatively Firm

In our view, the G-3 economies will fare reasonably well, and basically match the current consensus in the next few quarters; however, there will be significant challenges for each region.

Our logic for the Fed hiking in October and thereafter

For the time being, we are not estimating a date for reducing the Fed’s balance sheet, but a 2Q16 initiation seems quite logical at this stage.

Forecasting a Stronger USD and Higher Bond Yields

Although we expected G-3 bond yields to rise, they did so less than we predicted in our June meeting. We expect yields to rise moderately further for the next two quarters.

Why Neutral Global Equities, with US Underweight, but Japan and Europe Overweight?

Our forecasted macro-backdrop scenario has mixed ramifications for global equities, with the US declining but most other regions rising, and it is likely to be very volatile ride

Valuation in a Post-QE World

Markets and economies are still being dictated to by unprecedented levels of monetary stimulus. We believe in building a portfolio of companies that are more likely to flourish in the growth environment beyond 2015.

Japan's "Show Me the Money" Corporate Governance - September 2015

We explain how Abenomics is the "icing on the cake" of corporate governance improvement over the last decade.

Fintech Evolution in China

The internet revolution is coming to the financial sector, addressing inefficiencies in current system and business models. In China’s case we are witnessing a combination of financial liberalisation with an internet revolution in the financial sector.

Zooming in on the Pacific Decade: China's Devaluation

A concentrated, stock-picking approach is the best way to serve a long-term investor's goal of capital appreciation

Equity markets spooked by currency moves

Equity markets have been caught out by recent currency devaluations, as well as fear that central banks lack the tools to spur global growth amid deflationary forces.

US rate rises unlikely to have significant impact on 10-year Treasuries

Even though the current term premium on US Treasuries seems too low, it is unlikely to rise significantly unless offshore bond yields start to rise.

Capitalising on the Pacific Decade: Taking the long-term view on China

For investors outside China, whether they have holdings in Chinese shares or not, coming to a coherent investment view on the country has become imperative as it exerts an ever-increasing influence on global markets.

Economic Disappointment in Japan? Key points to remember (again)

As has long been our view, disappointing economic data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.

Why did China devalue the renminbi?

While RMB weakness will likely persist for a few months, we don't expect the currency to devalue more than 10% versus USD and we maintain our confidence that the currency will be included into the IMF SDR basket in a year from now.

Abe administration's 2015-version growth strategy: Focus on productivity

We will be watching to see how companies respond this year to the Corporate Governance Code, specifically the twin issues of selling cross-shareholdings and improving capital efficiency.

India: Our Debate on Key Issues

India is a key market to watch in the coming years. Our expert on India, Andrew Holland, CEO of Nikko AM's joint venture there, discusses with Simon Down of our UK fixed income team the forecast for reforms in the country, with some surprising conclusions.

Iron Ore: Supply has arrived but where is the demand?

What lies ahead for iron ore prices, particularly with the Chinese economy slowing and undergoing a transition away from a materials-intensive economy to a consumption-driven economy?

Greece: the Potential Victory from this Defeat

Like many countries that have previously refused to reform at all levels, sometimes it takes a true crisis to change.

Views on the China equity market selloff – from an Asian Fixed Income perspective

The sharp equity market correction in recent weeks after a very strong run over the past year will not have a crisis-level impact to the broader economy.

The Implications of the RMB Inclusion in the IMF SDR

The IMF has been supportive of China's attempt to be included, but has not indicated that it recommends it. Furthermore, there is a risk that most of these reforms are too new for the IMF to judge whether they are effective or sustainable.

China: Now and tomorrow

Nikko AM Asia views the recent corrections in Chinese equities, particularly in the onshore markets, as healthy given the sharp increases in value that had occurred due to a frenzied retail market intoxicated by relatively cheap margin financing.

Greek referendum will cause short-term volatility but unlikely to have long-term global market impact

We expect short-term volatility but the threat of financial contagion via the banking system in Europe is much lower than in 2011/12 and we’re unlikely to see a severe longer-term impact on global markets.

G-3 Economies Should Continue Rebounding

We believe the global economy should be quite firm for the next year, but not so strong as to cause inflation concerns.

Central Banks: Our Logic For Fed Hiking Three Times This Year

We have a non-consensus, but completely sound call for a more aggressive Fed, whereas we expect the ECB and BOJ to maintain their current aggressive easing program.

Forecasts for Stronger USD and Moderately Rising Global Yields

Despite good global economic growth, other commodity prices will likely remain quite flat in our view, partially due to a stronger USD.

Asset Class Forecasts: Maintain Overweight Global Equities

We calculate that equity valuations are at fair levels and that stocks can grow along with earnings.

Bond market sell-off may look like 2003, but it shouldn’t be as bad for US Treasuries

Although the recent bond market sell-off may remind the market of 2003, we don’t believe US bonds will be as badly affected. By comparing the worst US bond sell-offs since 2003, we estimate that the 10-year US Treasury yield could hit a high of 2.8-3.2% by October.

Will US rate hikes weigh on risk assets?

Real yields and inflation expectations currently suggest exceptionally low growth and low inflation far out into the future.

Japan's “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance - June 2015

We expect that profit margins will expand further in coming quarters, driven by a large corporate tax cut and continued industry rationalizations that further prove that Japan's structural profitability trend continues upward.

Does the price action of bunds signal an end to ultra low rates?

We do not expect the recent steepening of the bund yield curve to be the beginning of a sustained new trend. Moreover, Eurozone and German economic data, albeit improving, are not sufficient to support the higher bund yields on a sustained basis.

Did Asia's Central Banks Engage in the Global Currency War?

Since the Fed starting hinting at the normalization of interest rates a year ago, Asian central banks' foreign reserve accumulations - except for India and Hong Kong - have either incurred substantial losses or remained flat.

Recent yield rises don't necessarily signal the end of bond market rally

With many markets having rallied from major support levels when they were in highly oversold positions, we believe that bond markets should stabilise or rally from current levels.

Japanese Overseas Equity Exposure Rising

We expect that Japanese pension funds will continue to shift their investments into risky assets in 2015.

Low oil prices: Saudi Arabia can afford to bide its time

Oil-producing countries have seen the largest drop in their foreign exchange (FX) holdings over the last year. In our view, Saudi Arabia can afford to handle oil prices at their current level for some time but ...

China's LGFV debt swap – Shining light on the Shadows

The importance of President Xi Jinping's strong leadership cannot be stressed enough. Under him China is undergoing dramatic changes. While the most thorough cleansing of state corruption is ongoing, elements of China's grand strategy are becoming more evident both domestically and on the global stage.

Market isn't overheating even after Nikkei touched 20,000

The market isn't overheating even though the Nikkei stock average touched the 20,000 level, nor do we believe that overseas markets are overheating right now.

The New Governance Code – What impact will it have on Japanese companies?

Due to the developments described in this article, there is ample room for growth at Japanese firms and much opportunity for investment success.

Our View on the Crucial Chinese Property Market

Given the significant proportion of real estate investment as a percentage of GDP, as well as the proportion of local government revenue generated from land sales, the property market remains a crucial driver of the Chinese economy.

March Tankan Report Commentary

The March “tankan” survey results are not expected to lead to the BOJ's further acceleration of QE.

US Federal Reserve faces headwinds as it starts to raise rates

Interest rate and foreign exchange volatility has begun to increase as the market anticipates the time when the US Federal Reserve will start to reduce monetary accommodation and raise interest rates.

G-3 Economies Should Rebound Nicely

In sum, there certainly are some worrisome issues, as always, but we find none of them convincing enough to prevent moderate increases in equity prices.

China's Outlook and now Positive on Emerging Markets

Much as we expected, China's economy has continued to slow faster than consensus, but does not appear to be in a hard landing.

Central Bank, Inflation, Currency, Commodity and Bond Forecasts

Central Banks: Despite firm economic growth, we believe that a negative YoY CPI through September will steady the Fed's hand.

Regional Equity and Asset Class Forecasts

Coupled with our expectation for global bond yields to rise moderately, we maintain our overweight view on global equities vs. bonds.

Japanese Equity: Improved Export Data May Indicate Turning Point for Japan

The recovery in profits by Japanese export firms should continue to attract the attention of the markets in the first half of 2015.

Japan's Successful “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance

John Vail updates his long-standing theme: Japan's Successful “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance.

European Property: Does it Signal Global Deflation?

Through 2014, one of the largest asset classes in the world was virtually unnoticed as an indicator that Europe is not pushing the global economy into widespread deflation.

Will European QE deliver on Earnings expectations?

There are several credible reasons to expect that QE will boost corporate earnings in Europe, though by not as much as in the US. However the risk of disappointment relative to inflated expectations remains high.

Will deflation or inflation be the global focus for 2015?

In 2015, markets will be looking for any pick up in European and Japanese inflation as a result of their QE programmes. With growth picking up, we may start to see signs of a rise in US inflation.

Economic Disappointment in Japan? Key points to remember (again)

The disappointing economic data should not worry investors in Japanese risk assets very much at all.

Australia: Japanese and European QE likely to subdue bond yields and increase currency market tensions in 2015

The key theme of the past few years has been quantitative easing. Although the US has come to the end of its version of this experiment, QE programmes have begun or are about to begin in Japan and Europe.

Preparing for the Next Phase of Global Evolution: More People and Bigger Cities

Preparing for the Next Phase of Global Evolution: More People and Bigger Cities

We expect the next phase of the global evolution to be driven by a growing global population, rapid urbanisation and for most of it to happen in emerging markets with increasing focus on "green" development.

What will happen to US Treasuries if Japanese government bond yields go to zero?

In a pre-GFC and pre-QE world, zero or negative interest rates on a German, Japanese or US 10-year bond would have been considered highly implausible. However...

Implications of the ECB's quantitative easing program for interest rates and currencies

ECB's QE: The major question is, will this program work given the European model of debt creation is via the banking system and not the bond markets?

Steel and Iron Ore Deflation to Continue

The steel industry and its underlying iron ore industry are witnessing excess production and deflationary forces that are similar to the global energy markets.

ECB Success but with Caveats

The QE announcement was a major step forward for Eurozone. It is not without dangers and questions about implementation, however, so markets should not get over-enthusiastic about it.

BOJ Indicates a Move Towards "True Core CPI" More Globally

Now that oil prices have declined, if a central bank targets its overall CPI at 2.0% for 2015, it would likely be labeled as being overly aggressive and perhaps attempting to unfairly weaken its currency.

Will China Provide Global Liquidity Soon?

As the Fed continues to unwind its stimulus, even amidst threats of global deflation, there are hopes that China will accelerate the liberalization of its capital account and take over the Fed's role as the global supplier of liquidity.

Reasons for an Oil Price Rebound

We expect oil prices to rebound and for the time being, we will stick with our call for Brent to rebound to $72 by end-June 2015, although $65 is a more plausible goal.

NZ market insights - Farmgate Milk Price Update

Supply-side shocks and market distortions have created a degree of uncertainty over the short to medium-term outlook for the New Zealand dairy industry.

Is Brazil in Crisis?

Brazil can no longer continue as “business as usual” and it is at an important crossroads as to whether it can exit the well-known “middle income country trap.” Domestic issues aside, EMs will continue to encounter major headwinds as an asset class in early 2015 due to negative stories from large countries, such as Brazil and Russia.

Finding Growth in Emerging Markets

These reforms coupled with strong balance sheets and demographics will support higher levels of global growth for decades to come.

Our Regional Equity and Asset Class Forecasts

The investment world is changing quickly and 2015 should prove to be a very interesting year, but we see no reason to change our long-held positive view on global equities.

Fed "Baby Steps" and "Sneaky Sovereign" ECB QE

Recently, two major voices in the "core Fed" (Fischer and Dudley) have indicated that despite low inflation, the Fed's main scenario is to begin hiking rates in mid 2015.

China's Re-stimulation and Emerging Market Divergence

China's economy likely slowed much more than the official statistics show; otherwise, the government would not have reversed course on its various crackdowns, especially on the property market.

G-3 Economies Should Surprise in 2015

Our Global Investment Committee always seems to meet in the middle of great volatility, and this time was no exception, with the investment world facing all sorts of new challenges.

Abenomics the Winner in Japan's Election

In our view, the LDP coalition's maintenance of a strong two-thirds majority in this election will greatly help Prime Minister Abe and his party's reform efforts, while likely bolstering Yen weakness to some degree.

Capitalising on the 'Pacific Decade'

Capitalising on the 'Pacific Decade'

The Asia-Pacific region is evolving and reforming rapidly, both in terms of developing and developed countries. Over the course of the next 10 years, Asia-Pacific, including Japan, will become a default allocation in investor portfolios.

Active management of credit more effective over the longer term than a target-seeking strategy

As we move further away from the turbulent period between 2007 and 2009, interest in credit has increased rapidly as investors globally search for extra return in a low yield environment.

Rate cuts down under?

If the RBA does cut interest rates, it is likely that they will make more than one cut, so we could see Australia's official cash rate at 2.00% by the second quarter of 2015.

Revisiting the age-old debate on value vs growth investing

Revisiting the age-old debate on value vs growth investing

Many empirical studies have shown that a value style approach to investing in Australian shares has consistently outperformed growth investing - and with less risk.

Recession in Japan? 3 Key points to remember (again)

The three main points from our prior report on this topic have not changed; however, there are a few more anomalies in the data this time.

Green Bonds Go Mainstream

2014 has become a landmark year for green bonds, having become one of the few sustainable investment instruments to reach a suitable scale and poised to enter the mainstream for global institutional investors.

Japan's Profitability: "Show Me the Money" Corporate Governance

Japan's Profitability: "Show Me the Money" Corporate Governance

Equity investors should not fret too much about weak macro data, as Japanese companies have been able to overcome such for nearly a decade through rationalization and improved corporate governance.

Liability driven investing. Not just for institutions; It can work for individual investors too

The ultimate beneficiary of most of the manager's investment decisions is an individual investor with particular needs and requirements. This may sound obvious, but actually it often gets ignored.

Point of View: On Moody's Japan Rating Downgrade

Moody's downgrade of Japan to A1 will likely have very little effect on bond yields, the economy or risk-asset psychology. The major reason why is due to its odd premise of predicting too much success of Abenomics, while most market observers are not so optimistic.

Recession in Japan? 3 Key points to remember

Three important things to know about the recently announced Japanese GDP statistics that indicated that the country was in a recession.

Know your investment manager: They may not be as passive or active as you think

The argument within the investment community over which offers better results continues to rage. However, we think that a more important question is being missed—are investors getting what they expect from the two investment styles?

Debunking Demographics

We examined the relationship between a country's working age population and its listed company corporate earnings for ten nations, and found that the relationship is ambiguous at best, with correlations ranging from positive to strongly negative.

US mid-term elections: Republican control of Congress likely to lead to gridlock with President

Although there are potential flashpoints, there are some areas where the US President may be more willing to cooperate with the new Congress — such as being awarded the authority to fast track trade agreements, particularly the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Japan’s Key Factor: the Wealth Effect

We have long reported on the role of the wealth effect, as its importance is vastly underestimated by local and foreign investors. The 2Q data for net financial assets shows a QoQ increase to a new historical high.

Official Support for Japan’s “Show Me the Money” Theme?

Update on Japan’s “Show me the Money” corporate governance — the dividend paid by TOPIX continues to rise towards its historic high, but the payout ratio has been stagnant for the past few months, as earnings continue to rally equally well.

Changing of the guards in Asia

Is political democracy good for economic growth and ultimately, stock markets in Asia? Indisputably, sound political systems are crucial for economic development and progress.

Our View on the Recent Market Turbulence

Our house view is that non-economic factors played the largest role in the recent market turbulence. We discuss these below and forecast their future development.

Australian Fixed Income: Credit Commentary - October 2014

Physical credit spreads have remained at reasonably tight levels due to the ongoing search for yield — although global uncertainty in the Middle East, fears about Ebola, and re-emerging concerns about Europe have generated negative sentiment.

Australian Fixed Income: Market Commentary - October 2014

The Australian economy seems to be struggling to achieve traction as the mining boom transitions from a capital expenditure phase to a shipment phase.

No sovereign bond bubble but perhaps a new conundrum

Prior to the global financial crisis, nearly $17 trillion of developed nation bonds were rated AAA. Now there are less than $2 trillion. Not only has supply been restricted, but also diversity, with the number of AAA rated countries falling from 15 to 9.

Australian Equity: Market Commentary - September 2014

A confluence of factors worked against the Australian market during the month. Regulatory concerns in the banking sector, lower commodity prices and a weaker Australian dollar were the key drivers of the market’s underperformance.

China Worries Continue

Much as we expected, China’s economy has continued to slow faster than consensus, but does not appear to be in a hard landing.

Australian Fixed Income: Credit Commentary - September 2014

In the Australian credit market, the relative lack of supply compared with demand continues to cause spreads to tighten in the physical market offsetting the risks of an unstable geopolitical environment.

Australian Fixed Income: Market Commentary - September 2014

Reasons for the recent weakness in the AUD include a fall in the iron ore price, the rally in the US dollar, weaker Chinese data, and indications that the Reserve Bank of Australia is considering macroprudential controls.

Japan’s “Show Me the Money” Corporate Governance

Improving the number of independent directors and other governance issues are very important in the intermediate term for Japan, but it is crucial for investors to understand that much of the profitability message has already been understood by Japanese corporate for nearly a decade.

Super-Abenomics Key Performance Indicators - September 2014

Japan’s pipeline inflation, which we measure using the recently renamed Producer Price Index’s Finished Consumer Goods for Domestic Demand sub-component continued to be quite depressed in August.

Japan: CY14 GDP Should Exceed Consensus

Japan’s 2Q GDP growth, at -7.1% QoQ SAAR, was far below June’s consensus of -3.1% (and our -2.5% estimate) and we need to reduce our CY14 forecast, but not by much and we remain more optimistic than consensus.

Equity Markets - September 2014

Although not a Goldilocks scenario, our forecasted macro-backdrop is quite positive for global equities.

Bond and Currency Targets - September 2014

G-3 bond yields rose less than we predicted, mostly due to continued ECB aggressiveness, worries about the Chinese economy and the decline in oil prices.

Central Bank Watch - September 2014

Sentiment about Fed policy remains very volatile, but Yellen has remained remarkably stable in her outlook and bond prices have remained under control during the transition away from ultra-accommodative levels.

G-3 Economies Should Be Fine

Nikko AM’s Global Investment Committee met on September 26th and updated our house view on the global economic backdrop, financial markets and investment strategy advice. In sum, there certainly are some worrisome issues, as always, but we find none of them convincing enough to halt the upward momentum in equity prices.

Australian Fixed Income: Credit Commentary - August 2014

Credit spreads generally continued to tighten in August, although Australian physical spreads were mainly flat over the month.

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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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