Monthly Archives:

January 2018

BVTV: Can Abe make Japan great again?

Having eventually emerged from the shadow of its lost decades, Japan is currently enjoying its second-longest economic expansion since World War II, having grown for seven successive quarters. John Lothian, deputy fund manager on M&G’s Japanese equity portfolios, joined me this morning to discuss the outlook for the BoJ and what the positive macro-outlook means for Japanese asset prices.

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Davos 2018: M&G’s CEO Anne Richards talks to Jim Leaviss. Are markets headed towards another financial crisis?

This year’s Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) comes at a time where equity and credit valuations look high, where we have “obvious” bubbles in cryptocurrencies, and where bond yields – perhaps an anchor for all financial asset valuations – finally seem to be moving higher.  Global borrowing across governments, financial institutions, companies and households is at record levels.  Can the global …

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Is this a turning point for bonds?

My view is that the US economy is nearer to overheating than slipping into recession. The strength of the US economy is typified by the labour market in many ways. To put some of this strength in context, look at the Challenger, Gray & Christmas Job Cut report. Last year (2017) produced an exceptionally low number of layoffs in nominal terms, and when adjusted to reflect the size of the labour …

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The Venezuelan cash crunch: exporting passports as a palliative?

Venezuela’s cash flow crisis has been well covered. The recent default on its sovereign debt and likely default on the debt issued by its state-owned company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), combined with collapsing imports attest to its ongoing cash crunch and humanitarian crisis. ¹

A change of economic policy however, would alleviate the crisis and improve the patient’s health. This could …

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A tale of two bonds – diverging fortunes for GKNLN 22s and 32s

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – to phrase it in a Dickensian way – for bonds of British automotive and aerospace components company GKN. After Melrose Industries, an investment firm specialised in turnarounds of manufacturing businesses, had made an unsolicited takeover bid for GKN on 8th January, GKNLN 3.375 05/12/32s have enjoyed capital gains of 1.7%, whereas the cash p…

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BVTV: What you really need to know about the US tax reforms

While you’ve probably heard about President Trump’s success in pushing through a package of tax reforms – arguably his biggest achievement to date – did you know that its requirement for companies to repatriate cash is mandatory? Or, that in most cases this has already taken place? Tune in for this week’s edition of BVTV, where M&G credit analyst Simon Duff gives us the bigger picture of what t…

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The UK’s ONS admits an error again. Is ‘The Wedge’ poised to go even higher?

The Financial Times today ran a story that the ONS has admitted errors in its measurement of the telecoms sector. It seems that the ONS has effectively been focussed on output of the telecom sector as based on turnover of the providers, and making a price assumption of the goods and services they sell. On this methodology, the ONS shows prices of telecoms were flat between 2010 and 2015, and tu…

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BVTV: 2018 – the year of the bond bear market?

After such a good run for credit spreads in 2017, and a more challenging start to the New Year for government bonds in particular, are we right to be more cautious about prospects for markets in 2018? Fund manager Wolfgang Bauer joins me to discuss what’s behind the recent sell-off in bunds and Treasuries, and what we can read into primary market activity so far in January. 

Plus, will the ECB…

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Did the ECB get their fingers burned with Steinhoff bonds?

Credit risk is real. It’s easy to forget this platitude in times when both investment grade and high yield credit markets go from strength to strength. Even one of Europe’s foremost credit investors – the European Central Bank (ECB) – has recently been reminded that there is indeed the risk of permanent loss of capital when buying corporate bonds.

Every week the ECB updates the consolidated lis…

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2017 High Yield Review – Another Solid Year

Good performance after an exceptional 2016

2017 was another good year for high yield investors with the global high yield index delivering a total return of 8.0% (in USD terms), albeit this was less exciting than the 16% achieved in 2016. The US continued to outperform Europe but at a far more modest rate compared to 2016, with a 7.5% local currency total return vs Europe’s 6.7%, although much …

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