News > Asset Management

Two behemoths clash for title of biggest bond ETF
Asset Management
<p>On a global basis last year, investors pumped a record $81.9 billion into fixed-income exchange-traded funds. Despite all the talk about the Federal Reserve possibility raising interest rates, investors' enthusiasm for bond ETFs has not waned in 2015, as such funds have attracted over $44 billion in new assets as of the end of July.</p> <p>Momentum for bond ETFs has also significantly increased during the current quarter. On a year-to-date basis, just one fixed income fund, the iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Treasry Bnd Fd (NYSE: SHY) is among the top 10 asset-gathering ETFs. However, in the third quarter, six of the top 10 asset-gathering ETFs, including SHY, are bond funds.<br /> Bond Funds<br /> Another member of that group of six is the ...</p> <p>Full story available on Benzinga.com<br /> Photo: Edward Dalmulder</p>
Robert Sechan, Steven Tananbaum and Anthony Scaramucci On 'Post-Economic Traumatic Stress' – or, the decline of Lehman
Asset Management
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p> Benzinga got a sneak peek of this Sunday’s Wall Street Week show.</p> <p> This week’s guests will be Mary Deatherage, managing director at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management; Robert Sechan, managing director at UBS; Steven Tananbaum, managing partner and CIO at GoldenTree Asset Management.<br /> Host Anthony Scaramucci believes “post-economic traumatic stress” is upon the investment world; SEchan and Tananbaum supplement the discussion with their lessons learned from Lehman.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Did Lehman’s bankruptcy throw us into oblivion?” Skybridge Capital’s Scaramucci asked.</p> <p>Sechan responded, “Well, I do not. I think what happened was...Bear Stearns happened. It created a general market assumption that every bank out there was too big to fail. And then, when Lehman was let under, all hell broke loose.”</p> <p>Tananbaum ...</p> <p>Full story available on Benzinga.com</p> <p>Photo: World Economic Forum</p>
Immigrants: Why Merkel opened up the flood gates
Asset Management
<p>The Fed Punts Again<br /> The Demographic Realities of the European Immigration Crisis<br /> A New East-West Rift<br /> Merkel Has a Plan<br /> Newfound Sympathy<br /> Detroit, Toronto, NYC?, and Coconut Grove<br /> “The European Project has very little economic and political capital left to defend it if anything goes wrong now. As Mr Juncker says, the bell tolls.”<br /> – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard<br /> Perhaps I should issue a storm warning for this letter. Maybe it’s because I had major gum surgery on my entire lower jaw this week and am in a bit of discomfort, but as I read the news coming through my inbox, it’s not helping my mood. This week’s letter will focus on the immigration crisis in Europe – after I muse on what I think is the very disturbing aftermath of this week’s Federal Reserve meeting.</p> <p>It wasn’t a shock that the Federal Reserve did not raise rates. Even the most inside of insiders said the odds were at most 50-50. Those Wall Street Journal reporters who have an “inside ear” at the Federal Reserve all indicated there would be no rate increase. The IMF and the World Bank were pounding the table, declaring that it was inappropriate to raise rates now, and although most FOMC members give lip service to the fact that Federal Reserve policy is to be based solely on domestic considerations, global concerns may well have played a role in their decision.</p> <p>What surprised me was the aggressively dovish stance taken by Yellen in her press conference and in the press release. It would have been one thing to come out and say, “We’re not going to raise rates at this meeting, but conditions are getting better, so get ready,” so that the market could have a little certainty. The statement we got instead, combined with early data from the quarter, is making me rethink my entire view on the timing of an interest rate increase.</p> <p>My immediate reaction upon reading the press release was almost perfectly echoed by my good friend Peter Boockvar of the Lindsey Group):<br /> The Fed punts AGAIN on a new set of excuses, and I'm sorry to many<br /> The Fed punted AGAIN and thus are inviting us to the daily obsession of when they eventually will hike for another 6 weeks. While the economic commentary on the US was not much different than the last statement, they added “recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term.” They see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced but [are] “monitoring developments abroad.” Jeff Lacker is the only one that stood out fr</p>
Fed leaves interest rates unchanged: Four insights from Loomis Sayles
Asset Management
<p>Editor's note:  Loomis Sayles asked members of its staff to explain how they interpret the recent Federal Reserve decision to let interest rates stay near zero percent. Here is what they said:</p> <p>Plans for normalization deferred, not derailed</p> <p>"Today the FOMC signaled that plans for interest rate normalization are deferred but not yet derailed. It's difficult to categorize this outcome as a genuine surprise. While the rate decision and accompanying policy statement were no doubt dovish relative to expectations, the so called "dot plot" reveals that the median Fed member sees that interest rate normalization, once begun, is expected to proceed at the same pace as was expected in June. The expected medium-term path for rates beyond lift-off is little changed. While recent international developments and associated market volatility have increased near-term uncertainty, these developments have not altered the Fed's fundamental outlook."</p> <p>- Michael Gladchun, Fixed Income Trader</p> <p>The Fed is right not to add fuel to the fire</p> <p>"The Fed pointed to "recent global and financial developments" as key reasons for maintaining the status quo. They have been flagging the risks associated with a slowing China and the turmoil in other emerging markets. We believe the Fed is right to not add fuel to that fire, especially since a wait-and-see approach does not present risks to the US economy, which shows no inflationary pressures.</p> <p>China is the main external concern. The good news: the market seems to be pricing in a hard landing for China based upon price actions witnessed in the commodity and emerging markets sectors. Downside from here would require an even worse case economic scenario, which seems less likely. The bad news: we have not yet observed an inflection point in the economic deceleration taking place in China and other emerging markets. Both the financial markets and the Fed will be sifting through the tea leaves in coming months to see if these trouble spots start to show signs of improving. It should show up in trade and credit data first. Until then, expect the markets to be jittery and volatile."</p> <p>- Matt Eagan, Portfolio Manager</p> <p>Stocks poised for further recovery</p> <p>"In my view, whether the Fed raised rates at this meeting or not, stocks are poised for further recovery later this year and have the potential to reach new highs in 2016.</p> <p>S&amp;P 500 earnings have been tamped down by weakness in the energy and commodity sectors. Multinationals could see less adverse currency impact in the first half of next year depending on the extent to which the Fed holds rates steady, leading to less upward pressure on the dollar."</p> <p>- Richard Skaggs, Senior Equity Strategist</p> <p>Company performance will matter most</p> <p>"Equity valuations are much more sensitive to long-term interest rates than to short-term Federal Reserve rate actions. If inflation remains relatively low and long-term rates remain supportive, company performance will matter most to equities.</p> <p>Global equities have been more volatile in recent weeks with emerging markets being one source of heightened concern. The Federal Reserve cited global developments in today's statement; we will continue to watch developments offshore just as intently as developments within the US for direction during the balance of the year."</p> <p>- Craig Burelle, Macro Strategies Research Analyst</p> <p>MALR013940</p> <p>This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. Any opinions or forecasts contained herei</p>
Yellen flinches
Asset Management
<p>It is long past time for the Federal Reserve to start raising short-term rates. The unemployment rate is already very close to the Fed’s (new, lower) long-term projection of 4.9% and set to fall further in the next year, even if the Fed had already started lifting rates. Nominal GDP growth – real GDP growth plus inflation – is up at a 4.1% annual rate in the past two years, slightly exceeding the Fed’s long-run projection of 4% growth.<br /> Regardless, the Fed left short-term rates unchanged at today’s meeting and issued, on net, a more dovish statement than after the last meeting in July. Although the Fed acknowledged better business investment, it also provided three reasons for keeping rates unchanged, including (1) lower market-based measures of inflation, (2) global economic developments (which means China-related issues) and (3) financial developments (the recent correction in equity prices).<br /> We don’t think any of these factors warranted a longer wait for rate hikes. There’s always going to be some excuse to postpone rate hikes. The longer the Fed waits the more likely it is that the US economy eventually requires the kind of aggressive rate hikes that can cause a future recession. Raising rates by 25 basis points today wasn’t going to stop anyone from fracking a well or inventing a new App.<br /> In addition to the dovish statement, the Fed slightly marked down its estimates for the long-run average unemployment rate as well as inflation for the next few years. Both of these changes give the Fed more room to temporarily justify keeping rates unchanged.<br /> Consistent with the changes in the economic outlook, the median forecast from the Fed’s key decision-makers is that the Fed will only raise rates by 25 basis points this year, versus a prior median forecast of 50 basis points. In addition, the median estimate of the long run average federal funds rate fell to 3.5% from a prior estimate of 3.75%.</p> <p>The one bright spot in today’s statement was that Richmond Fed Bank President Jeffrey Lacker dissented. He would have raised rates by 25 basis points today.<br /> So where does that leave the likely course of monetary policy over the next several months? We believe a rate hike by the end of this year is still likely, but not a slam dunk. The next Fed meeting is in late October. But we see third quarter real GDP growth coming in at about a 2% annual rate. And it’s hard to see a Fed so skittish that it didn’t raise rates today willing to raise rates in that environment. Instead, December is more likely than October. By that time we should have some indications that real GDP is accelerating in the fourth quarter. However, we also can’t completely dismiss the possibility of the Fed waiting until 2016.<br /> The smartest investors know that the starting time for rate hikes is much less important than how high rates will ultimately go. In that sense, today’s news was a sideshow and we expect more aggressive rate hikes in 2016 than the Fed and markets now anticipate.<br /> This information contains forward-looking statements about various economic trends and strategies. You are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and actual results could be materially different. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time and are the opinion of the individual strategist. Data comes from the following sources: Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Reserve Board, and Haver Analytics. Data is taken from sources generally believed to be reliable but n</p>
People Moves: Old Mutual snags investment director from Schroders; State Street names new sector sales chief
Asset Management
<p>OMGI appoints new Investment Director. Oliver Lee, a 15-year veteran of the asset management industry, has been appointed Investment Director for Asian Equities by Old Mutual Global Investors in Hong Kong. Josh Crabb, the firm’s head of Asian equities, had this to say regarding their new hire:<br /> “Oliver will be a valuable addition to our Hong Kong based team. He has extensive experience in Asian equities, spanning both long and long/short strategies. I look forward to working with him as we continue to enhance our Asian equities offering.”<br /> Lee joins OMGI from Schroders, where he held a post within the firm’s alternative strategies group. Prior to that, he worked at Sloane Robinson after spending two years in Goldman Sachs’ equities division. He began his career however in UBS, taking on roles in both its London and Zurich offices. He will be based in Hong Kong and work alongside Josh Crabb, Diamond Lee, Kris Whitlock and Dmitry Lapidus. Old Mutual Global Investors</p> <p>State Street names new head of sector sales. Mark England, an old hand in the asset management sales arena, has been named Senior Vice President and head of Asset Manager Sector Sales for Asia by the State Street Corporation. Kevin Wong, head of the firm’s Sector Solutions for Asia Pacific, seemed delighted by their new hire:<br /> “We are delighted to welcome Mark to the State Street team. Mark will identify and develop integrated product and service solutions for our asset management clients in Asia, a core market for us.”<br /> England brings over 17 years of experience to State Street, with his most recent feather being head of Asset Manager Sales for the Investor Services Group in Citibank. He will be filling in the void left by Paul Khoury, who was appointed head of State Street Global Services for Australia and New Zealand earlier this year. Asia Asset Management</p> <p>For Capital Markets moves, click here.<br /> Photo: Luke Ma</p>
People Moves: BNY overhauls global distribution; JPMorgan loses top portfolio manager; Robeco names new CEO
Asset Management
<p>BNY Mellon revamps distribution team. John Herlihy has been named global head of institutional at BNY Mellon Investment Management. Herlihy, based in Boston, previously worked as global chief operating officer and head of global partnered solutions at the firm. Paul Sari has also been named co-head of global strategic accounts in the Americas. Cheryl Pipia is now co-head of global strategic accounts, based in London. Michael Gordon was named global head of insurance solutions. Joe Gennaco is now global head of boutique relations and consultant coordination. Jake Walker was appointed COO, global distribution. The firm is still hiring for co-head of global client engagement, based in London. Pensions &amp; Investments</p> <p>JPMorgan bond manager taking leave. Douglas Swanson is taking a leave of absence beginning October 1. He currently runs almost $52 billion in mutual fund assets, and serves as head of the U.S. value driven fixed income team. He is leaving to spend time wit family. InvestmentNews</p> <p>Robeco names new CEO. Former Aberdeen Asset Management chief strategist David Steyn will replace Roderick Munsters as CEO, effective November 1. Munsters announced earlier this month that it was a "natural moment" for him to leave the Dutch asset manager. Reuters</p> <p>Old Mutual loses COO. Paul Hanratty is leaving the financial services group after more than 30 years. He will stay on the board until March 2016, and will be available for the company until September 2016. MarketWatch</p> <p>Old Mutual grabs Investec sales lead. Gary Dale is joining Old Mutual Wealth as head of advisory sales, effective November 30. He previously worked as head of intermediary sales of derivatives and structured products at Investec. Dale has also worked for Santander, Prudential, Norwich Union, and AXA. CityWire</p> <p>BlackRock appoints head of U.S. wealth advisory business. Salim Ramji is replacing Frank Porcelli in the role. Porcelli is transitioning to become the unit chairman, with a focus on new offerings. Ramji'ss current role of global head of corporate strategy will be filled by Geraldine Buckingham. Salt Lake Tribune</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Regional bank ETF flows didn't predict ZIRP continuation
Asset Management
<p>The Federal Reserve's decision Thursday to maintain its zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), not surprisingly, dealt a blow to regional bank stocks and the corresponding exchange traded funds.</p> <p>However, recent flows data for ETFs such as the SPDR KBW Regional Banking (ETF)(NYSE: KRE), the largest regional bank ETF, and the SPDR KBW Bank (ETF) (NYSE: KBE) indicate many investors in these ETFs were expecting the Fed to cooperate and raise rates.<br /> Two Weeks And Substantial Losses<br /> Since the start of September through Wednesday, September 16, KRE and KBE lost $43.8 million and $11.2 million, respectively, in assets. One could say, “Hey, some investors were pulling out of these in advance of the Fed meeting.” Literally, that is true, but a combined $55 million in departures from these rate-sensitive ETFs is a blip on the radar when acknowledging KBE came into Thursday with $2.83 ...</p> <p>Full story available on Benzinga.com</p> <p>Photo: Got Credit</p>
Massive net buying by foreigners in APAC
Asset Management
<p>In emerging Asia ex. China and Malaysia, yesterday’s [September 16] net foreign buying of $0.8 billion turned out to be the single biggest day for net foreign buying since April 2014, notes Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS). Sakthi Siva and King Nang Chik said in their “APAC Equity Strategy” report that they continue to be Overweight the cheapest four markets: MSCI China, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.<br /> Yesterday’s relief buying in APAC after substantial selling by foreigners<br /> Siva and Chik term it “a pleasant surprise” when net foreign buying of $789 million was logged in Emerging Asia ex. China and Malaysia on Sept. 16, after the net foreign selling over the past four months. The analysts point out that yesterday logged net foreign buying of $470 million in India, followed by $184 million in Korea and $158 million in Taiwan:</p> <p>However, Siva and Chik note the $789 million of net foreign buying comes after net foreign selling of $21 billion out of Emerging Asia ex. China and Malaysia. As can be deduced from the following table, net foreign selling over the past three to four months out of Emerging Asia ex. China and Japan is $36.3 billion:</p> <p>The CS analysts point out that on a rolling 12-month basis, net foreign buying has dropped to 0% of market cap on a rolling 12-month basis for Emerging Asia ex. China and Malaysia:</p> <p>Foreign investor capitulation in a few APAC markets<br /> Highlighting the markets which have witnessed foreign investor capitulation, Siva and Chik point out that Korea (-0.1%), the Philippines (-0.4%), Indonesia (-0.7%), Thailand (-1%) and Malaysia (-1.5%) witnessed foreign investors turning net sellers over the past year:</p> <p>However, in a few markets, including India, foreigners are still net buyers over the past 12 months:</p>
For the Fed, it's a small world after all
Asset Management
<p>The Federal Reserve looked at the data in the U.S. And China. And Europe. And decided: Now is not the time to lift rates, even symbolically, from their historically low levels.</p> <p>The world is getting smaller by the minute.</p> <p>The Fed's mandate to manage employment rates in the U.S. has become greatly tied to the health of global economies.</p> <p>"It's hard to think about jobs without thinking about where you sit around the planet," says says Jeff Moore, portfolio manager at Fidelity. The U.S. job market has been steadily if slowly improving over the past few years. Unemployment stands at 5.1%. Not good enough to lift rates, the Fed basically said in its statement. Weakness overseas threatens the recovery in the U.S. Higher rates will keep the dollar strong, which will make our goods pricey for our trading partners and hurt business. "It's all connected to the jobs piece," says Moore (who says he is not speaking on behalf of Fidelity).</p> <p>China and the global market volatility in August played a large role in the Fed's decision, says Lee Ferridge, head of North American macro strategy at State Street Global Markets. The strong dollar has tied the Fed's hands. It's "the doorway" between the global and domestic economies, says Ferridge. He's not convinced that a rate rise is in the cards this year.</p> <p>Caution comes naturally to a central banker. The Fed would rather err on the side of raising rates too slowly than too quickly, says Moore. The delay in a rate rise "give(s) some breathing room to emerging market countries," he says. "Even the Chinese story; it gives it more time."</p> <p>The hesitation can backfire. "(It) is bound to prompt uncertainty,” says Nigel Green, founder of deVere Group. "By not raising interest rates, the Fed is, in effect, sending out a clear message that it is nervous about China, and the impact a potential hard landing could have on U.S. and global growth," he says.</p> <p>Legg Mason agrees. "Until it actually moves on rates, lingering uncertainty about the timing of a increase could be a source of volatility in the markets – and perpetuate concerns about distortions in market pricing that result from years of zero-rate policy," the firm wrote in a statement.</p> <p>Photo: charamelody </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>