Fixed Income

Investment Insights by our experts and thought leaders

Will Investors Be Ready When Chinese Bonds Go Global?

Most bond index providers have started to recognize China’s financial market liberalisation and reform efforts. We think it is only a question of time before they are included in the main benchmark indices.

Asia High Grade Credit – A better European approach to Emerging Market Debt

A separate allocation to Asia IG offers European investors a way to mitigate risk within their EMD exposure.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - October 2017

US Treasuries declined in September, prompted by the possibility of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December and Trump's tax reform bill being passed by Congress.

The Rise of Chinese FDI into ASEAN

Our senior fixed income portfolio manager in Singapore explains why he is bullish on ASEAN currencies for the long-term.

House View: Global Economic and Equity Reflation Despite Less Dovish Central Banks

Despite geopolitical risks and less dovish central banks, the Global Investment Committee remains moderately optimistic about the global economy and equity markets, while being cautious on global bonds.

Germany's Election Results – What now?

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the time it will take before the formation of a new government, we do not think there is risk of major policy change in Germany. The election outcome, however, will likely weigh on the aspirations of France’s Macron for deeper Eurozone integration.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - September 2017

The US Treasury (UST) market grinded higher in August. Rising tensions in the Korean peninsula and a lack of direction from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank on the outlook for monetary policy put pressure on US Treasury yields.

Germany's Election Should Be Supportive

Our London-based Global Credit Portfolio Manager lays out the scenarios of the upcoming German election and its ramifications for select German credits.

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.

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.

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.

The Global Investment Committee remains moderately optimistic about the global economy and equity markets, while being cautious on global bonds.

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.

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.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Monthly 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.

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.

On 24 May 2017, Moody’s downgraded China’s sovereign credit rating to A1 from Aa3 citing expectations that China’s “financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years, with economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows”.

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.

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.

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

“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

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.

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).

Five Charts to Watch

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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 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 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).

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

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - September 2016

USTs ended marginally lower in August as the market adjusted to the possibility of a Fed rate hike, buoyed by sustained resilience in the labour market.

Is this the end of the 35-year bond rally?

Many market commentators have been speculating that we are finally coming to the end of the bond rally that has endured for the past 35 years. It's worth noting that this is nothing new—we have heard similar suggestions many times before over recent years.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - August 2016

In developed markets, global bonds have benefited from recent flows out of Japan into positive-yielding markets. The New Zealand and Canadian economies face continued pressure and a September US rate rise is now looking more unlikely.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - August 2016

US Treasury (UST) yields ended July mixed: yields of shorter maturities climbed, whilse those of longer maturities fell.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - July 2016

The major consideration for markets in June was the Brexit vote in the UK. Although we are sceptical about the most pessimistic scenarios for the UK, there will be some negative impact on growth.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - July 2016

US Treasury (UST) yields gained in a volatile mon across asset classes. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) scaled back projections for raising interest rates, while the UK voted to leave the EU by a 4% margin, surprising markets.

Attraction of Emerging Market Debt

Emerging Market reforms won't stop or pause with the current market recovery.

What does Brexit mean for Emerging Markets?

Following our analysis of the recent UK vote, our Emerging Market debt team in London discusses Brexit's potential ramifications for this asset class.

Brexit - Asian Fixed Income Update

The immediate fallout from the Brexit win has been a strong flight to safety. US Treasuries rallied with the UST 10-year yield down to 1.44%, lower by 31 basis points (bps) on 27 June 2016.

Brexit: Outlook for Global Fixed Income & Credit

Uncertainty after Brexit vote, but the correction in valuations and market volatility could provide buying opportunities in some fundamentally strong credits.

Brexit: Where to now for markets?

Although it is still too early to determine the full implications of Brexit over the longer term, in the short term, we can expect significant market volatility as uncertainty prevails, but this does not mean that investors should panic.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - June 2016

US Treasury yields remained largely unchanged in May. The impact of a disappointing US payroll figure was offset by the release of the US Federal Reserve’s April meeting minutes, which revealed that most policymakers favoured a rate hike in June should the US economy continue to improve.

Global Fixed Income & Credit Outlook - June 2016

Continued easy monetary policy in Europe and Japan will be supportive for global interest rates, but the case for further limited rate hikes in the US remains in place for 2016.

Global Oil Update: Continuing positive outlook or flash in the pan?

Our oil experts in London and New York update their bullish views in January with new facts, while retaining their positive intermediate-term view on oil prices.

Fed rate rise most likely in September, but could be delayed until 2017

Our global rates and currencies strategist in Australia lays out his dovish Fed scenario as an alternative to our house view. In it, he expects the Fed to wait until September or later to raise rates, and states his case that the Fed’s actions do not affect US bond yields.

Abenomics is Alive and Well

Our Chief Global Strategist explains the reasons why there is too much unjustified pessimism about Abenomics.

The Subtle Shift in Asian Currencies from the Dollar to the Renminbi

Our Asian currency expert discusses the potential ramifications of the increasing CNY-orientation for Asian currencies.

Which Matters More for Credit Spreads: Fundamentals or QE?

What is more important for credit spreads in the current environment: the fundamentals or central bank actions? Our research suggests that since 2010 the answer has been central banks and, in particular, the US Federal Reserve.

Global Credit Outlook

For the next 12 months, we are quite positive on performance prospect for global credit, singling out five investment themes.

G-3 and Chinese Economies Moderately Firmer in 2016

Nikko Asset Management's Global Investment Committee met on March 29th and updated our intermediate-term house view on the global economic backdrop, central bank policies, financial markets and investment strategy advice.

Fed in June and December, but ECB or BOJ Slight Easing

We expect June and December Fed hikes, but only mild further easing ahead for the BOJ and ECB. Meanwhile, we expect oil prices to creep higher through 2016 despite the stronger USD due to relatively firm economic developments in China and the G-3.

We expect that global equity and bond investing will be positive for Yen based investors due to Yen weakness, but for USD based investors, we are taking only a neutral stance on global equities due to a cautious forecast for US equities, whereas we are positive on Asia-Pac ex Japan, Japan and Europe. Meanwhile, we are moderately negative on bonds in each region when measured in USD terms, so we underweight them.

Is it time to get back into credit?

While a recession in the US is not our base scenario, the impact of such an event on credit exposure is worthy of consideration. In our historical analysis we've found that the driver of past recessions can provide important insight into which credit maturities are most attractive.

Globalisation has reduced US monetary policy independence

US monetary policy grows less independent as 2016 unfolds and risks to global growth abound in a rebalancing China, a deflationary struggle in Europe and whispers of a Brexit.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - March 2016

5-year and 10-year US Treasuries (USTs) yields ended the month lower, at 1.21% and 1.74% respectively. Cautious sentiment around falling oil prices and the prospect of a delay in US Federal Reserve interest rate increases supported US Treasuries (USTs) over the month.

Our Global Credit Strategy: Seeking Services

Our Global Credit staff in London detail their rationale behind concentrating on service sector exposure globally.

Asian Local Government Bond Outlook 2016

In 2015, the US Federal Reserve began the process of interest rate normalisation. Short-term bonds underperformed long duration bonds, on expectations of the ongoing US economic recovery remaining weak, and US inflation being anchored at current low levels.

Renminbi: A one-off devaluation or free float in 2016?

As we have seen over the past year in the equity market, the more Beijing wants to exert control, the more it slips away. Is pragmatism going to trump ideology in Beijing? In the current environment, the PBOC letting the RMB free float might not be so unbelievable after all.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - February 2016

2-year and 10-year US Treasuries (USTs) yields ended the month lower, at 0.78% and 1.92%. Concerns that China could be embarking on a devaluation path curbed investors' risk appetite and supported demand safe-haven assets.

It's All About the Dollar

In our view, the USD will soften when the Fed comes to accept the reality of slow-to-no growth globally and becomes more dovish in its language and approach.

The BOJ's Bold Move is Not a Shot in a Currency War

Unfortunately for the soundness of the sleep among BOJ-watchers, Mr. Kuroda believes that surprising the market is the best way to achieve his intended result.

Is Saudi Arabia Finally Winning the Global Oil War?

Our London and US analysts review oil prices from the supply and demand angle and they note that global demand growth remains high while global supply is narrowing, indicating that oilfs price swoon could be over.

What is the Outlook for the Yuan?

Our Singapore fixed income team expounds on the outlook for this clearly globally important factor.

Asian Credit Outlook 2016

2015 has been a tumultuous year with a plethora of risk events spurring significant volatility across most asset classes.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - January 2016

2-year and 10-year US Treasuries (USTs) yields ended 2015 higher at 1.05% and 2.27%. These come after the US central bank raised ist interest rates and pledged a gradual pace of increases.

The Fed was even more Dovish than Apparent in the Headlines

John Vail reflects on the Fed decision and the path forward. The Fed was even more dovish than apparent in the headlines.

US & China Economies Sturdy in 2016; So-So for EZ and Japan

Nikko Asset Management's Global Investment Committee met on December 8th and updated our intermediate-term house view on the global economic backdrop, central bank policies, financial markets and investment strategy advice.

Fed Normalization, but not ECB or BOJ

We only expect mild further easing ahead, especially as the ECB does not wish to cause a rupture while the Fed is hiking rates.

We forecast that Asia Pac ex Japan, Japan and Europe will outperform in the next six months, while the US should underperform and, thus, deserve an underweight stance vs. all other regions.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - December 2015

US Treasuries (USTs) yields ended the month higher. October non-farm payrolls indicated a surge in job growth, keeping the US Federal Reserve (Fed) on course for a possible rate hike in December.

Divergent monetary policy in US and Europe: Can it last?

As we enter 2016, we believe the divergent monetary policy theme will continue -- with the major risk to global bond markets and Fed rate rises continuing to be Europe.

The Japan Update – The Japanese Government’s Objectives for TPP

A framework agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was reached in October 2015, and the governments of participant countries are working to ratify the agreement and formally launch the partnership.

What's to come? - China's RMB as a global reserve currency

The IMF's decision to include the Renminbi into the SDR is a major push for the RMB to become one of the world's major reserve currencies.

Australia: Lower GDP growth and CPI should mean lower 10-year bond yields

Our lead Australian fixed income portfolio manager discusses her intermediate-term outlook for the bond market “down under.”

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - November 2015

Prices of the US Treasuries (USTs) ended the month lower. Risk-on sentiment prevailed for the most part of October, favouring risk assets over perceived "safe-haven" instruments.

Asian Fixed Income Monthly Outlook - October 2015

US Treasuries (USTs) registered gains in September. Yields initially trade in a tight range, but subsequently jumped mid-month, in anticipation of the announcement from the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

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.