The rapid development of the Asia Credit markets provides new opportunities to improve the risk and return profile for investors.
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.
Changing perception of ESG’s performance impact: An active ESG approach is now regarded as a catalyst for outperformance.
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.
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 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.
While highly unlikely, we examine the potential impact on Japan of a major crisis on the Korean Peninsula.