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IGM Credit, IGM FX and Rates

China Insight: Bond Inflows Slow Down But RMB FX Little Impacted

By Tim Cheung 03 Dec 2019

China Insight 1203

Chinese onshore bonds saw a reduction of net inflows to USD2bn in October, down 82% from a month ago (chart 1). Foreign investors' net purchase of CGBs slowed to USD2.2bn, down 70% from September. Meanwhile, policy bank notes and NCDs saw small outflows of -USD0.5bn and -USD0.8bn respectively, vs an inflow of USD2bn to each of them in September. We attributed the slowdown in bond inflows largely to bear-steepening of the CGB yield curve as a result of the growing reluctance of PBOC to ease monetary policy in an environment of rising CPI inflation.

Topic Industry News

EPFR Fund Flows

ESG/SRI Investing in the Digital Age for Gen XYZ

By Vik Srimurthy 02 Dec 2019

ESG

ESG/SRI Investing in the Digital Age for Gen XYZ Today’s digital age has changed industries. Leading that charge is the technology sector, whose business model depends on harnessing the needs and tastes of Generations XYZ. Doing so involves identifying and understanding their values. These include the growing embrace by these generations of socially responsible (SRI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria goals. Tech giants such as Google claims they are “Raising the bar in making smart use of the Earth’s resources, expecting the highest ethical standards throughout our supply chain and creating products with people and the planet in mind”. A corner of Amazon’s website talks about how the online retail giant is “driving carbon out of our business”. These sentiments certainly mesh with large segments of their customer base, which is not shy about demanding that they strive for these standards.

Topic Industry News

EPFR Fund Flows

Quants Corner

By Vik Srimurthy 02 Dec 2019

Quants Corner

South Africa: Bond funds go where equities fear to tread When it comes to picking through the fundamentals of Africa’s most developed economy, “pick your poison” often seems a serviceable operating principle. Anemic growth, high levels of household debt, an official unemployment rate of 29%, an energy parastatal struggling under the burden of $31 billion in debt and an investment grade credit rating hanging by a thread are all part of South Africa’s current narrative. For prudent investors, the case for reducing exposure to the country seems increasingly watertight. However, a more nuanced picture emerges when South Africa is viewed through the lens of mutual fund flows and allocations, and through some of the quantitative models derived from these datasets.

Topic Industry News

IGM Credit, IGM FX and Rates

China Insight: PBOC Constrained by Challenging CPI Inflation

By Tim Cheung 26 Nov 2019

China Insight 1126

In the Q3 monetary policy report released in the middle of this month, PBOC suggested that the less dovish stance in monetary policy that we have seen since August may continue in the coming months, given the challenging CPI inflation outlook. To avoid public misinterpretation of being "less dovish" as a signal of a shift towards tightening, PBOC on 18 November resumed the 7-day reverse repo to inject liquidity and lowered the reverse repo rate by 5bp to 2.5%, the first reverse repo rate cut in this easing cycle (chart 1). The cut aimed to lower the wholesale funding cost and then to translate into a lower corporate borrowing cost. The magnitude of the cut was small, suggesting PBOC is constrained by the accelerating CPI inflation which reached as high as 3.8% y/y in October.

Topic Industry News

EPFR Fund Flows

Trade, policy debates and weak growth weigh on Europe Funds

By Cameron Brandt 22 Nov 2019

Global Navigator

The third week of November saw Europe Equity Funds longest inflow streak since 1Q18 come to an end and redemptions from Europe Bond Funds jump to a 49-week high as investors responded to policy divisions within the continent, slowing economic growth and the continuing headwinds generated by the more protectionist US stance on trade. Spain’s recent election, which saw populist parties make gains and left the region’s fifth largest economy in the hands of a caretaker government, gave investors further reasons for caution. Investors also took a modest step back from some fund groups dedicated to riskier asset classes, with Emerging Markets Bond Funds recording outflows for the first time in six weeks and High Yield Bond Funds posting consecutive weekly outflows for the first time since early June. Overall, EPFR-tracked Bond Funds posted a collective inflow of $6.9 billion during the week ending November while $1.5 billion flowed out of Equity Funds despite the third highest inflow on record for Equity Funds with socially responsible (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates and positive flows to Dividend Equity Funds for the ninth time in the past 10 weeks. The latest week was also marked by a new milestone for the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) tracked by EPFR, with the collective AUM of those tracked both daily and monthly hitting the $6 trillion mark.

Topic Industry News

IGM Credit, IGM FX and Rates

China Insight: More Small Banks in Trouble as Re-leveraging Underway

By Tim Cheung 19 Nov 2019

China Insight 1118

The health of China's smaller banks has come under pressure as Yichuan Rural Commercial Bank and Yingkou Coastal bank are said to have suffered bank runs in recent weeks amid fears over poor management and liquidity issues. Earlier this year, a rare government takeover of Baoshang Bank and a state rescue of Jinzhou Bank and Hengfeng Bank raised concerns about the underlying health of hundreds of small banks in China. Admittedly, China has entered another round of re-leveraging, albeit a softer one this time. With the fundamental issue of macro leverage unsolved, we expect China's debt-to-GDP ratio, currently in the 290-300% area, to reach 320% by 2025 (chart 1).  

Topic Industry News

EPFR Fund Flows

Quants Corner

By Sayad Baronyan 12 Nov 2019

Quants Corner

Investors: Capture the wisdom of the crowds ahead of UK Elections UK General Elections have had a long-standing tradition of running on a Thursday. The most cited reasons for the election falling on a Thursday, has been town ‘market’ days which increased the chances of footfall, another, there appears to be a concomitant increase in voter turnout. No one wants elections, for instance, on a Friday, where pay days could lead to a rise in the number of newly-paid, and newly inebriated, voters at the polls!

Topic Industry News

IGM Credit, IGM FX and Rates

China Insight: Long-Awaited MLF Rate Cut Finally Happened

By Tim Cheung 12 Nov 2019

China Insight 1112 1

PBOC cut the 1-year mid-term lending facility (MLF) rate by 5bp to 3.25% on 5 November (chart 1) while rolling over the matured MLF refinancing. The cut will likely drive down the loan prime rate (LPR) further, which was left unchanged at 4.20% and will be repriced on 20 November (chart 2). As the first cut in the MLF rate in this easing cycle, it suggests PBOC is faced with growing risk of further economic slowdown. However, the magnitude of the cut is small, reflecting the degree of monetary easing is constrained by growing CPI inflation.  

Topic Industry News