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Alternative Market Briefing

Australian bonds offer safe haven during financial crisis while their savers switch to self-managed pension pools

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Beverly Chandler, Opalesque London: Melbourne, Australia headquartered investment researchers Zenith Investment Partners’ Alternative Review reflects that in these troubled times, countries with apparently low risk of default - such as Australia - are seeing their 10 year bonds on a glide path to zero, while the 10 year yields on Italian or Spanish equivalents are doing the other thing.

Zenith’s Daniel Liptak quotes Fulcrum’s Gavin Davies who ascribes this phenomenon, not to central bank management or quantitative easing but by investors, driven by fear, who are buying bonds with perceived negligible risk as insurance.

Liptak’s view is that bonds in strong economies may be expensive and equities may be cheap for some time to come. "The recently announced low inflation rates reported in Australia should add downward pressure on RBA interest rate targets and consequently a negative for the Aussie" Liptak writes.

"We are inclined to continue USD credit in many flavours, paying for it through shorting the AUD. We are cautiously exploring methods to capture exposure in distressed European credits. While corporate balance sheets are on the whole healthy, we are not rushing into event driven strategies - given the macro risks, we believes most CEOs and their advisors will be more inclined to sit on their cash balances rather than increase M & A activity which we would expect to occur in more normal environments."

In another development in the Australian superannuat......................

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