Wed, Jul 23, 2014
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Industry Updates

Opalesque Industry Update - Asia will continue to grow regardless of global economic conditions

Thursday, June 23, 2011
Asia will attract increased investor flows whether the global economic recovery begins firing on all cylinders or splutters to a temporary halt, according to Legg Mason Source subsidiary Western Asset Management, which manages $456bn of fixed income assets across the globe.

While markets remain concerned about the fragility of the global economic recovery amid heightened geopolitical risks, Julia Ho, a portfolio manager on the $627m Legg Mason Western Asset Asian Opportunities Fund, says the underlying fundamental story should remain positive, particularly for Asian bond, currency and credit markets.

“Asia is in a somewhat unique position of potentially win ning in both a positive and negative global scenario,” she says. “If the global economy begins firing on all cylinders, investors on the sidelines might start feeling the confidence to deploy more capital into Asia, and investors that are already in Asia will begin to allocate more heavily to riskier investments such as currencies and credit.

“If the economy experiences a misstep, investors will quickly retrench and a flight-to-quality will ensue, thereby benefiting government bonds. But we could also see investors redeploy capital into Asia as a diversifier to their own regions, simi lar to how we saw large flows from Europe over the past couple of years.”

A key risk to this constructive outlook, says Ho, is inflation expectations. While she believes policymakers in most Asian countries have done a “respectable” job of controlling inflation expectations despite strong growth and burgeoning com­modity and food prices, she says they must remain vigilant.

“A sharp increase in inflation expectations could be detrimental to bond and currency prices. With inflation pushing upward, we expect central banks to continue to deploy the many tools in their arsenals, including targeted measures, such as those taken in Singapore and China to cool the property markets, as well as broad policies such as increasing policy rates and allowing their currencies to strengthen.”

Against this backdrop, Ho says the Asia team at Western will remain tactical in its approach to interest rate management, continuing to favour an overall defensive duration posture, in which Western’s bond portfolios maintain underweight short-term rate positions in favour of long-term rates. The team also expects to maintain its overweight to appreciating currencies in the region. “We expect Asian currencies to benefit from several trends, including strong fundamentals, investor flows to Asia from lower-yielding markets, higher central bank rates and policymakers’ use of currencies as an inflation-fighting tool.”

Ho says the positive fundamental backdrop will also support the team’s preference for Asian corporate bonds.

Press Release
bc

What do you think?

   Use "anonymous" as my name    |   Alert me via email on new comments   |   
Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing
  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. Events – AIMA Australian Hedge Fund Forum, Sept. 16, Sydney[more]

    AIMA Australia invite you to join us at our annual Hedge Fund Forum on Tuesday 16th September 2014 at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. The AIMA Australian Hedge Fund Forum is a non-profit hedge fund conference organised by the industry for the industry, featuring quality Australian and internation

  2. Opalesque Exclusive: Loeb, Grantham cite growing economic concerns in letters[more]

    Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, head of Third Point, and Jeremy Grantham of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. have both released their quarterly investor letters today. While news is positive on some fronts, and both men see pockets of opportunity, they also h

  3. Investing – Hedge funds expect Netflix earnings to catapult forward, Third Point's Loeb takes stakes in Fibra Uno, YPF, Royal DSM, Lake Capital in talks to back Engine Group[more]

    Hedge funds expect Netflix earnings to catapult forward From Investing.com: Netflix has made major strides forward in 2014 despite ongoing battles with the FCC and cable companies over the issue of net neutrality. The FCC has now received over 500,000 comments from the public on its pend

  4. Opalesque Roundtable: European family offices struggle to retain their investments in offshore hedge funds[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: The European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) will constrain investment opportunities amidst concern a number of U.S. fund managers will stop marketing their products in the European Union under the new rule, said Valentin Bohländer fro

  5. Opalesque Roundtable: Success in hedge fund marketing not linked to performance, but investor appetite[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: Success in marketing a fund is not linked to the performance, but to investor appetite, to the way you can market the fund, and to how much time you can spend to raise assets, said Antoine Rolland, the CEO of incubator and seeding firm