Money managers under the microscope
from Global Investing:
The boom in emerging corporate debt is an ongoing theme that we have discussed often in the past, here on Global Investing as well as on the Reuters news wire. Many of us will therefore recall that outstanding debt volumes from emerging market companies crossed the $1 trillion milestone last October. This year could be shaping up to be another good one.
January was a month of record issuance for corporates, yielding $51 billion or more than double last January's levels and after sales of $329 billion in the whole of 2012. (Some of this buoyancy is down to Asian firms rushing to get their fundraising done before the Chinese New Year starts this weekend). What's more, despite all the new issuance, spreads on JPMorgan's CEMBI corporate bond index tightened 21 basis points over Treasuries.
JPM say in a note today that assets benchmarked to the CEMBI have crossed $50.6 billion, having risen 60 percent year-over-year. Interest in corporates is strong also among investors who don't usually focus on this sector, the bank says, citing the results of its monthly client survey. One such example is asset manager Schroders. Skeptical a couple of years ago about the risk-reward trade-off in emerging debt, Schroders said last month it was seeing more opportunities in emerging corporates, noting:
Stronger economic growth in developed markets and because of surging new issue volumes which permit investment in a greater variety of companies and countries.
Schroders today reported exceptional losses of 167 million pounds — this was largely due to 147 million of writedowns on its own investments in hedge funds, private equity, fixed income and seed capital.
Analysts at UBS noted that these four areas had total investments of 585 million pounds at September 30, meaning the group had taken a 25 percent writedown.