THE WisdomTree BLOG
Positioning defensively in Europe with yield premium intact and more sustainable dividends
Part one of our European index rebalance articles highlighted an investment case for our Eurozone Quality Dividend Growth and Europe Small Cap Dividend strategies. In part two we now explore the valuation, style and country/sector opportunities for WisdomTree's Equity Income and Export-Tilted strategies.
Team Abe 3.0: From a new cabinet towards new policies
Prime Minister Abe has presented his new cabinet. It is Abe's third leadership team since becoming Prime Minister in December 2012 and, like his previous teams, it is dominated by close and trusted allies. Moreover, the key positions did not change—Aso stays as Finance Minister, Seko as Economics Minister, and Suga as Chief Cabinet Spokesman. I expect this new cabinet will present a next supplementary budget of around Y5trn by October, focusing on added support for women, families and elderly.
Fixed income has been at the heart of European investor portfolios for many years with average allocations in 2016 standing at 51%. Even in an environment of low or negative yielding domestic government bonds, overall allocations have remained high. Now Eurozone government bond investors are overwhelmingly focused on the risks relating to the end of quantitative easing and the potential for a rise in interest rates at some point in 2018.
2017 European rebalance: Bullish bets in small cap dividend payers and quality dividend growers
WisdomTree’s European equity ETF strategies1 rebalanced in June. Emerging from the rebalance are stronger fundamentals against discounted valuations, which preserve the attractive yield and growth proposition of broad and small-cap dividends payers in Europe. Together, these diverse styles and strategies may allow investors to fine-tune their European exposure just as France’s pro-growth, pro-EU reform agenda reawakens investor appetite for the region.
Japan is leading dividend growth in international markets
Once a year, WisdomTree conducts a rebalance of its dividend-weighted stock indices which adjusts positions based on changes in relative valuations. We measure these relative valuations by examining stock price movements versus fundamentals in international markets. The primary variable we are utilising in our broad-based index strategies is a company’s Dividend Stream®.
European macro outlook: Italy
European macro outlook: UK
European macro outlook: France
European macro outlook: France reform agenda aids bullish Eurozone growth, Italian elections undermine Euro
The recent OPEC meeting revealed no new news with respect to production cuts or the ability of OPEC to stabilise the oil price. Whilst there was a commitment for a longer period of production adjustments for a further nine months with effect from 1 July 2017 the meeting concluded with a lack of discussion of deeper cuts. What was revealed was just how dependent the oil price is on other factors and data points, something that we previously highlighted in our blog Five things you need to know about trading oil.
Japan's pro-growth agenda—how "Abe-ism" will re-ignite "Abenomics"
After a period of relative calm and no new initiatives, Japanese politics is poised to move back into global headlines in the coming months. This is because Prime Minister Abe has now presented a concrete timeline for reforming Japan’s constitution: the goal is to clear all the necessary Parliamentary hurdles by next summer (2018) so that the required national referendum can be called before end-2018.
Infographic: Five reasons we believe Indian equities could spice up your portfolio
India is at an interesting crossroad where leadership is pro-actively making tough reforms for long-term growth.Two pillars of the Indian economy, consumption and demographics, have strong growth projections. View our infographic to learn the five reasons why we believe Indian equities could spice up your portfolio.
China A-shares, with respect to global equity benchmark indices, have been problematic for some investors in terms of market accessibility and index inclusion.
The evolution of the relatively restrictive Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor schemes—QFII and RQFII—combined with the relatively new Stock Connect schemes for both Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks has created a material change to investors’ ability to trade A-shares. These moves have created an environment of more flexible market access which has increased the likelihood that, on a revised and limited basis, MSCI may include A-shares in their benchmark indices. It is important to note that the current proposal is substantially different from the previous attempts and only creates a modest inclusion of A-shares as opposed to a comprehensive approach.
Our structural bull-thesis for Japan calls for an endogenous, self-sustaining domestic demand up-cycle that is driven by Japan’s private sector. Demographics is the key force – for households, the structural shortage of labour will be pushing up incomes and improving job security, thus creating purchasing power for a “new middle class”; and for companies, the scarcity of human capital will force a shift towards more capital-intensive business models, i.e. a structural up-turn in business investment to improve the quality of the domestic capital stock. Also, M&A activity is poised to pick-up, with the scarcity of human capital forcing fundamental industrial reorganization. Clear-speak—Japan’s productivity is ready for a positive super-cycle, which should translate into a structural up-turn in capital returns.
Nizam Hamid is an ETF Strategist for WisdomTree in Europe and has extensive experience in the European ETF market. Prior to this he was at C8 Investments, a systematic hedge fund, focusing on business development and quantitative strategies, before that he was a consultant at FTSE. From 2010 to 2012, he was Head of ETF Strategy and Deputy Head of Lyxor ETFs, at the time Europe’s second largest ETF issuer. Before joining Lyxor he was Head of Sales Strategy for the Europe and the Middle East at iShares in London. Prior to that, he was Global Head of ETFs, Portfolio and Index Strategy at Deutsche Bank from 1998 to 2008. He has also worked as a quantitative analyst in London and Tokyo for UBS, BZW and Bankers Trust / NatWest Markets. He holds a Degree in Economics from the University of Liverpool.
Director of Research
Viktor, who has over 14 years’ experience in research, joined the firm from Renaissance Asset Managers where he was Head of Research. Viktor provides macro research on various themes covering equities, commodities and fixed income. His research for WisdomTree in Europe offers investment strategies for the current range of Smart Beta UCITS ETFs as well as the Boost range of short and leveraged Exchange Traded Notes. Viktor has previously worked as a Research Analyst at BlackRock and Thomson Financial. He started his career as an Equity Strategist at Commerzbank, after he completed a Masters in Economics from Maastricht University, in the Netherlands.
Nick Leung is a Research Analyst for WisdomTree in Europe. He is responsible for macroeconomic commentary and analysis, formulating investment strategies and trade ideas, as well as the maintenance of research collateral. Prior to joining in 2015, Nick was at Source, having completed his Master’s Degree at Imperial College London. During this time he was also involved in an ice-cream entrepreneurship project with Unilever. Nick holds a BA in Economics from the University of Nottingham.
WisdomTree's Head of Japan
Capital Markets and Investment Solutions, Index and Quantitative Investment, ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management (International) Company Limited
Ms. Pang holds a M.Sc. in Development Finance from The University of Manchester, a M.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in Business Administration from The Chinese University of Hong Kong.