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THE WisdomTree BLOG

Jesper Koll / Macro Alerts, Japan 17 Oct 2017

Politics re-invented: Abe-Koike rivalry to bring supply-side reforms

Jesper Koll

Japan’s upcoming election is poised to usher in a new era of policy competition and political accountability. Structural reform in general, supply-side reform in particular, is poised to accelerate if, as we suspect, Tokyo Governor Koike catapults herself into the never-imagined-before position of being both in power and in opposition: in power because she will continue to be the ruling Governor of Tokyo; and in opposition because she will be the leader of the second largest party in parliament (assuming current opinion polls are correct in their predictions).

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WisdomTree / Macro Alerts, Emerging Markets, Equity Income, Small Cap 10 Oct 2017

Emerging markets: alternative index strategies can outperform

WisdomTree

Investors looking to gain exposure to emerging markets often feel compelled to use an active manager. This is based on the belief that these markets are less efficient and there is greater potential for value added over time. At WisdomTree we have been managing equity assets that track our emerging market indices for over ten years. Our family of dividend-based indices can demonstrate a live track record of how structured, disciplined and rules-based strategies tied to smart index construction have added value over traditional market cap-weighted indices.

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Jesper Koll / Macro Alerts, Japan 03 Oct 2017

"Koikenomics" to re-energise "Abenomics"

Jesper Koll

A new force is gaining momentum in Japanese politics, led by Tokyo Governor Koike. Her new national party—Party of Hope—has just forged an election alliance with the opposition Democratic Party that could deliver as many as 120-180 out of 465 seats contested in the upcoming 22 October lower house election. Most importantly, "Koikenomics" is poised to re-energise the original pro-growth promise of "Abenomics". This is because Governor Koike has a long-standing record as a pro-business, pro-deregulation and pro-growth politician. 

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WisdomTree / Macro Alerts 02 Oct 2017

Can you find quality companies in every sector?

WisdomTree
In what may be the late stages of a bull market, many investors have flocked to quality. As a factor that may do well on the tail end of rising rates, quality can provide investors with the comfort that if markets turn, at least their money will be in companies with strong balance sheets that can potentially weather the storm better than others. This is one reason we believe the WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth Index, a strategy meant to measure dividend growth and the quality factor among large caps in the US market, has bested the S&P 500 Index by more than 200 basis points (bps) year-to-date through 31 August 2017. 
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Viktor Nossek / Macro Alerts, Fixed Income, Europe / Eurozone 27 Sep 2017

Europe’s “back to normal” leaves safe havens at risk: Should you hedge German Bunds?

Viktor Nossek

The European political uncertainty and risks posed to financial markets are—for now—over. A Liberals-led mainstream coalition in The Netherlands firmly aligned with Germany’s EU agenda and a pro-European President of France upending fringe/extreme sentiment preserves the status quo. Also, Germany’s election in September was largely a non-event with Merkel this year leading early on in the polls and the Social Democrats headed by Martin Schulz as runner up. The far right AFD coming as third largest was the main surprise and will complicate Merkel’s efforts to create and run a coalition government. Italy is unlikely to have its election until 2018.

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Jesper Koll / Macro Alerts, Japan 18 Sep 2017

Japan early election would delay BOJ exit further

Jesper Koll

Japanese media are speculating that PM Abe may call a snap election, possibly as early as October 22. Although the Prime Minister himself has, so far, not commented on these speculations—and it is at the Prime Minister's discretion to dissolve Parliament—my sources suggest a reasonable probability of an early election. If so, the key implication for markets would be an almost certain change in Japan's macro policy mix: the probability of taxes going up in 2019 would rise, which in turn raises the odds that the BOJ will have to do more for longer to ensure against the inevitable recession that has always followed consumption tax hikes.

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WisdomTree / Macro Alerts, Emerging Markets 18 Sep 2017

Is your emerging markets allocation complete?

WisdomTree

Emerging market (EM) equities sold off sharply following the election of Donald Trump last November, perhaps owing to the protectionist rhetoric and tough trade talk from the president-elect. With that, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 4.2% in the final quarter of 2016, breaking a streak of four consecutive positive quarters.

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Jesper Koll / Macro Alerts, Japan 15 Sep 2017

Japan's tourism boom to bring growing political support for Yen depreciation

Jesper Koll
The boom in Japan’s inbound tourism is arguably the most tangible success story of “Abenomics”. Propelled by a steady stream of visa rule deregulation that started right in the first week of “Team Abe” moving into the Prime Ministers’ office in December 2012, inbound tourist arrivals have risen almost four-fold, from a 2012 monthly average of 697,000 to 2.6 million recently.1 In terms of money spent, since 2012 inbound tourist spending has accounted for the equivalent of 16% of the growth in consumer spending (excluding spending on rent).2 Although the absolute amount of tourist spending is still small at less than 1.5%3 of all consumption, its exceptional growth rate has had a most positive impact on domestic Japan, with especially high positive multipliers for regional economies.
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WisdomTree / Macro Alerts, Equities, Europe / Eurozone, Small Cap 31 Aug 2017

Why you can't afford to miss European small caps

WisdomTree

After getting past a variety of elections—most notably the French presidential election—without anti-market sentiment spreading throughout Europe, we have seen a relatively large shift in equity market performance. Fundamentals within Europe were allowed to drive performance as opposed to equity markets needing to be wary of Brexit or Trump-like election surprises.

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Nizam Hamid / Education, Equities, Europe / Eurozone 30 Aug 2017

How to use ETPs to manage equity risk

Nizam Hamid
Equity markets, as represented by MSCI Europe and the Euro STOXX 50, have generally followed positive trends reaching multi-year highs in the middle of May this year. At the same time investors have been faced with a benign environment in terms of volatility. This has been the case for both realised volatility that has remained at low levels, and Euro STOXX 50 Implied Volatility that has only recently drifted higher on the back of rising geopolitical tensions. The European macro-economic backdrop for equities has remained positive with a renewed focus on stronger underlying growth, and limited political risk compared to the first part of 2017. However, as recent market events have shown there is every reason for investors to consider efficient tools to help manage overall portfolio risk.
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Jesper Koll / Macro Alerts, Japan 23 Aug 2017

Japan GDP—into the sweet spot

Jesper Koll

The April-June GDP report suggests that the Japanese economy has entered into a sweet spot, with growth accelerating and broadening into all components of domestic demand. While the 4% annualised GDP growth rate marks peak slingshot acceleration, the details of the report fully verify our thesis that Japan has entered a self-sustaining domestic demand-led up-cycle. Looking ahead towards 2018/19, we maintain our call for 2-2.5% real GDP growth (and 3-3.5% nominal GDP growth). For policy makers, the margin for error on Yen strength is eroding quickly. Specifically, the Japan sweet spot is marked by the following factors.

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Nizam Hamid

ETF Strategist

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.

Viktor Nossek

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

Research Analyst

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.

Jose Poncela

Head of ETNs

Jose is Head of ETNs for WisdomTree in Europe and is responsible for managing WisdomTree’s Boost ETP platform and products. Prior to joining Boost/WisdomTree as a founding employee in 2012, Jose held positions as a structurer of strategic equity transactions at UBS and Nomura and qualified as an attorney working for a major US law firm. He holds an MBA from London Business School, Master in Laws from Fordham University in New York and legal and business degrees from Spanish universities.

Jesper Koll

WisdomTree's Head of Japan

Jesper Koll was appointed Chief Executive Officer of WisdomTree Japan on July 1, 2015. Over the past two decades Jesper has been consistently ranked as one of the top Japan strategists/economists, working as Chief Strategist and Head of Research for major U.S. investment banks J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch. His analysis and insights have earned him a position on several Japanese government advisory committees and Jesper is also one of the few non-Japanese members of the Keizai Doyukai, the Japan Association of Corporate Executives. He has written two books in Japanese, Towards a New Japanese Golden Age and The End of Heisei Deflation. After arriving in Japan in 1986 Jesper initially worked as an aide to a Member of Parliament. Jesper has a Masters degree from the School of Advanced and International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and was a research fellow at both Tokyo University and Kyoto University. He is a graduate of the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific.

Vania Pang

Capital Markets and Investment Solutions, Index and Quantitative Investment, ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management (International) Company Limited

Ms. Pang is responsible for Capital Markets and Investment Solutions functions of the Index and Quantitative Investment department at the ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management (International) Company Limited. From 2012 to 2016, Ms. Pang was the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development, Asia Coal Limited, where she led the strategic mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and investor relations management. Prior to that, she was the Associate Director, Business Development of Crown One Asset Management Company Limited, responsible for sales and marketing of fund products. Between 2007 and 2008, Ms. Pang was Assistant Manager, Public Distribution Hong Kong (Equity Derivatives and Private Investor Product Sales) of RBS, handling sales and marketing of listed equity derivatives products. Before joining RBS, she was an anchor and reporter with the Cable TV and Hong Kong Economic Journal.

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. 

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