Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Hey Nikkei, it's so fine

Or something. I don't know what's going on. 'What's this, boss?' I don't know. Just a PR email. 'Oh. Who from this time? Jinksy?' No, Voice. Jinksy ain't interested in the Nikkei, is he? 'Who from then?' Coutts. 'I beg your pardon?!' Coutts, Voice. Coutts. 'Oh, right. Those guys again.' Yes. It's the weekly update, which is a bit strange, because I haven't had an update from them in months. That Joanna better up her game. / Anyway ...

The Japanese boom

Japan's Nikkei 225 Index recently hit a 25-year high, recorded 16 straight days of rises and saw a 19% lift between September and November. Third quarter earnings growth in the country is running more than twice as fast as the US.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's solid election win last month cemented continuity in fiscal and monetary policy, the economic environment is favourable and showing sturdy growth, and inflation - while still not near the country's 2% target - is positive and heading in the right direction.

We have liked Japan for some time at Coutts and continue to see it as an under-appreciated market. We see a strong earnings outlook and attractive valuations compared to other developed markets.

Okay, okay, not an endorsement, you understand, dear reader(s). Make of it what you will. Maybe Coutts know what they're talking about, and maybe they don't. 'Well, what's your opinion, boss? Do you like Japan?' Well, er ... I suppose I still like the Quiet Life album, but not really, man. 'What about Exorcising Ghosts - ?!' Yeah, that's a good compilation album. The thing is, David Sylvian would have a higher reputation as a songwriter if he weren't so pretentious. I mean, a song like Nightporter should be considered an all-time classic, but it ain't because Sylvian just ruins it, by being himself, like. 'That's harsh.' Well, it's just my opinion. Ask Coutts. See what they say about it. / Okay -

Happy anniversary CMAF

This month we celebrate five years since the launch of the Coutts Multi-Asset Funds (CMAF) which have grown from a £500m initial investment to £2bn under management. Much has happened in the funds' lifetime so far. There has been a crisis in Europe, a 75% drop in the oil price, fears that China would topple the global economy and the EU referendum. The funds have navigated these events well. In some cases we held our nerve, in others we found opportunities. An example of this came in 2012 in the aftermath of the European economic crisis - a time when Italy was enduring a scandal relating to its then prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. We took a contrarian view - one of our investment principles - and made long-dated Italian bonds one of CMAF's initial holdings. We still hold such bonds in the funds today.

Oh, they're promoting their own stuff now. There's no harm in it. Promotion is what makes the world go round! 'And a-ROUND, boss!' No, not a-ROUND. That's something else. 'Will you be writing a conceptual today?' You bet your ass I will!


Anything else? Why do you always want something else? You're insatiable! There's nothing else, reader(s).