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K Women Leader’s tips in Paris with Claire Martinetto, Chairwoman of the Board at Ecofi

K Women Leader’s tips in Paris with Claire Martinetto, Chairwoman of the Board at Ecofi

March update

– Recent events this month have challenged the positive scenario that investors were expecting at the beginning of the year. Volatility and noise across markets are bound to continue in the weeks and months ahead. Looking back to February, Global equities lost close to 3% with very contrasting performances across regions (Europe overall positive, USA negative, EM negative,…). On the bonds side, February saw major bond indices gave up some of the recent gains. The Ukraine war marked one year and shows little signs of distension. Overall most funds’ performances were in negative territory for February, nevertheless still positive year to date on the back of a record January.

– On a small positive note, the flow of good news from the hydrogen sector continues unabated: record sales, new projects to produce carbon-free steel using hydrogen, two French groups have signed an agreement to deploy 100 hydrogen stations across Europe. In Spain and Portugal, several green hydrogen production projects have been launched with public or private funding. In Australia, researchers have developed an electrolyser that uses seawater (to date, electrolysers need demineralised water to operate), thus saving freshwater resources and reducing the cost of producing green hydrogen. The hydrogen theme continues to attract more and more investment worldwide, as the transition to a low-carbon world will require huge quantities of green hydrogen.

February update

– 2023 started positively for Fixed Income as the combination of Central Banks tightening policies and the market sell-off generated unique opportunities for investors. On the equities side, the beginning of the year was also marked by a reversal of the trends that prevailed in 2022. All-in, the Nasdaq rose +10.6%, its best performance in January since 2001. Economic data do not point to any imminent major economic weakness, fuelling hopes of a “soft landing” for the global economy.

– Hence all funds in the range returned strong positive performances, from +2,6% to +14,6%.

January update

– Overall, bond indices posted gains in December, with the exceptions of treasuries, concluding a tough year for Fixed Income. International equities markets closed mostly the year in negative territory. Uncertainty around growth, geopolitical conflicts, and the non-negligible risk of a resurgence in COVID cases pose the main challenges to the global outlook for 2023.

– We enter a critical phase after a very positive decade during which firms had the opportunity to strengthen their balance sheets and hoard the necessary resources to navigate through a slowdown of the economy. Given such premises, investors should rely on active managers that can shield the portfolio by selecting fundamentally sound companies and issuers.

– Across our range, 2022 performances was clearly an ‘annus horribilis’. Only the LatAm Equity fund ended the year in positive territory.

K Women Leader’s tips in Paris with Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of A.L.P.

K Women Leader’s tips in Paris with Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of A.L.P.

Wishes for 2023

Wishes for 2023

December update

– Equity markets continued their rebound in November on hopes that the Fed will moderate the pace of rate increases going forward and that China will soon relax its zero covid policy. The Q3 earnings’ season was another positive support as companies managed to release better-than-feared results.

– On the bond side the rapid pace of FED monetary tightening, combined with growth concerns and geo-political turmoil, has led to unprecedented outflows in the space, creating huge volatility and dislocations. These irrationalities provide a fertile soil to buy appealing bonds with a favorable risk/return.

– Across the range, most of the funds returned strong positive performance in November.

– We are preparing the agenda for 2023 and to kick off the year on a positive note, we will be hosting a K Women event in Paris on January 19th with another exceptional European leader

November update

– October saw equity markets’ recovery supported by some less hawkish Fed comments combined with a positive start to the earnings season. On the bonds side, the sell-off slowed with a slight rebound in the High Yield environment. Policymakers are trying to curb inflation by cooling down consumption at the cost of pushing the economies into a recession. Overall across the funds range, performances were positive for the month.

– Client facing activity and roadshows remain limited as investors are still puzzled on the outlook. Portfolio managers were in Monaco and Belgium for presentations and updates. We also hosted a popular K Women event in Paris last week. We are considering 2 new partnerships to join the funds range. More info in due course.

– Despite the latest hot inflation prints, deflationary forces are in motion and markets are showing some positive momentum recently. Is this sustainable and a turning point ? Such an environment requires an active approach, focused on discerning between low and high-quality names, and an adequate compensation for risk. The objective should remain the same: targeting sound countries and companies, keeping in mind that fundamentals, sooner or later, will be again the drivers of price action.

K Women Leader’s tips in Paris with Audrey Koenig, CEO Natixis Wealth Management

K Women Leader’s tips in Paris with Audrey Koenig, CEO Natixis Wealth Management

October update

– Pressure on financial markets showed no intention to ease in September: the sell-off spared no asset class, the MSCI World Index reported a 9% drop, on the bonds side, key indices plummeted by 5 to 8%. Inflation reports strengthened policy makers’ commitment to further raise interest rates. Chinese authorities maintain a more dovish stance, as they need to deal with the economic slowdown. Looking at the Russia-Ukraine war, Russia claimed annexations and the Nord Stream damages resulted in increased level of escalation of the conflict.

– On the back of this, all the funds ended in negative territory for the month. Given the uncertainty that dominates the current environment, market could be expected to remain quite volatile and extremely sensible to news, especially on the War front. However, it is in times like these, when prices severely drift away from fundamentals, that investors can lay the ground for future performance by focusing on the strength of the balance sheets rather than price action. For this reason, relying on active management with a solid bottom-up investment approach and diversification, will be key to generate appealing returns.

 – We organised a webcast on Hydrogen opportunities last month. The Webcast recorded high attendance, confirming the interest in this sector from investors.

– Finally in September we renewed our support to the French charity La Chaîne de l’Espoir, providing medical and surgery support for women and children around the globe (Afghanistan, Haiti, Mali,…).

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