Trip Report London March 2018

If you would like to receive the entire Trip Report, including the Manager Reports of the 10 visited funds, please drop an email to Markus Moser (mm@cb-partners.com).

The trip to London focussed on multi-manager funds, macro / trading funds and alternative risk premia funds

Multi-manager funds have proven themselves to be alternatives to fund of hedge funds because of their diverse nature and centralized risk management while size, culture and risk framework are differentiating factors

Macro / trading hedge funds view the sharp sell-off in February mostly as technical or behavioural in nature as macro-economic fundamentals did not warrant the speed and magnitude of the market’s reaction

Hedge funds reduced directionality across all strategies, as gross and net exposures have come off recent highs, while the outlook is more muddled, mostly due to policy and geo-political uncertainty on the rise

Alternative beta is gaining traction as a less costly way to access alternative risk premia, which have academically been an element of certain hedge fund strategies

 

 

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Trip Report New York November 2017

If you would like to receive the entire Trip Report, including the Manager Reports of the 19 visited funds, please drop an email to Markus Moser (mm@cb-partners.com).

Summary:

Most managers are trimming their equity exposures as the current rally is pushing valuations to high levels and it becomes easier to find attractive shorts

USD 1.5 trillion bond supply will have to be absorbed by private investors in 2018 which will lead to higher yields and a steeper yield curve

Short-term interest rates in the US should be 300 basis points higher compared to previous cycles, but this may not happen this time as the governments remain the largest debtors

Long-term interest rates however will be driven higher by up-trending inflation numbers which will also support higher commodity prices

Convertible bonds had a difficult time in the extreme low volatility environment of 2017, but could revive in a more volatile 2018

Geopolitical tensions are increasing in the Middle East, but also between Russia, China, Europe and the USA on trade issues

The USD is expected to strengthen on an inflation surprise that can be expected in 2018, but will longer-term weaken based on strongly increasing debt deficits in the coming years

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Trip Report Hong Kong November 2017

Deregulation creates plenty of new opportunities in China, Hong Kong, India, and Japan (such as the Connect stock trades; the opening of the domestic bond market in China; the introduction of single stock futures in India; or the focus on shareholder value in Japan, etc.)

Dispersion in Asian stocks is on average about 1’000 bps higher than in developed markets and MiFID II will further reduce research coverage of small and mid caps, favouring active managers with stock picking skills

The current market environment in China is very conducive for stock pickers, as dispersion is high, industries are consolidating and the economy is reflating, while national champions are being created

Environmental protection is a top priority of the Chinese government and has shifted the focus from growth to environmental concerns and capacity rationalization, promising a better structural balance in various sectors and leading to a reflationary momentum in the economy

Despite the recent equity market rally Chinese stocks still offer decent upside return over the medium term, as market’s equity premium continues to be high by historical standards and markets have not yet fully factored in the potential fruits from structural reforms and the trend to better capital discipline and usage

China is now opening up the domestic bond markets to foreign investors who will, initially, primarily target high quality bonds and, possibly, “fallen angels”, but not yet high yield bonds as long as liquidity does not improve and regular defaults do not create forced sellers and dislocations

If you would like to receive the entire Trip Report, including the Manager Reports of the 13 visited funds, please drop an email to Markus Moser (mm@cb-partners.com).

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Conference Trip Report Toyko Oktober 2017

Well organized and well attended conference with 65 hedge funds presenting and 150 investors attending.

Shinzo Abe’s re-election was very welcomed by the markets, as the Nikkei gained 16 days in a row – the longest streak ever – and reached a 26-year high.

Since Abenomics started, most of the stock market advance has been driven by earnings growth while multiples have contracted.

Japanese companies are adopting a more investor friendly western style approach with a strong focus on profitability and return on equity.

There are very strong secular growth opportunities in Japan that can be found in the small and mid-cap space.

The re-election of President Xi Jinping at the recently concluded 19th Party Congress bodes well for a continuation of reform in the Chinese economy.

The Chinese government re-emphasized its commitment to focus on the quality of economic growth, reform the state-owned sector, continue to open up the economy, invest in innovation and combat pollution and climate change.

If you would like to receive the entire Trip Report, including the Manager Reports of the 19 visited funds, please drop an email to Markus Moser (mm@cb-partners.com).

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Trip Report New York September 2017

The imminent balance sheet reduction and the rate normalization process by the Fed will usher in a new interest rate and volatility regime, while synchronized global growth, strong corporate earnings and the prospects of a meaningful U.S. tax reform keep equity markets afloat for now

The Fed will be facing an unpleasant choice if tax reform, fiscal spending, deregulation, increasing funding costs and higher commodity prices create inflation on the back of an U.S. economy running at full employment

We are in the later stages of the credit cycle and spreads in HY bonds are approaching all-time tights, driven by a relentless hunt for yield, pushing more investors in riskier and less liquid assets with asymmetrical risk/reward profiles

High yield and distressed managers are struggling in this environment, as shorting nearly anything in credit has been difficult this year

U.S. equity managers are constructive, as the global macro backdrop looks good, tax reform will happen, earnings and consumer spending are up, wage growth is muted, and markets are not excessively overvalued at 18x earnings

Biotech managers are upbeat about their sector, as the pace of innovation remains high, outflows have stopped, valuations are attractive (below the S&P 500 level), while the new head of the FDA is very accommodative and M&A activity is picking up

Technology managers are excited about the confluence of trends and the disruptive impact that they will have on almost all industries, creating a universe of secular winners and losers, even though some managers are concerned about valuations and investment behavior (“buy the dips”)

If you would like to receive the entire Trip Report, including the Manager Reports of the visited funds, please drop an email to Markus Moser (mm@cb-partners.com).

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Trip Report London September 2017

Most managers are cautious about equities as the current rally is pushing valuations to dangerous levels

CTAs are very long the equity markets meaning it would not take much to see a meaningful correctio

Some managers are convinced that fixed income is in a topping process and will re-price to higher yields in the not too distant future

Financials have reached a tipping point in Europe and would benefit from rising interest rates

The outlook for electricity is fast improving and we could see further tightening of power prices in 2018

The Republicans are under immense pressure to come up with a tax reform ahead of the mid-term election in 2018 and some compromise is likely to be reached by the end of this year

More interest rate hikes are expected in the US which will support the USD, but the EUR will probably hold the 1.15 level

If you would like to receive the entire Trip Report, please drop us an email mm@cb-partners.com

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Trip Report Singapore Mai 2017

The business sentiment for Asia is positive as the region is growing fast and the debt problem is currently not a concern

In 2017, China appreciated its currency against the USD in order to avoid increased pressure from the US and prevent further capital outflows

The Chinese government adjusted very quickly to the new US policy and was able to get out of the crossfire

China will re-shuffle their Politburo in October 2017 and will do anything to keep the economy strong and markets calm until thenIn Japan, GDP growth is robust, wage growth is accelerating due to a labor shortage and consumption is picking up

The ASEAN region is still at an early development stage and could do very well over the coming 10 years with Vietnam as its most promising member currently

Most managers are quite cautious as some market correction is overdue, the geopolitical risks are under appreciated and the central banks will reduce their market support in due course

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Trip Report London June 2017

After the Election …Is before the Brexit Negotiations

 

 

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Trip Report New York March 2017

- The popular Trump reflation trade (long USD and short rates) has reversed this year, as the Trump administration failed to deliver on its growth agenda
- The resilience of equities is remarkable and brings back the memories of the late ‘90s – this year, five tech stocks have added USD 600 bn of market cap and accounted for more than 50% of Nasdaq 100’ performance
- Equity PMs are cautiously optimistic and not increasing their risk exposures until there is more clarity on the policy front
- Credit PMs are still capitalizing on the aftermath of the HY energy crisis and are also increasingly diversifying into less liquid special situations
- The ultra-low yield environment has made volatility selling very popular and also vulnerable if markets suddenly fall through support levels
- The compression of volatility has caused many options arbitrage and quant equity strategies to underperform this year
- Valuations have become very stretched and the current Shiller P/E is trading at levels not seen since the dotcom bubble while at the same time the Fed is hiking rates and considering to unwind its balance sheet

If you would like to hear more about our managers, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Trip Report London March 2017 inlcuding Energy Megatrends

Executive Summary

- The business sentiment for Europe is very positive and growth is picking up across almost everywhere

- Global growth has synchronized and appears to be steady on the one side, political risks have risen on the other side

- The new government in France is mandated to revitalize the economy and create jobs mainly for the younger population where unemployment rates are the higest

- The global debt problem is unsolved and the initiatives in the USA and France will not result in lower government debt any time soon

- Opportunities in the financial and energy sectors arise in Europe with a broader recovery and an increased environmental awareness

- The Fed will keep hiking their short-term interest rates and Europe will need to taper their bond buying program in 2018

- Short-term USD strength is still possible, but buying EUR in weakness will be profitable medium-term

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