ECONOMY

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Hu-Gang Tong puts China on path to strong capital market

SHANGHAI | By Qi Bing via Caixin | The smooth opening of the Hu-Gang Tong, the Shanghai-Hong Kong bourse linkage, marked the entrance of the Chinese capital market to a new era and was a major global event. It follows on progress China has made in opening up its markets after joining the World Trade Organization, and will hopefully greatly boost the country’s economic and social reforms in the years to come.


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Dollar strength means… remarkably little in the real world

ZURICH | UBS analysts | The recent general strength of the dollar has a bearing on commodity prices, clearly. Commodities are universally priced in dollars, and as homogenised products dollar appreciation should lead to a decline in commodity prices in dollar terms. However, the strength of the dollar against sterling (in 2008/9) or against the yen (sporadically since 2012) did not lead to UK or Japanese exporters cutting the dollar price of their manufactured products or services. 


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How would broader ECB QE impact the UK?

LONDON | UBS analysts | UBS expects the ECB to widen its asset purchase programme to include corporate, parastatal and sovereign bonds on 5 March 2015. Our base case is for €1 trillion of sovereign bond purchases to be undertaken over a two-year time horizon. In this note, we examine how a broadening of the ECB’s QE programme is likely to impact the UK economy and sterling-denominated asset classes.


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M&A likely to remain a feature of 2015

ZURICH | UBS analysts | In addition to setting out our thoughts by sub-sector (capex, mobile devices, semis), we outline themes and stock specific catalysts for 2015, including a review of potential M&A and possible hikes in cash returns. We also highlight each stock’s investment drivers (positive and negative) through 2015. In general we see another robust year for semi capex, softer telecom capex (but stable vendor revenue), ongoing strong growth in low end smart-phones, a medium-term inventory correction in analog semis (with solid underlying trends), and the continuing emergence of mobile payments. 


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Falling oil price: 4 wins for Germany

ZURICH | UBS analysts | We see 4 wins for Germany in a backdrop of falling oil prices
1) German equity market is not exposed to Oil & Gas earnings. 2) While our Oil & Gas analysts expect energy capex to fall by 10% (which could hurt a cyclical Germany), the overall fall to European capex is < 3%. Plus capex is already at a 23 year low – can it get much worse? 3) Our economists think lower oil triggers sovereign-based QE given their view it pushes CPI even lower than Tuesday’s 0.3%.


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The new ‘growth package’ from the EU

By Peter Lundgreen via Caixin | Last week, China’s biggest export destination, the European Union established a new growth package. The desired size of a new investment fund is 315 billion euros, and it will be called the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). During a period of three years, new investments financed by the fund are expected to lift annual GDP growth in the EU by 0.7 percentage points. The calculations from the EU show that the package can create between 1 million and 1.3 million new jobs.


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Global Banks Outlook 2015: A year of diverging interest rates

ZURICH | By UBS analysts | We have a neutral stance on global banks as we look to 2015. Given a modest recovery in global growth in 2015E, credit demand is expected to remain sluggish while the margin outlook is likely to be mixed, reflecting diverging policy rate trends. We expect to see good cost control as banks strive for greater efficiency while overall asset quality should remain stable albeit picking up in emerging markets. While earnings momentum has been negative this year, we think current valuations are fair, with the sector trading on 10.1x PE and 1.0x PBV versus a sector ROE of 12.4%, on our 2015 estimates.


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A hundred-year stagnation? For who?

By Alberto Forchielli via Caixin | The creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a necessary objective. Anyone who travels in the Far East finds confirmation of the desperate lack of efficient networks. With the exception of Japan and other developed economies, countries see their ambitions reduced by chronic underdevelopment. How can we forcefully industrialize agrarian countries if the goods produced are not transported on paved roads, via trucks, for eventual export?

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Deflation: John Cochrane defiantly takes on economic history

SAO PAULO | By Benjamin Cole via Marcus Nunes‘ Historinhas | As I predicted, the right-wing has gone past its fixation on absolutely dead prices as an economic cure-all and moral imperative, to the even-better nirvana of…deflation. I wish I was making this up. But comes now University of Chicago scholar John Cochrane, path-breaking with stalwart allies such a FOMC member Charles Plosser, that deflation is an economic elixir, not a sign of stagnation. Cochrane authored a recent The Wall Street Journal op-ed genuflecting to southerly price drifts. I just don’t get it.


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Bond purchase: A signal of coming collapse

VIENNA | By Keith Weiner via Truman | I proposed seven drivers of financial implosion in my dissertation. My recent writing has focused on two of them. One is the falling rate of interest on the 10-year government bond. As interest falls, the burden of debt rises. Since the falling rate incentivized more and more people to borrow, the number of indebted people, businesses, corporations, and of course governments is large. When the rate gets to zero, the burden of debt becomes theoretically infinite.