News & Publications

Africa Market and Lombard Fund News




Monthly Report- January 2019

27 Feb 2019

Dear Investors

Welcome to 2019. Once again Africa is presenting us with an exciting opportunity – wealth has started to increase and improvements are being made with regulatory frameworks, which is supportive of foreign investment. To outline our strategy for the year, please find our observations and predictions for the major African markets in which we participate.

South Africa

SA is the most mature financial market in Africa. Last years ZAR depreciation has boosted exports, which has stabilised GDP growth and removed the economy from its recession. SA’s recover remains tentative with high levels of corruption and a pending election in May. Our SA exposure remains limited to the international gaming and entertainment company Naspers and British American Tobacco. Both companies are strong rand hedge and have stable earnings through their global businesses.

Read more

2019

Monthy Report- October 2018

19 Nov 2018

Poor investor sentiment left emerging assets strongly underweight in the global basket. Fund redemptions in illiquid markets forced good and bad quality risk assets even lower than last month. However, things are looking up. Reductions in the energy price and some rotation out of US assets have provided support for emerging assets towards the end of the month.

Read more

2018

Monthly Report- May 2018

09 Jul 2018

South Africa

S&P affirmed South Africa’s sub-investment grade credit rating and kept its stable outlook. S&P rates the country’s foreign currency debt ‘BB’ and its local currency debt ‘BB+’. The stable outlook is based on the agency’s view that South Africa’s economic growth would move up over the next year following economic and social reforms undertaken by the new administration. Sentiment has turned positive on South Africa since President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged to undertaken necessary fiscal and economic reforms. Inflation remains in the target range.

Read more

2018

Monthly Report-June 2018

09 Jul 2018

South Africa

Its been a bit of rough sailing this past month, The rand plunged by 9% against the dollar, driven by global risk-off sentiment and poor domestic economic data. However, policymakers have openly stated that they would not act on currency moves until they see a lasting effect on domestic inflation. While the monetary authorities have cautioned for a interest rate hike, the market is not yet pricing one in. This optimism is fuelled by South Africa’s consumer price inflation of 4.4% , which is at the bottom of the acceptable inflation target band. Hence, we may have to wait for inflation to breach the target for a sustainable period before we see any reaction from the central bank

Read more

2018

Monthly Report- April 2018

15 May 2018

South Africa

With the euphoria over the election of a new government lessen, reality about the challenges returned to the South African market. South Africa’s central bank warned that the country’s difficulties to rehabilitate state-owned companies could be a threat to its financial stability. The bank warned about the risk of further credit downgrades. SARB cited governance issues, increasing contingent liabilities and poor liquidity as risks to government finances. Solving the Eskom situation has been flagged by government officials in the past as key to avoid further deterioration. The fund remains alert to these risks, however the underweight position by global funds into South African companies remains. We expect that these funds continue to grow exposure and that this demand will underpin stocks throughout this quarter.

Read more

2018

March-2018

06 Apr 2018

 

South Africa

As corruption charges are brought against ex-president Zuma, South African government debt is upgraded by Moody’s to stable. The agency recognising the early stage steps by the new president to reduce spending, tackle corruption and stabilise the fiscus. We agree with Moody’s actions and have increased our positions in the general industrial South African counters and initiated investments into Banks.

Read more

2018

February 2018

16 Mar 2018

It is a new era for South Africa. Out with president Zuma and In with President Ramaphosa who pledges to reinforce South Africa’s economy and rebuild confidence. It is fair to say that investors believes that the new president is up to the task. On his first day in office the benchmark JSE Top-40 index rose 3.7% while the broader All-share index gained 3.5%, as markets in Africa’s most sophisticated economy gained ground and this was echoed by the fund also as good gains were experienced on the back of the change in government and the ZAR held its gains. The fund has increased positions in diversified industrials to profit from the renewed positive market sentiment

Read more

2018

January 2018

07 Feb 2018

Dear Investors

As January arrived, so did some level of rationality return to investors. Volatility fell as investors digested Decembers aggressive movements. African markets showed mixed performances.

 

In South Africa it is the end of an era, As South Africa said bye to rogue president Zuma. As the new leader of the ruling party is South Africa begins to shift policy towards good governance and fiscal discipline, the relative underweight of South Africa in global investment portfolios has been given attention in the media.

Read more

2018

December 2017 Report

16 Jan 2018

Last month, I warned that December volatility in Africa can test even the most experienced investor. These words proved even more prophetic than I had expected when I wrote the report. The volatility was precipitated by crises and surprises. The result was as roller-coaster event for fund profits.

Read more

2018

Market Buzz- 6th December 2017

06 Dec 2017

US stocks pointed lower as industrial share dragged down the S&P while traders weighed the latest developments in the US tax overhaul.

Industrial metals tumbled, with copper suffering the biggest decline in 3 years with the prospect of slower Chinese demand

 

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 4th December

04 Dec 2017

Asian stock markets were mostly higher on Monday, with U.S. politics in focus. Investors are digesting the U.S. Senate's passage of the tax bill and implications of the guilty plea by President Donald Trump's former U.S. national security adviser. Japan's Nikkei 225 dipped 0.2% to 22,774.38 while South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 % to 2,484.30. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.5 % to 29,230.85 and the Shanghai Composite Index was flat at 3,318.40

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 1st December 2017

01 Dec 2017

Asian stock markets were marginally higher Friday, after an overnight recovery of technology stocks on Wall Street. An agreement among key crude exporting countries to extend oil production cuts also boosted sentiment. Japan's Nikkei 225 was flat at 22,724.11 while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2% to 2,480.42. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.1% to 29,158.26 and China's Shanghai Composite Index lost less than 0.1 % to 3,316.50. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2 % to 5,981.20.

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 29 November 2017

29 Nov 2017

Bitcoin broke the $10,000.00 level for the first time last night and is currently trading at $10,891.00. That is up from just under $1,000.00 in January this year or about1100% higher. How high can it go?

Read more

2017

Monthly Report Oct 2017

29 Nov 2017

After a fantastic start to the month, volatility took hold and the fund went through some rocky waters.  However, as is the nature of African investments, we continue to believe that synchronised global growth led by the US, will continue to drive commodities and the Africa growth story. 

Read more

2017

Market Buzz - 22nd November 2017

22 Nov 2017

Asian stocks rose Wednesday after Wall Street hit new highs ahead of the two-day U.S. break for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5% to 3,427.66 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.7% to 22,579.18. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.9% to 30,087.73 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.6% to 5,996.90.

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 21st November 2017

21 Nov 2017

Stocks in Asia recovered some of their recent losses as traders put on hold concerns about U.S. tax reforms and European political issues in a holiday-shortened week in America. Treasuries were little changed after slipping on Monday.

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 20th November 2017

20 Nov 2017

Asian shares fell in muted trading Monday ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays in the U.S., as gloom carried over from Friday's retreat on Wall Street. Japan reported its exports rose 14 % in October from a year earlier on strong demand from China and the U.S. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.6% to 22,271.35. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2ercent to 5,946.60. South Korea's Kospi dipped nearly 0.2% to 2,529.40. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.1% at 29,186.16, while the Shanghai Composite index dropped 1.2% to 3,341.96. Japan's trade surplus fell more than 40 % in October

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 16 November 2017

16 Nov 2017

 

Asian stock markets were mostly firm and oil prices were steady, despite a second straight day of losses on Wall Street overnight. But analysts said it was too early to say risk sentiment was back after a day of heavy losses in Asia.

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 14th November 2017

14 Nov 2017

Asian shares were mostly lower on Tuesday as markets watched for tax reform developments in the U.S. and digested economic data from China. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 recouped earlier gains to end the morning session at 22,441.24, up 0.3 %. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.9 % to 5,967.50. South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.2 % to 2,524.60

 

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 9th November 2017

09 Nov 2017

 

Japan's stock benchmark surged Thursday to its highest in more than a quarter century on the yen's weakness and healthy corporate earnings while other Asian markets were subdued. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rallied 2 % to 23,368.16, a level it hasn't matched since January 1992. South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.2 % to 2,556.61. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1 % to 29,182.28 but the Shanghai Composite in mainland China crept less than 0.1 % higher to 3,416.32. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.4 % to 6,041.40. Taiwan's benchmark fell and Southeast Asian indexes were mostly higher.

Read more

2017

Monthly Report November 2017

09 Nov 2017

It was an important month for the fund as significant macro events that we have been predicting for most of the year are starting to Materialize. The fund is well positioned to take advantage of mispricing’s in the African Markets.

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 7th November 2017

07 Nov 2017

Asian stocks rose Tuesday after Wall Street posted modest gains. Turmoil in Saudi Arabia sent crude prices surging. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.8percent to 22,729.23 and the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.6percent to 3,406.57. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.9percent to 28,868.82 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.7percent to 5,995.10. Seoul's Kospi shed 0.1percent to 2,547.32. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and Jakarta advanced,

Read more

2017

Market Buzz - 3rd November 2017

03 Nov 2017

Equities in Asia were mixed as investors assessed the latest news on U.S. tax-cut plans and looked ahead to Friday’s American jobs report. The Australian dollar took a hit and bond yields headed lower after retail sales data raised doubts about the strength of the economy. Apple Inc. supported Nasdaq futures after its forecast for holiday sales topped estimates and suppliers of the iPhone maker climbed in Asia.

Read more

2017

Market Buzz - 31st October 2017

31 Oct 2017

Stocks retreated from their record highs on Monday, ahead of a frenetic week for markets. Investors are waiting to learn who the next head of the Federal Reserve will be, what several of the world's biggest central banks will decide on interest rates, and whether Apple and other big U.S. companies can keep piling their profits higher.

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 30th October 2017

30 Oct 2017

Asian stock markets were mixed Monday as investors waited to find out who U.S. President Donald Trump will pick to head the Federal Reserve. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.1percent to 21,995.15 and the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.7percent to 3,392.03. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was flat at 28,448.81. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.3percent to 5,922.20. Seoul's Kospi advanced 0.3percent to 2,502.59 and benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Jakarta also rose.Singapore declined.

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 20th October 2017

20 Oct 2017

  1. Dollar Gains, Treasuries Fall on U.S. Tax Hopes: Markets Wrap N.Z. dollar extends slide after Labour Party forms government.
  2. Yen declines as all eyes turn to Sunday’s Japan election.
Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 19 October 2017

19 Oct 2017

• US stocks pointed slightly higher, with the Dow Jones rising the most in 5 weeks.
• Oil hovered around $52, Gold dropped below $1281 and the Yen traded below 113.

Read more

2017

Market Buzz- 18 October 2017

18 Oct 2017

• US stocks were mixed, while the USD rose against most G10 counterparts on speculation the next Federal Reserve Bank chairman will be more hawkish i.e. favouring higher interest rates in the US.

• President Trump plans to announce his Federal Reserve Bank chairman nominee before he leaves 3 November for an 11-day trip to Asia.

Read more

2017

Market News

12 Oct 2017

Asian shares were mostly higher taking their cue from the latest record highs on Wall Street. Strong earnings growth has supported major stock indexes this year, and some analysts said they expect third-quarter results to continue to outperform expectations. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve signaled its confidence that the U.S. economy was strong enough to support further rate increases. “The Fed minutes indicated a positive outlook on the U.S. economy. That augurs well for global growth,” said Alex Wijaya, head of Southeast Asia for Axicorp Financial Services.

Read more

2017

Monthly Report Sept 2017

10 Oct 2017

It’s been a quiet month in the African Market this month, with very few drivers to influence investors.  While we view periods like this as positive, as it shows that the African Markets are maturing and economies stabilising, but it does not make for very exciting report writing.

Read more

2017

Monthly Report June 2017

14 Jul 2017

Summer vacations are knocking at the door and the feeling was already present on African markets with the vast majority closing the month with optimism.

Read more

2017

Monthly Report May 2017

06 Jun 2017

Macroeconomic stresses continued across the continent this month. 

Read more

2017

Managers Report April 2017

12 May 2017

Most African markets were plagued by volatility this month, as local and international investors attempted to digest macroeconomic stresses.

Read more

2017

U.S. businesses added 263,000 jobs in March

06 Apr 2017

Asia and Australia Asia: markets lower following largest turnaround in US stocks for 14 months.

Read more

2017

Major U.S. stock indexes set records again Tuesday

14 Dec 2016

Asian markets sluggish start largely ignoring Western moves. Overnight Italian banks shone on well received capital raising from UniCredit. DOW closes in on 20,000. Energy led in a delayed reaction to weekend Oil moves and a report by the IEA says if production cuts happen it could wipe out the Oil surplus in the market.

Read more

2016

OPEC agrees to cut oil production

30 Nov 2016

Asian equities rallied the most in three weeks as a deal to cut global oil output lifted energy shares, while evidence of strength in the U.S. economy sank bonds and supported the dollar.

Read more

2016

Compromise Failure for OPEC Officials

29 Nov 2016

Asian stocks fluctuated after a three-day rally as investors adopted a cautious tone ahead of key events from OPEC talks to the U.S. jobs report and Italy’s referendum. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1% after erasing gains earlier in the day. Japan’s Topix index was little changed after a 12-day surge.

Read more

2016

Chinese stocks in Hong Kong headed for a seven-week high

27 Nov 2016

Asian stock markets were mixed Monday after oil prices slid on unease about this week's meeting of OPEC member to discuss possible output cuts. Chinese stocks in Hong Kong headed for a seven-week high as railway companies advanced. A measure of small-cap companies in Hong Kong rose after regulators announced the start date for a trading program between Hong Kong and Shenzhen

Read more

2016

Index Close To New 11 Month High

20 Nov 2016

Asia: Quiet start to Thanksgiving Week in a data light week with Asian indices slightly squeezing higher as EEM outflows halt. On Friday US stocks, slightly lower with DXY 101.39 surge continuing hitting a 13-year.

Read more

2016

15 full tankers off the British coast can't sell their Oil

18 Nov 2016

Asia: markets flat to slightly lower outside Japan on Emerging Market weakness after DXY breakout. Overnight Yellen most hawkish and Dec rate hike pretty much given and says trajectory higher. She also confirmed she will serve out her full term.

Read more

2016

Financials, Energy and Discretionary worst sectors

17 Nov 2016

Asian markets mixed on small moves as turnover in the US shrinks. Overnight deja vu with Financials again lower on Broker downgrades. Telcos higher and FANGs bounces for the second days with AAPL +2.7% on talk of 3 models of the iPhone8. Dark commodities lower following China pm selloff.

Read more

2016

Buffet declares stakes in Delta and American

15 Nov 2016

Asian markets steadier and mixed. Overnight Equities were quieter but DXY topped 100 and is slipping in Asia. US 10y yields touched 2.26% but lower here to 2.20% as bonds now cheapest to equities in a year and a report calling for 2.5% by end 1Q before finishing the year back at 1.355 getting attention. Transports +2% after Buffet declares stakes in Delta and American.

Read more

2016

Donald Trump Victorious

09 Nov 2016

Asian regain all of yesterday’s losses with portfolios being rotated from Yield to Cyclicals. Overnight US stocks closed higher after 1000-point swing intraday on the Dow futures.

Read more

2016

US Election Day

08 Nov 2016

Election Day and Asian markets tread water ahead of the polling booths opening. Latest poll shows Clinton leads by 4 points. Overnight US stocks saw their largest gains in 8 months after Clinton email investigation ends

Read more

2016

FBI Dropping Email Investigation

07 Nov 2016

Asian markets bounce on news this morning that the FBI will be dropping the Clinton email investigation. SPX saw its longest streak of losses for 30 years, closing again lower on Friday, but only -3% has been retraced over that time. Payrolls Friday slightly below but average hourly wages rose increasing the likelihood of a rate hike in December.

Read more

2016

Oil drops to five-week low

04 Nov 2016

Asian markets mixed with some safe haven buying into the large capitalization shares, TSMC, Samsung and China Mobile. Overnight US stocks matched a 20 yr record 8 down days in a row.

Read more

2016

Trump Leading In Latest Polls

02 Nov 2016

Asian markets generally -1% after latest poll shows Trump leading. Overnight US stocks fell but Dow rallied back above 18,000 to halve the losses. Vix +9% surges on poll, but was above 20 at one stage. DXY falls nearly -1% and investors choose Gold and CHF safety

Read more

2016

Managers Report September 2016

01 Oct 2016

To hike or not to hike that is the question...The growing split between the Federal Reserve board of governors and regional central bank presidents on how quickly to raise rates have left investors nervous of future interest rate movements.

Read more

2016

Managers Report August 2016

31 Aug 2016

Last month ended with traders forcing global government bonds to their lowest level in more than three years.

Read more

2016

Managers Report July 2016

31 Jul 2016

The appetite of investors into emerging markets was tested once again this month. To begin the month, the pound fell to its weakest level in three decades against the dollar, surpassing previous lows reached in the aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

Read more

2016

Managers Report June 2016

30 Jun 2016

In our comment last month, we noted that we had three major hurdles to cross. The first was the potential downgrade to Africa’s largest economy. Which, as we predicted resulted in all the ratings agencies keeping their current outlook unchanged. The next time these ratings agencies will take a decision will be in December.

Read more

2016

Brexit

28 Jun 2016

Update on Brexit and global markets part 1

Read more

2016