Harbour Navigator: Is a2 Milk the canary in the coal mine pointing to a Chinese structural slowdown?
Our recent visit to China has changed our view of the structural impediments facing our largest trading partner.
Demographic changes are impacting consumers’ medium-to-long-term outlook of the economy and they are adjusting their spending as a result.
The a2 Milk Company gave us a flavour last month of the impact from deteriorating demographics on the youngest age cohort.
After a multi-year COVID hiatus, we finally...
Harbour Navigator: New Zealand’s weakening export outlook to provide multiple challenges
Slowing global demand, led by a stalling Chinese economy, has seen New Zealand’s commodity export prices fall sharply in recent months.
Weaker export revenues will likely weigh on economic activity, supporting our view that further Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) rate hikes are not necessary and causing a further deterioration in the fiscal accounts that may require additional bond issuance.
Export weakness is also likely...
Harbour Navigator: Decarbonisation progress – more than hot air?
New Zealand’s emissions have not been falling despite the rising number of climate commitments, but there have been some encouraging examples of action from large emitters in the market.
Fletcher Building has developed the country’s lowest carbon cement through substituting coal in the production process with alternative fuels, such as used tyres and construction waste.
Contact Energy is investing significantly in new renewa...
Harbour Outlook: Inflection points for interest rates and earnings?
It was another strong month for equities, with the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) returning 2.0% in New Zealand dollar terms, and 3.2% in New Zealand dollar-hedged terms. Closer to home the S&P/NZX 50 Gross index (with imputation credits) advanced 1.2%, whilst the S&P/ASX 200 Index added 2.9% in AUD terms (and 2.4% in NZD terms).
Globally, returns were strong across all sectors, with energy leading the way at ...
Harbour Navigator: After the inflation peak
Investors should gradually gain confidence in most assets, as pessimism in the outlook for the economy gives way to understanding that highly restrictive monetary policy has done its job.
Despite the range of risks for financial markets, falling inflation has certainly been a positive factor for broad investment returns. Up until recently equity markets have also enjoyed a period of generally better than expected corporate ea...
Harbour Outlook: Is a soft landing really possible?
It was a strong month for global markets. The MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) returned 3.5% in New Zealand dollar terms, and 5.4% in New Zealand dollar-hedged terms. Returns were strong across all sectors, with consumer discretionary standing out at 9.9%. There was a general shift towards cyclical sectors with industrials and materials rounding out the top 3.
Australasian markets also rallied, with the S&P/NZX ...
Investment Horizon: Top 10 risks and opportunities for 2023 – A mid-year reflection
At the risk of jinxing things and, barring a few weeks in March where the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank looked like it could create broader risks for the banking system, the first half of 2023 was relatively uneventful. Particularly when compared to the corresponding periods
in 2020 and 2022.
After a year of negative returns for both bonds and equities, “the scores on the board” look healthier for both. Equities have bou...
Investment Horizon: On the ground in China – the key shifts needed to counter strong bearish sentiment
Senior Research Analyst Øyvinn Rimer presents his noteworthy insights and discoveries from a recent visit to China, where he visited more than 30 companies spanning diverse industries. Despite prevailing pessimism, certain winners emerged, and indications suggest an imminent shift towards a favourable upturn.
China property, prospective policy and iron ore – how low can it go?
After a long four years, we were finally back on ...
Harbour Outlook: AI: the fourth industrial revolution?
The conflict between observed inflation and soft lead indicators for economic activity continues to influence interest rates and economic forecasts. While some central banks may pause from raising rates, the overall balance of risks tilts towards tighter financial conditions. Investments with robust fundamentals and manageable debt levels are preferred in this environment.
It was a weak month for Australasian marke...
Harbour Navigator: Global trends in taxonomies and what it means for New Zealand
Increasingly, countries around the world are developing sustainable finance taxonomies to classify environmentally friendly economic activities and prevent false claims of sustainability (“greenwashing”).
Europe has taken the lead in establishing a green taxonomy, and other countries like Australia are also making progress in this area.
New Zealand is beginning to explore the possibility of implementing its own sustainable...