Bond yields hit record lows; but a rate cut is not a done deal

New Zealand government stock yields fell to record low levels across all maturities last week, as the Reserve Bank acknowledged the weaker global economic outlook and the ensuing risks to the domestic economy. We think:

The economy has slowed but is still growing.
Bond yields appear to be pricing in a recession, which seems unlikely.
Rate cuts in New Zealand are not a done deal.
The decline in yields has been dramatic this ye...

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Mark Brown | Posted on Apr 1, 2019

Capital Gains Tax: Unanswered questions for managed funds and KiwiSaver

Key pointsWe don’t know yet which measures suggested by the Tax Working Group will be adopted by the Government. There is still a lot of water to go under the bridge.
The proposed capital gains tax makes investing in New Zealand and Australian share markets less attractive, yet there is no proposed change to the tax regime for other share markets.
While managed funds like KiwiSaver will be required to calculate their tax bill ...

Chris Di Leva & Andrew Bascand | Posted on Mar 27, 2019

Slowing but still growing

Key points

  • Share markets continued their new year rally, aided by positive noises from trade negotiations and further dovish rhetoric from the US Federal Reserve (the Fed)
  • Economic data released during the month continue to portray lower economic activity, especially in Europe and China, though China has looked to combat this through a range of stimulatory measures
  • Domestically, the economic outlook is continuing to soften, though at this point, the transition appears to be from strong to moderate growth, with risks to the downside
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Harbour team | Posted on Mar 8, 2019

Banks: Increased capital requirements to change the landscape

A material lift in bank capital is on the cards.
If implemented it is likely to result in a combination of higher lending rates, lower deposit rates and potentially lower returns on equity.
The landscape of lending markets is also likely to change, with Australian banks becoming more discerning about the volume of lending to low return sectors and we may see the emergence of non-bank lenders.
The proposal by the Reserve Bank o...

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Andrew Bascand | Posted on Mar 1, 2019

Responsible investing extends beyond a green label

Contact Energy has announced its intentions to raise capital via a “green bond”.  

A green bond is a debt security that has been verified to be backing assets, or projects, that have positive environmental or climate change benefits. 

Green bonds can bring societal benefits by facilitating funding for projects with positive environmental impacts. Just as credit ratings indicate the likelihood of a bond defaulting, the green ...

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Simon Pannett | Posted on Feb 15, 2019
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Three things the Equity Risk Premium is telling us about investment markets

One of the key decisions that investors must make is how much to respectively allocate to equities and bonds. This decision is made in the knowledge that over time equities have generated superior investment returns. Compensation for the additional volatility, the additional return equities earn over bonds is known as the Equity Risk Premium (ERP). The ERP, while persistent over the long term, varies over the short to medium term, with the direction of the variance having broad implications for investment portfolios.  

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Chris Di Leva | Posted on Feb 12, 2019

Harbour Outlook: Fed Pause Party

Global equity markets rebounded strongly in January, led by the S&P 500 which had its strongest January since 1987. The sharp recovery in risk appetite reflected more dovish statements from the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) which is now expected to pause its interest rate hiking cycle until the cross currents of slowing global growth, market volatility and “tightened” financial conditions pass. A better than expected kick off to the US earnings season further whetted investors’ appetite towards risk assets...

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Harbour Team | Posted on Feb 8, 2019

Australian Royal Commission: Final report shakeup

After a year long review the Hayne Royal Commission (RC) into Misconduct in Financial Services has laid out recommendations. This reshaping of the financial services industry has significant implications and received strong political support, ahead of a likely election by 18 May 2019. It is possible that the Labor Party may have a harsher interpretation of potential changes than the RC recommends.

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Andrew Bascand, Simon Momich | Posted on Feb 5, 2019

RBNZ banking rules shaping credit markets

Changes to banking rules are set to have a meaningful impact on New Zealand’s fixed interest market in 2019:

A proposed rule forcing banks to hold more equity capital will make the banking sector more stable, however, it will come with a raft of second-round impacts. Chief among those will be the impact on banks’ willingness to lend. This is what we are watching most closely;
Separately, we may see an explicit preference for ...

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Simon Pannett | Posted on Feb 1, 2019
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New Zealand equity market debt trends

One of the driving factors behind the global financial crisis (GFC) was high levels of company debt. High leverage and lower earnings coverage of interest costs heightened risk in the US equity market. Recently published research by a global investment bank[i]  suggests that US company debt levels may be creeping up again. But are we seeing the same thing happen in New Zealand?

Research by Harbour indicates that the median N...

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Andrew Bascand, Shane Solly | Posted on Jan 28, 2019