Trésor SCI Equity Fund - Mar 19
The first Quarter of 2019 offered some welcome relief following a very testing year, with equities globally showing significant returns in Rand terms. Not only did markets in general do well, our funds fared admirably compared to peers. The restructure of our funds is now more or less complete, and we believe the cost savings (even though not officially showing as a result of calculation methodology), optimisation and risk management incorporated, should continue to benefit our clients.
It was bit of a roller coaster ride towards the end of the quarter, when early in March SA growth asset gains seemed to reverse on the back of a Turkish lira sell-off, due to unfriendly government interventions in the foreign exchange market. This was dissipated by a late month recovery driven by dual listed shares in the Industrial and Resources sectors, as the rand weakened sharply against several currencies, the JSE All Share Equity Index ended the Quarter 8% up, just about wiping out all losses from the prior year.
The major driver behind volatility in local markets has been load shedding, which was at stage 4 prior to Moody's credit rating announcement that was supposed to happen at the end of March, but never did. Global growth concerns also contributed to Rand Volatility, and an increased fuel levy combined with elevated oil prices resulting from supply cuts, will cause inflationary pressures and paints a bleak outlook for local economic growth.
However, bleak this might sound, at current valuations it mostly seems to be in the price, with upside potential outweighing the possibility of a major crash in growth asset markets. The national election later in the year is likely to drive markets going forward, barring any new news or shocks. Although calling the timing of a major correction is practically impossible, one needs to be exposed to part take, and thus stomaching some volatility should be well rewarded over time.
Global market movements followed a similar path as SA, initially weakening in March as the Fed hinted that the rate decision in December was a mistake, but subsequent dovish comments and positive developments in talks between the US and China which has come to be know as 'Trade Wars', saw markets making a late month recovery.
Going forward, market moving news will likely still be dominated by Brexit uncertainty and the on again off again trade war talks. Contagion to other Emerging markets such as South Africa is unavoidable, so we can expect to continue seeing large market movements locally on the back of this. One would think an unfavourable outcome on Brexit is already priced into the UK markets, but it will undoubtedly show volatility at times of new developments regardless.
The portfolio will invest in assets in liquid form and in shares, across all economic groups and industry sectors of the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa as well as across the range of large, mid and smaller cap shares and such other financial instruments as may be permitted by prevailing regulations. The investment manager will also be allowed to invest in listed and unlisted financial instruments (derivatives) as allowed by the Act from time to time in order to achieve its investment objective.
The Manager shall be permitted to invest on behalf of the portfolio in offshore investments as legislation permits. Apart from the above, the portfolio may also invest in participatory interests of portfolios of collective investment schemes registered in the Republic of South Africa or of participatory interests in collective investment schemes or other similar schemes operated in territories with a regulatory environment which is to the satisfaction of the Manager and the Trustee of a sufficient standard to provide for investor protection which is at least equivalent to that in South Africa.