INVESTING IN THE EAST
Societe Generale launched 51 new covered warrants at the start of this month. Now investors can trade call and put warrants on Hong Kong’s stock index the Hang Seng, the Nasdaq 100 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index. The Hang Seng has been fairly volatile this year and remains below the recent highs reached in January. If investors believe that global growth will continue to shift eastwards then Hong Kong stocks will look attractive. But for those who want a more developed world portfolio the bank is also offering covered warrants on Google and Citibank.
FUNDS KEEP FLOWING TO BANKS
Banking sector ETFs experienced the largest inflows in the last week of March compared with other funds tracking the STOXX 600 global and European equity indices, according to BlackRock, the fund management firm. Banks attracted $158.9m at the end of March and have attracted the highest inflows since the start of the year. Strangely, while telecommunications funds received the second largest inflows at the end of March, they have received the largest net outflows since the start of the year. BlackRock has noted that the utilities sector has also had net outflows.
NEW ETFS LAUNCHED IN GERMANY
Lyxor Asset Management launched six new funds on Frankfurt’s Xetra exchange at the end of last month. Four are equity ETFs and two track bond indices. The equity ETFs track the MSCI real estate indices, which includes companies with real estate interests in Asia-ex Japan, Europe, the US and global real estate markets. The bond indices include the EuroMTS AAA Government index, which tracks triple-A-rated European government debt. The European Central Bank is expected to keep rates low for an extended period, which bodes well for bond prices.