The UCITS' investment objective is to seek performance through exposure to equity markets, primarily in the Eurozone, by selecting, on a discretionary basis, securities from an investment scope comparable to the MSCI EMU index.
Despite a period of consolidation in which the market doubted President Donald Trump's ability to implement his economic promises after the setback to his healthcare reform, European markets continued to climb in March. Investors seem to have put their doubts about the outcome of the French presidential elections aside given tangible signs of recovery, with, for example, SMIs showing a March composite index at 57 in Germany and even 57.6 in France . While the Federal Reserve decided, as expected, to hike US rates by 25 bps, the ECB took a further step towards tapering, stating that there was no need to reduce rates any further. Note that inflation in the euro zone fell from a four-year high to 2%. Most companies have published earnings reports above market expectations, confirming the acceleration in sales growth and earnings, particularly for cyclical stocks (Adecco, Valeo, Dassault Systèmes, etc). Banking stocks were driven upward in the wake of Intesa after giving up on its proposed acquisition of Generali. The consumer discretionary and technology sectors, top performers since the beginning of the year, have continued to grow. A large number of M&A transactions are still driving the market. Amundi launched a capital increase to finance its buy-out of Pioneer, Peugeot acquired Opel from General Motors, and Standard Life is merging with Aberdeen. AkzoNobel has refused two takeover bids from PPG and has begun procedures aimed at spinning-off its specialty chemicals business. Danone, meanwhile, has pledged to divest its US subsidiary Stonyfield in order to finalise its WhiteWave buyout in the United States. This month we bought Securitas, the world leader in private security. The company is enjoying a structural increase in spending around the world, and growth at its technology division, which includes cameras, drones and detectors, and seems to have been underestimated by the consensus.
(1) The rating grades the funds on a scale from 1 to 7. This rating system is based on the average fluctuations of the net asset value over the past five years. It corresponds to the variation range of the portfolio upwards and downwards. If the net asset value is less than 5 years old, the rating is determined by other regulatory calculation methods. Historical data such as those used to calculate the rating may not be a reliable indication of the future risk profile. The current category is neither a guarantee nor an objective. Category 1 does not signify a risk-free investment.