Loftie started his career as an engineer and moved into asset management in 1994 as an industrial analyst with the Mines Pension Fund. He joined ABSA Asset Management in 1998 as an analyst and later managed the ABSA General Equity Fund. He later became a senior portfolio manager at Huysamer Capital Investments. In 2006, he joined Umbono Fund Managers, an OMIGSA boutique, as a quantitative fund manager before being promoted to CIO of the boutique. Loftie joined Metropolitan Asset Managers in Feb 2010 as the head of absolute strategies and was appointed portfolio manager for Absolute Return Funds at Momentum Asset Management in 2011.
Imtiaz started at ABSA Consultants & Actuaries in Oct 1996 where he was responsible for the management/booking of national pension funds. He joined the Momentum Group in Jul 2000 as a dealingsupervisor and was also involved in the planning and management of fund mergers. Imtiaz joined Momentum Asset management in Jun 2004 as a pricing analyst. In Mar 2006 he became the assistant to theportfolio manager and joined the investment team in Nov 2008 as a portfolio manager and research analyst.
Momentum Optimal Yield comment - Jun 14
Global economic conditions appear to be on the mend, but risks to the outlook remain. In support of the pedestrian global recovery, key central banks have kept ultra-low monetary policy rates in place, which have, in turn, fuelled record stock market highs. Going forward, global equities are expected to be supported by accelerated earnings momentum, low inflation and fair to cheap valuations. Global fixed-income returns are expected to face headwinds as the US Federal Reserve tapers its asset purchases and, ultimately, raises interest rates in 2015. South African (SA) equity valuations, which are not supported by underlying developed-market fundamentals, look expensive, which is likely to cause some underperformance.
While we expect more consistent growth in key developed regions, we see downside risks to the emerging market (EM) outlook given sluggish global trade activity and relatively weak domestic demand conditions. In the run-up to higher rates in the US, tighter financial conditions could further become a problem for countries, including SA, that remain highly dependent on foreign capital to fund their large external deficits.
Domestic labour unrest poses further risks to SA's economic outlook. Whereas significant growth downgrades are likely preventing a steeper interest rate profile at this stage, the need to anchor inflation expectations at a lower level and unusually-low real policy rates necessitate further rate increases. We expect a 50-basis points hike in July, to be followed by a further 25 basis points in November and March, downwardly biased on growth concerns.
The Momentum Optimal Yield Fund ended the quarter with 86.9% hedged equity exposure, 2.8% unhedged equity and 10.3% cash. Over the quarter, the fund returned 1.21%, 6.04% over one year, 4.42% per annum over three years and 4.53% per annum over five years. STeFI Call Deposit, the fund's benchmark, returned 1.29%, 4.91%, 4.99% per annum and 5.47% per annum over the respective periods.
Relative to the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index, the fund is: o Overweight the resources sector, while maintaining the underweight exposure to gold and iron ore shares. o Marginally underweight the industrials sector, while maintaining the underweight exposure to food retail companies within the sector.
- Underweight the financial sector, while maintaining the overweight position in selective banking shares.
We continue to hold the overweight position in diversified resource shares as the valuations remain attractive. We increased the holding of Aspen Pharmacare during the quarter to an overweight position. Aspen is in line with local hospitals on a valuation basis with better growth prospects. We also reduced the holding in Naspers on the back of the strong performance in the share price, but remain overweight the stock. The top-five overweight share exposures are:
- Aspen Pharmacare Holdings - British American Tobacco - Vodacom - Old Mutual - Steinhoff
The top-five underweight share exposures are:
- SABMiller - AngloGold Ashanti - Woolworths - Richemont - Barclays Africa
The Momentum Optimal Yield Fund is a conservatively managed market-neutral equity portfolio and the investment policy followed by the manager will focus on outperforming the portfolio's benchmark with low
volatility and little correlation to the movements of the underlying market. The fund offers the potential for measured additional yield in excess of cash with low volatility of returns.