Bafana Patrick Mathidi is a Founding Member and Head of Equity & Multi Asset Strategies at ALUWANI Capital Partners (Pty)Ltd. Bafana trained as an accountant but is a practicing investment professional in asset management, managing pension and institutional client’s investments. He has over 20 years of industry experience and has been managing Equity portfolios for more than 12 years. His skill set lies in understanding the broader macroeconomic dynamics of financial markets, business models and financial asset valuations. Over this period, he created an investment process that placed the ALUWANI Domestic Equity fund as one of the best performing in South Africa, as rated by Morningstar for 2017.His journey to ALUWANI began in 2007 when Bafana joined RMB Asset management as a senior investment professional from the sell side. Prior to that he spent c. 7 years at Investec Asset Management. Following the merger of RMB Asset Management with Metropolitan in 2011 which resulted in the formation of Momentum Asset Management he took over as lead portfolio manager of the Core Equity, Houseview Balanced and the Optimiser Aggressive Balanced portfolios. In 2012 he was promoted to Head of Equity and remained lead portfolio manager of the equity strategies. In December 2015 following the formation of ALUWANI Capital Partners on the back of a management buyout of Momentum Asset management’s third party institutional asset book Bafana came through as founding member and Head of Equity & Multi Asset.
Momentum Top 25 comment - Jun 14
Global economic conditions appear to be on the mend, but risks to the outlook remain. In support of the pedestrian recovery, key central banks have kept ultra-low monetary policy rates in place, which have, in turn, fuelled record stock market highs.
South African (SA) equities have moved in tandem with robust global bourses, despite faltering domestic growth prospects, as low volatility and SA's large dual-listed component have driven record highs in the equity market, with the SWIX outperforming the rest of the domestic asset classes over the second quarter.
The global economic recovery should see global equities supported by accelerated earnings momentum, low (but positive) inflation, improved shareholder capital returns and fair to cheap valuations. SA equity valuations are expensive (and are not supported by similar underlying developed-market fundamentals) and pose potential for some underperformance.
The FTSE/JSE ALSI gained 6.6% in rands in the second quarter (+7.2% total returns), reaching an all-time high of 51322.7 on 20 June. The best performance came from fixed telecoms (+35.8%), defensive sectors, notably beverages (+17.2%), food producers (+15.5%) and healthcare equipment (+14.2%). Oil and gas (+8.8%) gained from rising oil prices. Cyclical sectors, including industrial metals (-9.7%), platinum (-5.9%), construction (1.6%) and general mining (2.7%) lagged. The best performing stock for the quarter was Telkom, up over 18%, and the worst African Bank, down almost 20%.
The five-month AMCU strike in the platinum sector ended with producers agreeing to a R1 000 per month wage increase for A and B band employees and a 7.5% to 8.0% increase for C band employees. Amplats and Implats expect to reach steady state production in the final quarter of this calendar year (no timeframe has been given by Lonmin). None of the three producers have indicated what 'steady state production' might be and have not ruled out the possibility of restructuring once the ramp-up process is complete. We do not think that a capital raise in the form of a rights issue is imminent. We do, however, believe that there will be material strain on cash holdings as these companies ramp up production to steady state.
The Momentum Top 25 Fund returned 6.90% over the quarter and 38.39% over one year, outperforming the fund's benchmark, the SWIX Top 40 Index, which returned 6.8% and 35.1% respectively. We are very pleased with the fund's absolute and relative performance. The fund is 3/124 and 7/111 funds in the SA-Equity-General sector over one and two years respectively.
We remain cautiously positioned within the equity asset class, largely on the back of valuation levels that appear stretched, in our view. The state of the underlying domestic economy, where growth is likely to disappoint, is not supportive of corporate earnings and waning emerging market risk appetite.
The Aluwani Top 25 Fund is a specialist large cap equity fund with the objective to maximise returns over the FTSE/JSE SWIX 40 at a slightly higher level of risk. The fund will be precluded to a maximum of 25 stocks which can only include the top 50 stocks by market capitalisation on the JSE. The fund offers the investor the potential for long term capital growth.