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bonds dominate barcelona debate

It was a packed house at last week’s Expert Investor Europe symposium in Barcelona


Dylan Emery

While a range of asset classes was brought into the debate, fixed income was dominant, with several billion euros of AUM represented in high yield, convertibles and multi-asset.

The mood was buoyant, which reflected our research results – general sentiment has shot up since last year, with around 70% of the room positive about the future (last year 70% were uncertain).

Among fixed income asset classes, investment grade showed the biggest change – diving from 60% of respondents buying and almost none selling last year, to just under 20% buying more, just over 20% buying less – including that crucial flipping of the buyer/seller numbers.

Convertibles on the rise

Meanwhile high yield has kept its popularity, and, perhaps more surprising, convertibles are on the rise. A quarter of the respondents said they don’t use them, but of the rest, 50% are buying, and only 6% selling-off.alt=''

Also interesting was that by far the preferred route to bond market exposure in the room was multi-asset funds. Most of these results continued the pattern seen in Belgium at the end of January but in a more extreme form.

Appetite for Japan

On the equity side, Europe is maintaining its popularity – there are more relative buyers there than for any other major region. While the US has not seen the catastrophic fall from grace that we’ve seen elsewhere in Europe, global emerging and Asian equities definitely have.

A grace note might be Japan – almost 40% of investors were planning to buy more, around three times the number looking to sell-off. So, for Spanish investors at least, Japan is still a hot topic.

Click here to see a slideshow of photos taken at Expert Investor Spain.

Platinum members can additionally view a full breakdown of the event voting data here.