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Martin Currie believes markets are turning the corner

Fund manager Martin Currie believes that world stock markets have begun to follow an upward path.


It welcomes the recent legislation on banking restructuring in Japan as an important step in the right direction, although it still has some concerns about the voluntary nature of the package.


It believes that sharp falls for European insurers means that the sector represents good value and has increased its holding in Zurich Insurance as a result.

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The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading

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