Management comments December 2020
Stock markets ended the year with positive, albeit somewhat mixed, developments. Danske Bank, SEB and Swedbank were once again in the limelight as the FBI started investigations into money laundering and fraud at the banks. The large Nordic banks fell broadly during the month as Nordea and Handelsbanken also developed weakly.
The spread of the covid virus continued to increase around the world, whereupon calls came for people to avoid physical stores during the Christmas shopping season. This meant that online retailers and game developers once again had a very good month. BHG Group, Lyko and Boozt all rose by over 15% while Embracer, G5 Entertainment, Rovio and Enad Global 7 also finished the year strongly. The latter soared a whopping 49% on raised sales, successful capital funding and acquisition of a development studio.
Strategic acquisitions were also behind the gains of 12% and 14% respectively for Lifco and Lindab, two companies that are currently holdings in all our equity funds, except for in Simplicity Fastigheter, the latest addition to our offering. We launched Simplicity Fastigheter on 11/12 and it got off to a very good start as one of the fund’s larger holdings, Offentliga Hus I Norden, received a takeover offer from SBB which got the shares to rise by more than 20%. Read more about the real estate equity fund here.
Stock of the month
Avanza rose by 24% during the month and was the best contributor in Simplicity Småbolag Sverige where the share weighs 2.1%. Simplicity Sverige also has holdings in the share with a position of 1.2%. The retail broker received double awards during the month. First they received the honor Sweden’s most satisfied savers, this for the eleventh year in a row, and a couple of weeks later they were named bank of the year by the newspaper Privata affärer for the third straight year. The main reason to the share’s hike, however, is rather Avanza’s customer growth than the fine awards. At the end of November, the customer base was 29% higher than a year earlier, while combined savings increased by as much as 39%.
Global developments in brief
December was fittingly a month when many things came into place. Vaccinations against covid-19 started in several countries around the world, including Sweden. Although it will take time for the vaccines to reach enough people for the pandemic to be over, it is at least the beginning of an end. The new mutated variant of the virus, which is now spreading mainly in the UK and Denmark, is a new cloud of concern, but experts are comfortable that the vaccines will also work on the mutation. Also, the UK-EU agreement was finally reached. Free trade was maintained with common business rules set, including for workers’ rights. Furthermore, the US Congress agreed on a new stimulus package, worth USD 900 billion, to support the economy during the pandemic.
Simplicity Småbolag Sverige
Simplicity Småbolag Global
* Launch date 2020-12-11
All figures are presented in currency SEK.
Fixed Income Funds
Portfolio Managers Comments
The end of 2020 was very busy which was somehow characteristic for this very different year. After intense negotiations and a deadline that was pushed forward on serveral occasions, the EU and the UK finally managed to reach a Brexit deal. The agreement required a lot of compromises and even though most goods will be traded without volume restrictions and tariffs going forward, some customs handling will be required, which will most probably effect trade negatively. The US Senate agreed on a new $ 900 billion stimulus programme, but a Democratic proposal, backed by President Trump, to increase the amount of the stimulus checks to be paid to US households was blocked by the Republican majority in the Senate. However, the market expects more fiscal stimulus after Joe Biden takes office as the new US president.
At the same time as the number of confirmed Corona cases continued to increase rapidly and a new mutated virus variant began to spread, the first vaccinations against Covid-19 started around the world. This gives hope that we will soon be able to see the end of the pandemic. In Sweden, the Swedish Public Health Agency and the Swedish government imposed new stricter recommendations, which means, among other things, more far-reaching restrictions for restaurants and other companies in the service industries. Most international stock markets rose in December, while the Swedish stock market fell slightly after an otherwise strong 2020.
In connection with their Executive Board meetings, the central banks in both Europe and the United States stated that they will continue with their asset purchases for the foreseeable future. In the US, the Fed announced that it will continue its purchases until the economy shows a significant improvement, while reiterating that it believes fiscal stimulus will work better to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. The ECB expanded its pandemic purchasing program by € 500 billion to € 1850 billion and extended it to March 2022. They will also continue to provide loans to banks to ensure that they can continue to lend money to businesses and households, thereby supporting consumption . The ECB also downgraded its fourth-quarter GDP forecasts due to larger-than-expected effects of the second wave of the Corona pandemic. This also indicates that the start of 2021 may be weak.
The credit markets ended the year strongly, even though volatility was somewhat higher due to some profit taking ahead of year end. The Nordic banks were once again in the spotlight after Swedish business daily, Dagens Industri published information about SEB, Danske Bank and Swedbank being investigated by the FBI. The news caused the prices of the banks’ bonds to fall, but as the story did not reveal much new information, the bond prices recovered quickly. In the Nordic real estate market, there was very high activity during the month. The bidding war in the Norwegian real estate company Entra continued after both Castellum and SBB raised their bids and Balder bought 15% of the shares in the company. SBB also made a small acquistion when they bought just over 54 percent of the shares in Offentliga Hus and at the same time stated that they intend to make an offer for the remaining outstanding shares. Balder announced that they have entered into an agreement to be a partner in the construction company Serneke’s flag ship-project, Karlatornet in Gothenburg. Heimstaden Bostad acquired a large property portfolio in Denmark from the real estate fund Niam, which will result in a partial redemption of Niam’s outstanding bond. The primary market activity was high in early December before gradually slowing as investors reduced activity ahead of the holidays. Simplicity participated in new issues in the Norwegian IT companies Link Mobility and Mercell, in a social bond issued by SBB and in a green bond issued by the Spanish industrial company Fertiberia.
All funds had a strong performance supported by tighter credit spreads for bonds in the banking- and real estate-sectors, where, among others, the holdings in Niam, Offentliga Hus and SBB contributed positively. Simplicity Likviditet rose by 0.11%, Simplicity Företagsobligationer by 0.67% while Simplicity Global Corporate Bond and Simplicity High Yield rose by 0.70% and 0.96% respectively.
Performance YTD: 0.63%
Yield net of fees: 0.40-0.50%
Duration: 0.19 years
Maturity profile: 1.13 years
Performance YTD: -0.07%
Yield net of fees: 2.10-2.20%
Duration: 1.18 years
Maturity profile: 3.24 years
Simplicity Global Corporate Bond
Performance YTD: 0,02%
Yield net of fees: 2,50-2,60%
Duration: 2.57 years
Maturity profile: 3.54 years
Simplicity High Yield
Performance YTD: 4,42%
Yield net of fees: 3.60-3.70%
Duration: 1.45 years
Maturity profile: 3.41 years
All figures are presented in currency SEK.Tillbaka till Nyheter