Reflation, reopening and a bit of stress on long-duration assets created a bumpy road for fixed income in the first half of 2021. While the coronavirus Delta variant has cast a shadow on sentiment, the market has remained fairly resilient and our outlook is still optimistic – although with a kernel of caution. In this context, we see convertible bonds as one way to navigate the next phase of the rate cycle.
Current backdrop for fixed income
Reflation, reopening and a bit of stress on long-duration assets created a bumpy road for fixed income in the first half of 2021. While the coronavirus delta variant has cast a shadow on sentiment, the market has remained fairly resilient and our outlook is still optimistic – although with a kernel of caution, as our Global Market Outlook suggests.
In this context, we revisit the case for convertible bonds as one of the potential investments to navigate the next phase of the rate cycle (belly-led small bear flattening?). The key questions for investors as we enter the summer are: what is the potential impact of the Delta variant on the reopening trend, and what can we expect in terms of inflation and monetary policy? All in all, these uncertainties present a potentially volatile combination but there is still cause for a positive outlook.
Convertible bonds as a hedge against volatility and to stay invested for the summer
Historically, convertible bonds and high yield tend to outperform other segments of the fixed income market during recovery and expansion cycles. We have seen this trend confirmed so far in 2021, with the trio of 0-5 US high yield (3.9%), European high yield (2.9%) and global convertible bonds (3.3%) being among the few positive performers in the first half of the year. If that positive trend continues, as PMI indicators indicate, the pro-risk stance could support spread harvesting and risk-on trades. Long-duration government bonds were among the worst performers along with emerging market debt local currency, which suffered because of the stronger dollar.1
Figure 1: Q2 and YTD Performance of Select Fixed Income Indices
Moving to the next phase of the rate cycle? Less pressure on the long end?
Where are we in the rate cycle? We might be past the violent steepening phase of recovery pricing (partially led by inflation) and we could be moving to the next phase where curves may continue to gradually flatten with volatility falling and shifting towards the belly of the curve relative to the long end. In the meantime, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) has started moving a little more overtly to a tightening bias, which has driven inflation expectations lower (10-year US breakevens fell quite a bit from their mid May 2.56% peak to 2.24% in mid June). In parallel, the still-growing Fed balance sheets could continue to support the Treasury market, albeit less from a flow and more from a stock perspective.
Convertible bond performance
Global convertible bonds exhibit an interesting balance between growth and protection not only thanks to their hybrid nature but also through their balanced exposure between growth in technology and more value exposures in banking and consumer discretionary. While airlines and resorts performed well in the first half of 2021, the respite was a bit challenged by the overall yield moves in June (see Figure 2). Utilities and certain large names, such as Tesla*, within Consumer Discretionary weighed on sector performance.
Figure 2: YTD performance by sector (in USD unhedged)
How to position for the summer? A mix of European reopening with some growth in the US
Deltas vary by region, with Europe still being more prone to a “hybrid” and “value” bias while US exposures are closer to equities with an average delta. The fall of the technology sector in May, in particular, has provided better entry points for the US market and helped the recovery in June. Valuations in this market have positioned convertible bonds to potentially benefit from continued strong performance of the US economy while partially protecting against clouds that could arise from the Delta variant. As we have seen in the UK, this new variant has delayed a fuller reopening by a month and continued to hinder citizens’ ability to travel.
Figure 3: Refinitiv Qualified Global Convertible Bond Index – Delta Breakdown Per Region
Lastly, the robust new issuance of more than $90 billion so far in 2021 has helped increase the universe's diversification. At the same time, certain high delta and large names in the universe, such as Tesla*, have gradually diminished their influence on performance, falling from the maximum of 4% going into 2021 to c. 1.25% as of quarter end. This followed a bond maturing in March 2021 and the reduction in the outstanding amount of the March 2022 bond to below index inclusion levels. The May 2024 bond remains the last convertible in the universe and is expected to be a lesser driver of performance volatility going forward, even more so as the remaining outstanding amount continues to reduce.
As volatility has fallen back to the mid 10s (VIX was 15.4 as of 1 July 2021, according to Bloomberg Finance L.P.), convertible bonds can offer a relatively attractive way to gain exposure to the continuation of the recovery while partially hedged to a deterioration of sentiment in the summer. Still the best of both worlds? Hopefully the best of two summer months!
How to play this theme
With SPDR ETFs, investors can play the themes described above. To learn more about the fund, and to view full performance history, please follow the link below:
1 Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P., as of 30 June 2021.
* This information should not be considered a recommendation to invest in a particular sector or to buy or sell any security shown. It is not known whether the sectors or securities shown will be profitable in the future.
Marketing Communication. For Professional Client Use Only.
Information Classification: General Access. Global Entities.
For Investors in Austria: The offering of SPDR ETFs by the Company has been notified to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in accordance with section 139 of the Austrian Investment Funds Act. Prospective investors may obtain the current sales Prospectus, the articles of incorporation, the KIID as well as the latest annual and semi-annual report free of charge from State Street Global Advisors GmbH, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich. T: +49 (0)89-55878-400. F+49 (0)89-55878-440.
For Investors in Finland: The offering of funds by the Companies has been notified to the Financial Supervision Authority in accordance with Section 127 of the Act on Common Funds (29.1.1999/48) and by virtue of confirmation from the Financial Supervision Authority the Companies may publicly distribute their Shares in Finland. Certain information and documents that the Companies must publish in Ireland pursuant to applicable Irish law are translated into Finnish and are available for Finnish investors by contacting State Street Custodial Services (Ireland) Limited, 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland.
For Investors in France: This document does not constitute an offer or request to purchase shares in the Company. Any subscription for shares shall be made in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the complete Prospectus, the KIID, the addenda as well as the Company Supplements. These documents are available from the Company centralizing correspondent: State Street Banque S.A., Coeur Défense - Tour A - La Défense 4 33e étage 100, Esplanade du Général de Gaulle 92 932 Paris La Défense cedex France or on the French part of the site ssga.com/etfs. The Company is an undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) governed by Irish law and accredited by the Central Bank of Ireland as a UCITS in accordance with European Regulations. European Directive no. 2014/91/EU dated 23 July 2014 on UCITS, as amended, established common rules pursuant to the cross-border marketing of UCITS with which they duly comply. This common base does not exclude differentiated implementation. This is why a European UCITS can be sold in France even though its activity does not comply with rules identical to those governing the approval of this type of product in France.The offering of these compartments has been notified to the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) in accordance with article L214-2-2 of the French Monetary and Financial Code.
For Investors in Germany: The offering of SPDR ETFs by the Companies has been notified to the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) in accordance with section 312 of the German Investment Act. Prospective investors may obtain the current sales Prospectuses, the articles of incorporation, the KIIDs as well as the latest annual and semiannual report free of charge from State Street Global Advisors GmbH, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich. T: +49 (0)89-55878-400. This document has been issued by State Street Global Advisors Ireland (“SSGA”), regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Registered office address 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. Registered number 145221. T: +353 (0)1 776 3000. Fax: +353 (0)1 776 3300. Web: ssga.com.
Israel: No action has been taken or will be taken in Israel that would permit a public offering of the Securities or distribution of this sales brochure to the public in Israel. This sales brochure has not been approved by the Israel Securities Authority (the ‘ISA’).
Accordingly, the Securities shall only be sold in Israel to an investor of the type listed in the First Schedule to the Israeli Securities Law, 1978, which has confirmed in writing that it falls within one of the categories listed therein (accompanied by external confirmation where this is required under ISA guidelines), that it is aware of the implications of being considered such an investor and consents thereto, and further that the Securities are being purchased for its own account and not for the purpose of re-sale or distribution.
This sales brochure may not be reproduced or used for any other purpose, nor be furnished to any other person other than those to whom copies have been sent.
Nothing in this sales brochure should be considered investment advice or investment marketing as defined in the Regulation of Investment Advice, Investment Marketing and Portfolio Management Law, 1995 (“the Investment Advice Law”). Investors are encouraged to seek competent investment advice from a locally licensed investment advisor prior to making any investment. State Street is not licensed under the Investment Advice Law, nor does it carry the insurance as required of a licensee thereunder.
This sales brochure does not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any securities other than the Securities offered hereby, nor does it constitute an offer to sell to or solicitation of an offer to buy from any person or persons in any state or other jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation would be unlawful, or in which the person making such offer or solicitation is not qualified to do so, or to a person or persons to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation.
For Investors in Luxemburg: The Companies have been notified to the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier in Luxembourg in order to market its shares for sale to the public in Luxembourg and the Companies are notified Undertakings in Collective Investment for Transferable Securities (UCITS).
Netherlands: This communication is directed at qualified investors within the meaning of Section 2:72 of the Dutch Financial Markets Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht) as amended. The products and services to which this communication relates are only available to such persons and persons of any other description should not rely on this communication. Distribution of this document does not trigger a licence requirement for the Companies or SSGA in the Netherlands and consequently no prudential and conduct of business supervision will be exercised over the Companies or SSGA by the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank N.V.) and the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (Stichting Autoriteit Financiële Markten). The Companies have completed their notification to the Authority Financial Markets in the Netherlands in order to market their shares for sale to the public in the Netherlands and the Companies are, accordingly, investment institutions (beleggingsinstellingen) according to Section 2:72 Dutch Financial Markets Supervision Act of Investment Institutions.
Norway: The offering of SPDR ETFs by the Companies has been notified to the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (Finanstilsynet) in accordance with applicable Norwegian Securities Funds legislation. By virtue of a confirmation letter from the Financial Supervisory Authority dated 28 March 2013 (16 October 2013 for umbrella II) the Companies may market and sell their shares in Norway.
For Investors in Spain: State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs Europe I and II plc have been authorised for public distribution in Spain and are registered with the Spanish Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores) under no.1244 and no.1242. Before investing, investors may obtain a copy of the Prospectus and Key Investor Information Documents, the Marketing Memoranda, the fund rules or instruments of incorporation as well as the annual and semi-annual reports of State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs Europe I and II plc from Cecabank, S.A. Alcalá 27, 28014 Madrid (Spain) who is the Spanish Representative, Paying Agent and distributor in Spain or at spdrs.com. The authorised Spanish distributor of State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs is available on the website of the Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores).
For Investors in Switzerland: The collective investment schemes referred to herein are collective investment schemes under Irish law. Prospective investors may obtain the current sales prospectus, the articles of incorporation, the KIID as well as the latest annual and semi-annual reports free of charge from the Swiss Representative and Paying Agent, State Street Bank International GmbH, Munich, Zurich Branch, Beethovenstr. 19, 8027 Zurich, as well as from the main distributor in Switzerland, State Street Global Advisors AG, Beethovenstrasse 19, 8027 Zurich. Before investing please read the prospectus and the KIID, copies of which can be obtained from the Swiss representative, or at ssga.com.
United Kingdom: The Funds have been registered for distribution in the UK pursuant to the UK’s temporary permissions regime under regulation 62 of the Collective Investment Schemes (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The Funds are directed at 'professional clients' in the UK (as defined in rules made under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000) who are deemed both knowledgeable and experienced in matters relating to investments. The products and services to which this communication relates are only available to such persons and persons of any other description should not rely on this communication. Many of the protections provided by the UK regulatory system do not apply to the operation of the Funds, and compensation will not be available under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
This document has been issued by State Street Global Advisors Ireland (“SSGA”), regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Registered office address 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. Registered number 145221. T: +353 (0)1 776 3000. Fax: +353 (0)1 776 3300. Web: ssga.com.
SPDR ETFs is the exchange traded funds (“ETF”) platform of State Street Global Advisors and is comprised of funds that have been authorised by Central Bank of Ireland as open-ended UCITS investment companies.
State Street Global Advisors SPDR ETFs Europe I & II plc issue SPDR ETFs, and is an open-ended investment company with variable capital having segregated liability between its sub-funds. The Company is organised as an Undertaking for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) under the laws of Ireland and authorised as a UCITS by the Central Bank of Ireland.
All the index performance results referred to are provided exclusively for comparison purposes only. It should not be assumed that they represent the performance of any particular investment.
The information provided does not constitute investment advice as such term is defined under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2014/65/EU) or applicable Swiss regulation and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any investment. It does not take into account any investor's or potential investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status, risk appetite or investment horizon. If you require investment advice you should consult your tax and financial or other professional advisor.All information is from SSGA unless otherwise noted and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the current accuracy, reliability or completeness of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information and it should not be relied on as such.
ETFs trade like stocks, are subject to investment risk and will fluctuate in market value. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate in value, so that when shares are sold or redeemed, they may be worth more or less than when they were purchased. Although shares may be bought or sold on an exchange through any brokerage account, shares are not individually redeemable from the fund. Investors may acquire shares and tender them for redemption through the fund in large aggregations known as “creation units.” Please see the fund’s prospectus for more details.
The trademarks and service marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Third party data providers make no warranties or representations of any kind relating to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the data and have no liability for damages of any kind relating to the use of such data.
The views expressed in this material are the views of SPDR EMEA Strategy & Research through the period ending 2 July 2021 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected.
Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.
This information should not be considered a recommendation to invest in a particular sector or to buy or sell any security shown. It is not known whether the sectors or securities shown will be profitable in the future.
Investing in foreign domiciled securities may involve risk of capital loss from unfavourable fluctuation in currency values, withholding taxes, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations.
Investments in emerging or developing markets may be more volatile and less liquid than investing in developed markets and may involve exposure to economic structures that are generally less diverse and mature and to political systems which have less stability than those of more developed countries.
Bonds generally present less short-term risk and volatility than stocks, but contain interest rate risk (as interest rates raise, bond prices usually fall); issuer default risk; issuer credit risk; liquidity risk; and inflation risk. These effects are usually pronounced for longer-term securities. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to a substantial gain or loss.
The Fund/share class may use financial derivatives instruments for currency hedging and to manage the portfolio efficiently. The Fund may purchase securities that are not denominated in the share class currency. Hedging should mitigate the impact of exchange rate fluctuations however hedges are sometimes subject to imperfect matching which could generate losses.
Issuers of convertible securities may not be as financially strong as those issuing securities with higher credit ratings and may be more vulnerable to changes in the economy. Other risks associated with convertible bond investments include: Call risk which is the risk that bond issuers may repay securities with higher coupon or interest rates before the security's maturity date; liquidity risk which is the risk that certain types of investments may not be possible to sell the investment at any particular time or at an acceptable price; and investments in derivatives, which can be more sensitive to sudden fluctuations in interest rates or market prices, potential illiquidity of the markets, as well as potential loss of principal.
THE SPDR REFINITIV GLOBAL CONVERTIBLE BOND UCITS ETF (THE “PRODUCT”) IS NOT SPONSORED, ENDORSED, SOLD OR PROMOTED BY REFINITIV LIMITED OR ANY OF ITS SUBSIDIARIES OR AFFILIATES (“REFINITIV”). REFINITIV MAKE NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE OWNERS OF THE PRODUCT(S) OR ANY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC REGARDING THE ADVISABILITY OF INVESTING IN SECURITIES GENERALLY OR IN THE PRODUCT(S) PARTICULARLY OR THE ABILITY OF THE REFINITIV QUALIFIED GLOBAL CONVERTIBLE INDEX (THE “INDEX”) TO TRACK GENERAL MARKET PERFORMANCE. REFINITIV’ ONLY RELATIONSHIP TO THE PRODUCT(S) AND STATE STREET GLOBAL ADVISORS (THE “LICENSEE”) IS THE LICENSING OF THE INDEX, WHICH IS DETERMINED, COMPOSED AND CALCULATED BY REFINITIV OR ITS LICENSORS WITHOUT REGARD TO THE LICENSEE OR THE PRODUCT(S). REFINITIV HAS NO OBLIGATION TO TAKE THE NEEDS OF THE LICENSEE OR THE OWNERS OF THE PRODUCT(S) INTO CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE FOREGOING. REFINITIV IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR AND HAS NOT PARTICIPATED IN THE DETERMINATION OF THE TIMING OF, PRICES AT, OR QUANTITIES OF THE PRODUCT(S) TO BE ISSUED OR IN THE DETERMINATION OR CALCULATION OF THE EQUATION BY WHICH THE PRODUCT(S) IS TO BE CONVERTED INTO CASH. REFINITIV HAS NO OBLIGATION OR LIABILITY IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADMINISTRATION, MARKETING OR TRADING OF THE PRODUCT(S).
REFINITIV DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE QUALITY, ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. REFINITIV MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY LICENSEE, OWNERS OF THE PRODUCT(S), OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN IN CONNECTION WITH THE RIGHTS LICENSED HEREUNDER OR FOR ANY OTHER USE. REFINITIV MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND HEREBY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL REFINITIV HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR LOST PROFITS, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
The stocks mentioned are not necessarily holdings invested in by SSGA or third party fund manager. References to specific company stocks should not be construed as recommendations or investment advice. The statements and opinions are subject to change at any time, based on market and other conditions.
Standard & Poor’s, S&P and SPDR are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (S&P); Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (Dow Jones); and these trademarks have been licensed for use by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (SPDJI) and sublicensed for certain purposes by State Street Corporation. State Street Corporation’s financial products are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, their respective affiliates and third party licensors and none of such parties make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such product(s) nor do they have any liability in relation thereto, including for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of any index.
The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSGA’s express written consent.
The information contained in this communication is not a research recommendation or ‘investment research’ and is classified as a ‘Marketing Communication’ in accordance with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2014/65/EU) or applicable Swiss Regulation. This means that this marketing communication (a) has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research (b) is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.
Investing in foreign domiciled securities may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, withholding taxes, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations. Investments in emerging or developing markets may be more volatile and less liquid than investing in developed markets and may involve exposure to economic structures that are generally less diverse and mature and to political systems which have less stability than those of more developed countries.
You should obtain and read the SPDR prospectus and relevant Key Investor Information Document (KIID) prior to investing, which may be obtained from spdrs.com. These include further details relating to the SPDR funds, including information relating to costs, risks and where the funds are authorised for sale.
© 2021 State Street Corporation.
All Rights Reserved.