This semi-annual update discusses the current market dynamics that are impacting returns and risk in securities lending, State Street Global Advisors’ core views on securities lending programs, and some client perspectives on securities lending.
On the back of a continuing pandemic, more-than-transient inflation, anticipated Fed tightening, and most recently the outbreak of war in Ukraine, market volatility has ramped up since our last update in September of 2021. This volatility is positive for securities lending markets. Since the turn of the year, lendable assets have declined 11%, largely driven by market value declines, while the market value of assets on loan has increased 2.2%. This reflects a reduction in supply and an increase in demand, which has translated to an increase in intrinsic securities lending returns of 13%.1
Reinvestment spreads also picked up since the start of the year. This is attributable to the steepening of the yield curve, which reflects the expected Fed tightening (potentially 6 rate hikes over the next 12 months) as well as the uncertainty in the markets spurred by the Ukraine conflict. While increasing, these yields do not yet reflect stressed market conditions.
And while the Ukraine conflict has certainly roiled markets and increased volatility in recent weeks, there has been relatively little direct impact on lending operations. Sanctions instituted in the wake of the Crimea annexation in 2014 significantly reduced lending activity in Russian securities, and Ukrainian securities never had an active market. We are keeping a close eye on financial market contagion risks that may impact counterparty credit quality; however, to date both capital and liquidity levels across the banking and financial service sector remain strong.
State Street Global Advisors' Strategic Approach to Lending
Sticking to our focus on the demand-side value of securities lending, State Street Global Advisors has taken a conservative approach to management of the cash collateral. As the Fed began to transition to a more hawkish monetary policy approach last fall, we began to position the portfolios for potential rate hikes. Expectations for policy adjustment rose dramatically as 2021 concluded. In the early months of 2022 it was thought the Fed could raise rates by as much as 50bps at the March meeting. With this volatility, the portfolios benefited by shortening durations and building liquidity. As the war unfolded, the portfolios further benefited with increased liquidity levels and shorter-term structure. Now, as we embark on a Fed rate hike cycle, the portfolios will be evaluated each Fed meeting date for the appropriate term reinvestment rate. This will reduce the lag in yield after each Fed rate increase, and enable the securities lending programs to continue to focus on optimizing demand-side value capture. Our view is that the demand value for securities loans in the market is an alpha generator for portfolios, while the reinvestment side of the equation has a more marginal risk-return trade-off.
Client Perspectives and Flows
Demand for securities lending programs as a means of generating incremental returns in portfolios continued over the past six months. Both December and January flows into our securities lending funds were at or near record highs. We take this as a validation that, despite the depressed returns from securities lending in 2021, our clients are confident with our intrinsic value approach to lending, that the risks are well managed, and that there continues to be a positive risk-adjusted return for securities lending in general. Our clients are continuing to educate themselves on securities lending, and are becoming more cognizant of the varied approaches that different asset managers employ. We seek to assist our clients in their education, and provide the transparency into our securities lending programs that enable them to evaluate our program effectively. Do not hesitate to reach out to an State Street Global Advisors representative for any questions you have.
1 Per IHS Markit data comparing 01/01/2022 to 03/11/2022.
Abu Dhabi: State Street Global Advisors Limited, ADGM Branch, Al Khatem Tower, Suite 42801, Level 28, ADGM Square, Al Maryah Island, P.O Box 76404, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Regulated by the ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority. T: +971 2 245 9000. Australia: State Street Global Advisors, Australia, Limited (ABN 42 003 914 225) is the holder of an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL Number 238276). Registered office: Level 14, 420 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia. T: +612 9240-7600. F: +612 9240-7611. Belgium: State Street Global Advisors Belgium, Chaussée de La Hulpe 185, 1170 Brussels, Belgium. T: +32 2 663 2036. State Street Global Advisors Belgium is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, registered in Ireland with company number 49934, authorized and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, and whose registered office is at 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. Canada: State Street Global Advisors, Ltd., 1981 McGill College Avenue, Suite 500, Montreal, Qc, H3A 3A8, T: +514 282 2400 and 30 Adelaide Street East Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario M5C 3G6. T: +647 775 5900. France: State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, France Branch (“State Street Global Advisors France”) is a branch of State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, registered in Ireland with company number 49934, authorized and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, and whose registered office is at 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. State Street Global Advisors France is registered in France with company number RCS Nanterre 899 183 289, and its office is located at Coeur Défense — Tour A — La Défense 4, 33e étage, 100, Esplanade du Général de Gaulle, 92 931 Paris La Défense Cedex, France. T: +33 1 44 45 40 00. F: +33 1 44 45 41 92. Germany: State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, Branch in Germany, Brienner Strasse 59, D-80333 Munich, Germany (“State Street Global Advisors Germany”). T: +49 (0)89 55878 400. State Street Global Advisors Germany is a branch of State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, registered in Ireland with company number 49934, authorized and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, and whose registered office is at 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. Hong Kong: State Street Global Advisors Asia Limited, 68/F, Two International Finance Centre, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong. T: +852 2103-0288. F: +852 2103-0200. Ireland: State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Registered office address 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. Registered Number: 49934. T: +353 (0)1 776 3000. F: +353 (0)1 776 3300. Italy: State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, Italy Branch (“State Street Global Advisors Italy”) is a branch of State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, registered in Ireland with company number 49934, authorized and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, and whose registered office is at 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. State Street Global Advisors Italy is registered in Italy with company number 11871450968 — REA: 2628603 and VAT number 11871450968, and its office is located at Via Ferrante Aporti, 10 - 20125 Milan, Italy. T: +39 02 32066 100. F: +39 02 32066 155. Japan: State Street Global Advisors (Japan) Co., Ltd., Toranomon Hills Mori Tower 25F 1-23-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-6325 Japan. T: +81-3-4530-7380. Financial Instruments Business Operator, Kanto Local Financial Bureau (Kinsho #345), Membership: Japan Investment Advisers Association, The Investment Trust Association, Japan, Japan Securities Dealers’ Association. Netherlands: State Street Global Advisors Netherlands, Apollo Building 7th floor, Herikerbergweg 29, 1101 CN Amsterdam, Netherlands. T: +31 20 7181 000. State Street Global Advisors Netherlands is a branch office of State Street Global Advisors Europe Limited, registered in Ireland with company number 49934, authorized and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, and whose registered office is at 78 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. Singapore: State Street Global Advisors Singapore Limited, 168, Robinson Road, #33-01 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912 (Company Reg. No: 200002719D, regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore). T: +65 6826-7555. F: +65 6826-7501. Switzerland: State Street Global Advisors AG, Beethovenstr. 19, CH-8027 Zurich. Registered with the Register of Commerce Zurich CHE-105.078.458. T: +41 (0)44 245 70 00. F: +41 (0)44 245 70 16. United Kingdom: State Street Global Advisors Limited. Authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered No. 2509928. VAT No. 5776591 81. Registered office: 20 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HJ. T: 020 3395 6000. F: 020 3395 6350. United States: State Street Global Advisors, 1 Iron Street, Boston, MA 02210-1641. T: +1 617 786 3000.
The views expressed in this material are the views of the Securities Lending Group as of 17 March 2022 are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. There is no representation nor warranty that such statements are guarantees of any future performance. Actual results or developments may differ materially from the views expressed. The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor.
Securities lending programs and the subsequent reinvestment of the posted collateral are subject to a number of risks, including the risk that the value of the investments held in the collateral may decline in value and may at any point be worth less than the original cost of that investment.
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.
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.
This information is for informational purposes only, not to be construed as investment advice or a recommendation or offer to buy or sell any security. Investors should always obtain and read an up-to-date investment services description or prospectus before deciding whether to appoint an investment manager or to invest in a fund. Any views expressed herein are those of the author(s), are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may make different investment decisions for different clients. There are no guarantees regarding the achievement of investment objectives, target returns, portfolio construction, allocations or measurements such as alpha, tracking error, stock weightings and other information ratios. The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all investors. SSGA does not provide tax or legal advice. Prospective investors should consult with a tax or legal advisor before making any investment decision. Investing entails risks and there can be no assurance that SSGA will achieve profits or avoid incurring losses.
Performance quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, so you may have a gain or loss when shares are sold. Current performance may be higher or lower than that quoted.
Images of NYSE Group, Inc. are used with permission of NYSE Group, Inc. Neither NYSE Group, Inc. nor its affiliated companies sponsor, approve of or endorse the contents of this program. Neither NYSE Group, Inc. nor its affiliated companies recommend or make any representation as to possible benefits from any securities or investments.