Some investors were brave enough to stick their heads above the parapet in January, but most remained ensconced. A sharp rebound in stock markets encouraged as much profit-taking as new purchases in the equity sphere, but new demand for fixed income was apparent as signs of softening monetary policy emerged.
It was a particularly positive month for purveyors of emerging market products; sales of both bond and equity offerings were buoyant. A number of asset managers well known for such expertise stand to benefit in the coming months.
The industry now waits with bated breath to learn the outcome of years of Brexit wrangling, and January saw another month of depressing redemptions from the UK market. But there’s at least one reason for investors there to smile: the FCA has announced that they are already benefiting from substantial fee savings due to Mifid 2 (see Regulatory Overview). However, the same regulation is causing consternation elsewhere: Italian distributors are vocally opposed to the forthcoming cost disclosures.