Sukuk – Looking Behind the Numbers

The growing popularity of sukuk is reflected in the recent strong index performance.The Dow Jones Sukuk Index delivered a total return of 7.08% year-on-year (Y-o-Y) and 5.26% year-to-date (YTD), as of August 18, 2014. The index’s yield-to-maturity also tightened by 51bps YTD to 2.55%. Noticeably, the yield of the S&P MENA Sukuk Index dropped 55bps Read more […]

A Renewed Interest in High Yield Bonds

High Yield Bond Market – Outlook has changed to the positive, away from the recent stories of overvaluation and fund withdrawals. The S&P U.S. Issued High Yield Corporate Bond Index returned 1% last week and a 0.43% the week before to recover the loss incurred the last week of July (-1.38%).  Year-to-date the index is Read more […]

S&P DJI July update provides insight into ACA impact on individual health policies

One of the most significant changes made by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was in the individual health insurance market, where the law eliminated the traditional medical underwriting processes and required health carriers to accept all applicants, regardless of their health conditions. The impact of these changes on the cost of individual health insurance has Read more […]

Double Dose of the Fed

Next week will be a double dose of Fed speculation and debate. First, on Wednesday at 2 PM the Fed will release the minutes from the last FOMC meeting on July 29th-30th.  Then on Thursday evening, Friday and Saturday the Kansas City Fed will hold its annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole Wyoming.   The Read more […]

Could Price Momentum Predict Australian Sector Returns?

Sector allocation is one of the main pillars of equity portfolio management, and its use as a strategy to optimize investment allocations through sector rotation is increasingly abundant. In Australia, the equity market is diversified in sectors, and some of them can be traded through exchange-traded funds, making it possible to implement a rotation strategy. Read more […]

Where to Find Yields in Japan?

As tracked by the S&P Japan Bond Index, a broad base benchmark that measures the performance of the government and corporate local currency bonds in Japan, the total outstanding par amount have reached over 1,070 trillion Yen this August. Not surprisingly, over 92% of them are government debts, which expanded 3.7 times since the index first valued on Read more […]

Tobacco Settlement Bonds: the next cloud on the horizon for municipal bonds?

As the young gas station attendant says at the end of the movie Terminator “there is a storm coming”.  While Detroit and Puerto Rico’s financial struggles continue to rattle the municipal bond market, the over $87billion state issued tobacco settlement bond market is another potential dark cloud worthy of watching. A recent article in the Read more […]

Russia, Where’s The Wheat?

Wheat lost more than 8% in July from the near perfect weather that brought the agriculture sector down to its lowest in four years.  Now, in the first week of August the DJCI All Wheat Total Return is already up 5.4% MTD through Aug 7, despite a 1.2% loss for the day. However, Russia’s food trade ban has implications that Read more […]

Inside the S&P 500: An Active Committee

The S&P 500 is maintained by a committee of market professionals.  We publish a detailed methodology document which includes guidelines for selecting stocks and other changes to the index.   Unlike many other S&P Dow Jones Indices and the majority of indices offered by other index providers,  there are no rigid or absolute rules for the Read more […]

The Dim Sum Bond Market Expanded 57% YTD in 2014

On the back of strong issuance this year, the size of the dim sum (as known as Offshore Renminbi) bond market, that tracked by the S&P/DB ORBIT Index, rose 57% year-to-date (YTD) to currently CNH 264 billion. As shown in Exhibit 1, 68% of the dim sum bond market is composed of the credit issuers.  Note that the index Read more […]