Commentary

November 2018

Important Risk Disclosure for PAIF

  • ABF Pan Asia Bond Index Fund ("PAIF") is an exchange traded bond fund which seeks to provide investment returns that corresponds closely to the total return of the Markit iBoxx ABF Pan-Asia Index ("Index"), before fees and expenses, and its return may deviate from that of the Index.
  • PAIF primarily invests in local currency government and quasi-government bonds in eight Asian markets, comprising of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • Investment involves risks, including risks of exposure to bonds in both developed and emerging Asia markets. Investors may lose part or all of their investments.
  • PAIF is not "actively managed" and will not try to "beat" the market it tracks.
  • The Executives' Meeting of East Asia and Pacific Central Banks group (the "EMEAP") member central banks and monetary authorities are like any other investors in PAIF and each of them may dispose of their respective interest in the Units they hold. There are no guarantees that the EMEAP member central banks and monetary authorities will continue to be investors in PAIF.
  • The trading price of PAIF may differ from the underlying net asset value per share.
  • PAIF may not be suitable for all investors. Investors should not invest based on this marketing material only. Investors should read the PAIF's prospectus, including the risk factors, take into consideration of the product features, their own investment objectives, risk tolerance level etc and seek independent financial and professional advices as appropriate prior to making any investment.

Asian bond market rose in November driven by broad-based strength in local currency bonds and currencies amid improved sentiment post the US midterm elections and expectations of a trade ceasefire between China and the US. All underlying markets gained with Indonesian bond market leading the way. The Markit iBoxx ABF Pan-Asia Bond Index rose +2.74% on an unhedged basis, in US dollar terms, and rose +1.48% on a USD hedged basis.

During the month, Chinese bonds rose +1.88% in USD terms. November manufacturing PMI eased to 50 and October monthly releases were mixed on a year-on-year (YoY) basis: Exports improved to +15.6% with no sign yet that US tariffs had a major negative impact. Imports rose +21.4%, driven largely by growth in underlying volumes. PPI eased further to +3.3% while CPI stayed at +2.5%. Industrial production and year-to-date fixed asset investment improved slightly to +5.9% and +5.7% respectively but retail sales slowed to +8.6%. Finally, the broad credit growth slowed, suggesting further policy support will be necessary.

Hong Kong fixed income market edged up by +0.87% in dollar terms. The 3Q18 GDP slowed to +2.9% YoY. October exports accelerated to +14.6% YoY with increases across all major destinations. Retail sales growth strengthened to +5.9% YoY in October. October CPI and unemployment rate stayed at +2.7% YoY and 2.8%, respectively.

The Singapore fixed income market gained +2.37% in USD terms. The 3Q18 GDP was revised down to +2.2% YoY. November PMI eased to 51.5 with electronics sector index falling to 49.9. Industrial production improved to +4.3% YoY in October. October non-oil domestic export growth stayed at +8.3% YoY while electronic exports fell -3.5%. September retail sales rose +1.9% YoY (+1.8% if excluding auto sales). Finally, October CPI was unchanged (+0.7% YoY).

Korean bond market went up by +2.8% in USD. The Bank of Korea raised its interest rates by 25bps to 1.75%, the first time since November 2017. October industrial production saw double-digit growth at +10.71% YoY while November exports slowed sharply to +4.5%. November CPI stayed at +2% YoY.

Malaysian bonds inched up by +0.25% in aggregate. The Bank Negara Malaysia left its policy rate on hold at 3.25%. The 3Q18 GDP slowed slightly to +4.4% YoY. September exports and industrial production improved to +6.7% and +2.3% YoY, respectively. October CPI climbed to +0.6% YoY.

Thai bonds rose +2.02% in USD. The Bank of Thailand left interest rates unchanged at 1.5%. The 3Q18 GDP slowed to +3.3% YoY. October exports rose +8.4% YoY while trade surplus narrowed due to resilient import growth. CPI eased to +0.94% YoY in November amid lower energy prices.

Indonesian bond market surged by +10.88% in dollar terms. The 10 year government bond yield declined by 68bps to 7.87% as of 30 November, 2018. The 3Q18 GDP moderated to +5.17% YoY while the Bank Indonesia unexpectedly raised its policy rate to 6% to reduce the country's external vulnerability. October exports improved to +3.59% YoY but trade balance turned negative due to much faster import growth. November CPI climbed to +3.23% YoY. Meanwhile, the Philippine bonds gained +5.01% in USD. The 3Q18 GDP rose +6.1% YoY and the BSP took its policy rate from 4.5% to 4.75%. October CPI stayed at +6.7% YoY while September exports fell -2.6%.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
For Public Use.

Source: SSGA, as of 30 November 2018.

This document is issued by State Street Global Advisors Asia Limited ("SSGA") and has not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.

The views expressed in this material are the views of Bruce Zhang only through the period ended 30 November 2018 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions.

This document may contain certain statements deemed to be forward-looking statements. All statements, other than historical facts, contained within this document that address activities, events, or developments that SSGA expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by SSGA in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes appropriate in the circumstances, many of which are detailed herein. Such statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks, uncertainties, many of which are beyond SSGA's control. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

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. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and SSGA shall have no liability for decisions based on such information.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Index returns are unmanaged and do not reflect the deduction of any fees or expenses. Index returns reflect all items of income, gain and loss and the reinvestment of dividends and other income.

International government bonds and corporate bonds generally have more moderate short-term price fluctuations than stocks, but provide lower potential long-term returns.

Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.

Bonds generally present less short-term risk and volatility than stocks, but contain interest rate risk (as interest rates rise bond values and yields 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.

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.

This document may not be reproduced, distributed or transmitted to any person without express prior permission. This document and the information contained herein may not be distributed and published in jurisdictions in which such distribution and publication is not permitted.

The Markit iBoxx ABF Pan-Asia Index referenced herein is the property of Markit Indices Limited and is used under license. The PAIF is not sponsored, endorsed, or promoted by Markit Indices Limited or any of its members.

iBoxx is a registered trademark of Markit Indices Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Markit Group, and may not be used without the owner's written permission. A license is required to refer to or use any Markit iBoxx index in any financial products.

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2349266.1.1.APAC.RTL Expiry Date: 12/31/2019