GSAM: Chinese staatsobligaties: het verfrissende alternatief


Chinese staatsobligaties kunnen een oplossing bieden voor het geringe rendement van schatkistpapier in ontwikkelde landen.

Door de opname van China aan de FTSE World Government Bond Index in oktober dit jaar wordt het voor buitenlandse beleggers ook steeds meer vanzelfsprekend om te investeren in de Chinese obligatiemarkt.

Binnen traditionele vastrentende strategieën is rendement momenteel erg lastig te vinden. De rentes op staatsobligaties in ontwikkelde landen zijn het afgelopen jaar sterk gedaald. In de hunt for yield zijn onshore Chinese staatsobligaties een mogelijk verfrissend alternatief; het rendement op Chinees schatkistpapier met een looptijd van tien jaar ligt boven de 3%, terwijl de volatiliteit het afgelopen jaar relatief laag was.

De beleggingskans springt extra in het oog gelet op de recente trend in rendementsverschillen tussen China en andere belangrijke obligatiemarkten. Eind 2019 lag de Chinese tienjaarsrente 121 basispunten hoger dan de Amerikaanse rente. In september 2020 was dat verschil tot 246 basispunten opgelopen. ‘Rendement is de hoofdreden van onze klanten om te beleggen in Chinese staatsobligaties’, zegt Peter Thompson, hoofd van de Europese ETF-tak van Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). ‘Een tweede belangrijke reden is diversificatie, de lagere correlatie van de Chinese obligatiemarkt met andere belangrijke vastrentende markten.’

China heeft na de Verenigde Staten de grootste obligatiemarkt in de wereld. Toch bezitten buitenlandse beleggers maar een klein percentage van de uitstaande Chinese staatsobligaties.
Dat aandeel zal stijgen nu er steeds meer ‘China’ wordt opgenomen in bekende, wereldwijde obligatie-indices, zegt Thompson. ‘Dat proces kreeg momentum in april 2019, met de opname van China in de Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index, in februari 2020 gevolgd door de toevoeging van een tranche China aan de JP Morgan EMBI Global Index.’

Het belangrijkste hoofdstuk van deze ontwikkeling moet echter nog worden geschreven, zegt Thompson. Chinese staatsobligaties worden in oktober 2021 toegevoegd aan de FTSE World Government Bond Index (FTSE WGBI), een grotendeels ontwikkelde marktindex. ‘De instroom in Chinese staatsobligaties uit passieve strategieën, die de FTSE WGBI volgen, wordt geraamd op 120 tot 150 miljard dollar. Dat bedrag is net zo groot als de passieve kapitaalstromen naar Chinese staatsobligaties, die de Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond en JP Morgan EMBI Global Index eerder voor rekening namen na de opname van China. En naar verwachting zullen actieve beleggers ook meer gaan alloceren naar deze asset class.’

Thomspon vervolgt: ‘Beleggers weten zelden wat er precies zal gaan gebeuren. De toevoeging van China aan de FTSE WGBI index is een zeldzame kans om potentieel te profiteren van de toekomstige kapitaalstromen naar deze beleggingscategorie.’
Behalve rendement, diversificatievoordelen en de opname van China in steeds meer obligatie-indices is er nog een reden waarom Chinese staatsobligaties attractief kunnen zijn, vervolgt Thomspon. ‘De Chinese munt, de renminbi, wordt door veel analisten, waaronder ook die van Goldman Sachs, beschouwd als ondergewaardeerd. Het is niet gek om te veronderstellen dat de renminbi een prominentere plek zal krijgen in de wereldeconomie. Het debat daarover is gaande. Veel beleggers nemen dit ook mee in hun allocatie-overwegingen.’
Goldman Sachs Asset Management is pas sinds 2019 actief als ETF-aanbieder in Europa, maar met het nodige succes. Het onderscheidende vermogen zit onder meer in het ‘verpakken’ van bestaande, actieve aandelenstrategieën naar zogeheten ActiveBeta ETF’s, die tot doel hebben beter te presteren dan de markt. ‘Enkele beleggingsstrategieën die wij in het verleden hebben ontwikkeld als gesegregeerde mandaten voor institutionele klanten zijn versimpeld en/of geoptimaliseerd in de vorm van een ETF’, zegt Thomspon.

Bij de obligatie-ETF’s van GSAM is ‘Access’ het leidmotief, waarbij het doel is om te komen tot betere voor risico gecorrigeerde rendementen en op een simpele wijze exposure te bieden aan specifieke delen van de obligatiemarkt. Als een van ‘s werelds grootse obligatiebeleggers kan GSAM daarbij terugvallen op een schat aan kennis en ervaring. De eerste (eind 2019) in Europa gelanceerde vastrentende ETF biedt bootstelling aan de Chinese onshore markt voor overheidsobligaties. ‘Deze ETF is geboren vanuit de wens van onze klanten om op een simpele manier belegd te zijn in Chinese staatsobligaties’, verklaart Thomspon.

Uitgedrukt in vermogen onder beheer is deze Goldman Sachs Access China Government Bond UCITS ETF uitgegroeid tot de op een na grootste Chinese staatsobligatie-ETF, die de Europese belegger ter beschikking staat. Hoe past deze ETF in de beleggingsportefeuille? ‘Dat is een zeer interessante vraag’, zegt Thompson. ‘Na opname in de FTSE WGBI Index maken Chinese staatsobligaties onderdeel uit van de drie belangrijkste obligatie-indices in de wereld. Is China daarmee mainstream geworden? Een ding is zeker: of het nu gaat over obligaties, aandelen of de renminbi, China is te groot om te negeren. Je moet als belegger een opinie vormen.’
 

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