Olivier Aeschlimann, Fondsmanager "IAM - Gold & Metals", IAM Independent Asset Management SA (15.03.2010): "Currently the most important factor for gold and precious metals is the very low level of interest rates in the USA and the Euro zone. The Fed is not expected to raise rates until the end of 2010. This makes money market and government bonds funds relatively unattractive. In addition public finance are in very bad shape in most OECD countries and as the crisis in Greece has shown the credit worthiness of some states is now overtly called into question. Consequently the safe heaven aspect of precious metals and especially gold will become more important." Evy Hambro, Manager "BGF World Gold Fund A2 USD", Leiter des Natural Resources Equities Teams von BlackRock (18.03.2010): "There are a few factors that we view as being significant for gold over the forthcoming years. Gold has often been seen as a safe haven asset; since the global financial crisis and the subsequent injection of liquidity into the market, concerns have arisen over the risk of inflation. Investors have looked to gold to help protect themselves against these inflationary pressures and may continue to do so in the future.Jewellery demand, which has typically been a core component of demand for gold, has been weak during the recent economic crisis. However, there are signs that the market may be strengthening somewhat with the Indian market, the largest in terms of consumption, showing signs of a rebound with strong quarter on quarter gains and increasing demand from the Chinese market.
An interesting point that we have observed in the past year is a shift in central bank attitudes towards gold. Recent evidence has supported the view that central banks have looked to diversify their balance sheets by increasing their gold holdings, this has been shown by the purchase of 200 tonnes of gold by India from the IMF and a number of other small purchases by countries such as Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
Supply fundamentals generally look supportive for the gold price in 2010. Gold mine production has been flat to declining since 2006 (despite a slight increase in ´09) and with less supply from central banks (and the possibility that they have become net consumers), this has reduced the volume of gold coming into the market, adding optimism to the likelihood that the gold price will remain at current levels.
Silver is often viewed as a proxy for gold with regards to investment demand. One of the interesting drivers of silver more recently has been the industrial usage of the metal (electronics etc) which has slightly recovered in line with the global economy. Distinct from gold, there is more supply growth potential for silver in the coming years.Platinum has recovered significantly from its lows of last year due to a recovery in automotive demand (for catalytic convertors) and continued tightness in supply. The supply side situation is an area we are monitoring closely, especially as the bulk of supply of platinum comes from one country (South Africa) which has a number of supply side issues to over come."
Johanna Keller, Fondsmanagerin "LO Funds – World Gold Expertise (USD) P A" (19.03.2010):"Fundamentally, the supply and demand factors remain broadly supportive for price levels: On the demande side, the financial demand partly compensated for weak jewlery and industrial demand in 2009. Recently, jewlery and industrial demands have shown some signs of recovery, while the financial demand has stabilized. On the supply side, the mine production remains relatively inelastic. The de-hedging of mine producers has also contributed to a contraction of supply. Finally the fact that Central Banks became net buyers of gold since Q2/2009 is also a supportive factor.
The market sentiment for gold continue to be supportive as gold exhibits attractive investment properties for the current macro environment: hedge against inflation, hedge against weakening currencies, safe heaven asset, etc. In case of further stress (e.g., sovereign risk), the financial demand may grow further."
Daniel Sacks, Fondsmanager "Investec GSF Global Gold A Acc Gross", Investec (10.03.2010): "The most important factor driving the gold price is currently investment demand, both by private investors (in the form of ETFs) and government central banks. The recent gold purchase by the Indian central bank, highlights the growing trend of central banks and governments in the emerging economies to increase gold holdings as a means of diversifying their currency reserves. This demand for gold by emerging economy central banks is beginning to reverse a decades-long trend of central banks in the economically advanced countries selling gold. In addition to this potential shift of central banks from being net sellers to net buyers of gold, the continued weakness in real interest rates continues to provide strong support to gold prices over the medium term.
It is true that a weak dollar has typically been good for precious metals and a strong dollar bad for them. However, we have an interesting situation now whereby the cause of the stronger dollar is primarily sovereign debt concerns in the euro area. Gold, as the ultimate default insurance, may choose to look beyond a strong dollar to the cause of that strength. In other words, gold may argue that ALL currencies are being ‘debased’ (some just more than others) by residual systemic risk, an echo from the credit crisis peak."
Claude Rivaud, Fondsmanager "SGAM Fund Equities Gold Mines AC" (15.03.2010): "For Gold:
- Periods of lack of visibility and lack of confidence of investors towards the global economy and global equity markets.
- Fear of inflation, and periods of expanding Government budgetary policies;
- Cuts in interest rates
- Supply constraints
- Strong jewellery sales in particular in China, India and the Middle East.
- Interest from financial investors in the form of ETFs.
- Decline of the dollar
Silver and other precious metals are more sensitive to an upturn in macro economic indicators complementing data on supply and demand."
Markus Bachmann, "Craton Capital Precious Metal Fund A" (16.03.2010): "There are various factors that drive the individual metals. Gold is the most complex one as it tends to change its characteristics depending on the global financial and economic environment. A few factors on gold which are important to note:
• The increase of the gold price since 2001 was to a large extent a function of a weakening US dollar. Other factors also played a role as it was regarded as an alternative asset class after the bursting of the TMT bubble in early 2000.
• Gold was a save haven during the financial crisis as it was one of the very few asset classes that provided instant liquidity and represented somewhat of a non correlated store value.
• Over the past 15 months, its characteristics started to change again and it emerges again as an independent currency, compared to most existing reference currencies.
• We do expect these attributes to strengthen over the next few years. The background is the rapidly increasing dept levels of most industrial nations that will have a very damaging impact on the quality of the respective national balance sheets of these countries.
• In addition we do expect the investment demand for gold to increase for years to come. The demand will continue to grow from private and institutional investors. We also observe a change in attitude towards gold from various central banks. That change is expressing itself in various ways by A) selling less gold than they used to or not selling at all, or B) increase the share of gold as a part of their respective foreign reserves. The later starts to emerge as a policy shift mainly from selected emerging markets central banks.
• Testimony to this fundamental change is the recent behavior of gold that stayed relatively stable despite A) a strong dollar and B) very lackluster jewellery demand worldwide.
• Whilst we don’t want to add a price tag to the gold price (we leave that to clairvoyants and economists) we see for years to come an environment that is supportive to the gold price. In an environment that is flooded with debt and rotten balance sheets gold is an unique asset – it is no one else’s liability.
Silver, platinum and palladium don’t have the same pure characteristics as gold, parts of their demand profile is dependent from industrial demand as well as jewellery demand. In short we would look out for the following factors:
• ETF holdings for the three metals. An increase in investment demand will provide a further underpin for the prices of these metals. A recovery of global industrial production will also provide a further underpin for the silver price.
• Jewellery demand out of Asia for platinum as well as for palladium: it was a surprisingly strong event during the financial crisis.
• A recovery in global car sales is an important factor for further demand for platinum and palladium. We sense that the inventory levels at the car manufacturers (they use pgm’s as an integral part for autocatalysts) are at very low levels and we do expect platinum and palladium prices to have a firm underpin over the while.
• Any production disruption at the South African platinum mines could result in price spikes for platinum and palladium. South Africa is the dominant supplier of platinum to the world markets."
Walter Wehrli, Berater "NESTOR Gold Fonds" (17.03.2010): "Bei allen Edelmetallen ist die Minenproduktion der massgebliche Angebotsfaktor. Für Gold waren die Notenbanken in der Vergangenheit ebenfalls ein wichtiger Bestandteil des Angebotes. Seit letztem Jahr sind die Zentralbanken netto Goldnachfrager und fallen als gewichtige Anbieter weg. Bei grossen Preisausschlägen kann kurzfristig auch Recycling das Angebot stark beeinflussen."
e-fundresearch: "Welche Edelmetalle sind derzeit attraktive Investments und was sind die Gründe für diese Einschätzung?"
Olivier Aeschlimann, Fondsmanager "IAM - Gold & Metals", IAM Independent Asset Management SA (15.03.2010): "There is a saying which states: “you don’t buy gold to get rich, you buy gold when you are rich as in insurance”. This means that gold is now attractive as a safe heaven within the context of the public finance crisis in the OECD countries. However, in contrast with developed economies, emerging markets are still growing at a strong pace. That makes platinum and palladium very attractive. Those metals which are chiefly used for auto catalysts are in strong demand in China as ecological regulation becomes stricter. As a matter of fact, Chinese car production increased 85% in February 2010 (year on year) and China is now the biggest car market in the world."
Evy Hambro, Manager "BGF World Gold Fund A2 USD", Leiter des Natural Resources Equities Teams von BlackRock (18.03.2010): "Gold, silver and platinum are the main focuses of the BGF World Gold Fund are present. Some of the reasons for that are outlined above."
Johanna Keller, Fondsmanagerin "LO Funds – World Gold Expertise (USD) P A" (19.03.2010): "All precious metals have specific factors driving supply/demand dynamics.
Gold is the most "financial" of them, as many investors have considered a portfolio allocation to Gold for either protecting against "bear market fears" or against potential future inflation that they see as a consequence of monetary stimulus and other recent governments subszidises.
Silver has a more industrial background as it is used in many concrete aplications (from electronics to healthcare, through water purification); but many investors consider Silver as a potential leveraged play on Gold so its correlation with Gold is very high.
Platinum and Palladium demand comes mostly from the car industry. However the issues in platinum production (notably the power issue in South Africa) haven´t been resolved, so while the recovery will take place the supply and demand imbalances will come back. Furthermore, the launch of new ETFs on those metals has fed the demand.
We would suggest to invest in Palladium/Platinum as a recovery play and favor the usual Gold/Silver as a core investment for precious metals exposure."
Daniel Sacks, Fondsmanager "Investec GSF Global Gold A Acc Gross", Investec (10.03.2010): "We believe that Gold is an attractive investment both from a capital appreciation perspective and as a diversifier. We believe that gold has finally broken clear of the $700-$1000 per ounce range that has dominated the last two years, with new parameters being established. We believe that the degree of investment demand will force a peak that is nearer $1,300 per ounce over the next six months, with $,1000 per ounce now becoming the long term floor.
Gold has a very low correlation to other financial assets and acts as an excellent diversifier within a balanced portfolio.
We are also large Palladium bulls at the moment. The combination of restricted SA supply, the cessation of Russian stockpile sales, and a resumption of demand from auto manufacturers (particularly from the petrol-heavy Chinese car markets which use palladium rich catalytic converters), should lead to a market showing multi-year deficits. Palladium has large upside from this fundamental perspective, as well as form an investment point of view. Palladium etfs are attracting much investor interest as the metal looks very cheap, particularly relative to its sister metal, platinum."
Markus Bachmann, "Craton Capital Precious Metal Fund A" (16.03.2010): "We see favorable conditions for all 4 precious metals but we tend to prefer gold because of its “purity”, its increased status as a store value and the very strong underpin it will receive given the worsening debt situation of various major OECD economies. These debt problems could result in a further debasement of their currencies with gold as a beneficiary."
Walter Wehrli, Berater "NESTOR Gold Fonds" (17.03.2010): "Nach unserer Einschätzung der macro-ökonomischen Situation ist Gold das attraktivste Investment. Die weissen Edelmetalle, vornehmlich Platin und Palladium, werden im Gegensatz zu Gold nachhaltig von der Industrieproduktion (z.B. Autoindustrie) beeinflusst. Aufgrund des weltweiten Schuldenproblems auf Staatsebene erwarten wir eine Inflationierung was der realen Industierproduktion nicht zuträglich ist und somit der Nachfrage nach Platin und Palladium schadet. Silber ist in einem kleineren Ausmass betroffen. Gold und teilweise auch Silber dienen als Save Haven und sind während inflationären Perioden ein bevorzugtes Investitionsinstrument. Die Anleger können sich der „sanften“ Enteignungsstrategie überschuldeter Staaten entziehen."
e-fundresearch: "Wie ist Ihr genereller Ausblick für Gold und Edelmetalle für die nächsten 12-18 Monate?"
Olivier Aeschlimann, Fondsmanager "IAM - Gold & Metals", IAM Independent Asset Management SA (15.03.2010): "As said earlier, the key factor determining the price of gold and silver is, to our view, the level of interest rates and the USD exchange rate on a trade weighted basis. Consequently, the low interest environment expected to last at least until the end of 2010 will be supportive for gold and actually for all hard assets. That said, as OECD economies start to recover, market participants will start to anticipate tighter monetary policies on both sides of the Atlantic and this will ultimately have a negative impact on the price of gold (18 months horizon). In other words, we have a constructive scenario for the metal but we do not subscribe to some catastrophic scenarios (Zimbabwean inflation rate to decrease the burden of public indebtedness, economic Armageddon etc.) sometimes promoted by the so-called gold bugs."
Evy Hambro, Manager "BGF World Gold Fund A2 USD", Leiter des Natural Resources Equities Teams von BlackRock (18.03.2010): "Whilst uncertainty remains in financial markets and concerns shift from corporate debt to sovereign debt, investors may continue to look to gold as a safe haven asset. Also, investors are increasingly looking to gold as a hedge against inflation (particularly as a result of the quantitative easing currently being enacted in many countries) and potential US Dollar weakness. Long term supply fundamentals remain tight, with little sign of any material increases in mine production (indeed, mine supply peaked in 2001). Company balance sheets remain in relatively good shape and are still benefitting from the fall in input costs, such as steel and other consumables. Despite gold hitting new highs in Sterling and coming close to previous highs seen in the Euro and Swiss franc, it is worth pointing out that in real terms, US$ gold is some way below its previous high. The 1980 peak of US$850/oz, when adjusted for inflation, is over US$2,000/oz."
Johanna Keller, Fondsmanagerin "LO Funds – World Gold Expertise (USD) P A" (19.03.2010): "We continue to believe that gold exhibits a positively skewed risk/return profile due to the positive factors presented in question 1. In short, the stable or slightly contracting supply of gold combined with the possibility of a further demand increase, notably due to investment demand, is an attractive feature over the mid term as long as the economical and political uncertainties remain.
However, gold will remain volatile notably due to US Dollar movements and speculative flows."
Daniel Sacks, Fondsmanager "Investec GSF Global Gold A Acc Gross", Investec (10.03.2010): "Notwithstanding the growing chorus of bullish sentiment, debate remains strong as to how “real” this recovery is. With the fear of a significant financial crisis waning, debate is now turning again to how the recovery will play out. In almost all but a global soft-landing scenario, gold is likely to rally, in our view. With a global recovery unlikely to be smooth, the two main risks to most asset values are inflation and the USD — both of which are decisively gold positive.
We therefore maintain our positive outlook for the gold price for the following reasons:
- safe-haven buying as an alternative currency (gold is the only currency whose production is going down, not up in double digits)
- the outcome of printing money is inflation, gold is an inflation hedge (which soared 10-fold in the inflationary 1970s)
- no supply response to high gold prices is anticipated. Mine production is on a declining trend of approx -1% per year."
Claude Rivaud, Fondsmanager "SGAM Fund Equities Gold Mines AC" (15.03.2010): "Medium term the bull case for Gold remains:
- Gold is increasingly perceived as an Insurance against the rise in public sector debt
- Net debt/GDP of developed countries: 92% in 2009, 110% in 2014?
- Gold is involved in the strategic reflections regarding the Dollar and its central monetary role
- Gold is still underweight in portfolios (despite a 51% rise in ETFs outstanding in 2009).
- Market capitalisation of both Gold Mines and ETFs outstanding only represents 0.7% of Assets under Management world wide.
Short term however we do see certain less favourable factors:
- the seasonal aspect becomes more difficult for Gold, traditionally between mid January and end March.
- more encouraging economic statistics in the US compared to Europe is leading to some USD appreciation against Euro
- the remaining 191 tonnes due to be sold by the IMF will finally be sold gradually on the market (following the announcement of 200 tonnes purchased by India in November 2009);
- recent declarations by China looking to calm market expectations regarding China’s intentions to buy Gold.
Gold should continue to consolidate in the next few weeks to around 1050 USD.
Silver and Precious Metals will be more sensitive to the publication of macroeconomic statistics supporting quite high expectations of a global economic recovery."
Markus Bachmann, "Craton Capital Precious Metal Fund A" (16.03.2010): "We see various fundamentals factors in place or emerging that will provide a further underpin for metals prices over that time period and beyond. It is important to note that we predict stronger metals prices even in an environment of a stronger dollar."
Walter Wehrli, Berater "NESTOR Gold Fonds" (17.03.2010): "Der Goldpreis ist aufgrund der guten physischen Schmucknachfrage und den relativ hohen Breakeven-Kosten der Produzenten (ca. 820 US$/pro Unze) gut abgestützt. Aufgrund der oben erwähnten wirtschaftlichen Probleme erwarten wir eine weiter zunehmende Investitionsnachfrage. Ein Anstieg auf 1300-1500 US$ pro Unze erscheint uns deshalb als realistisch."
e-fundresearch: "Welche Über- und Untergewichtungen haben Sie derzeit im Fonds umgesetzt?"
Olivier Aeschlimann, Fondsmanager "IAM - Gold & Metals", IAM Independent Asset Management SA (15.03.2010): "No comment on individual positions."
Evy Hambro, Manager "BGF World Gold Fund A2 USD", Leiter des Natural Resources Equities Teams von BlackRock (18.03.2010): "We are constantly monitoring and adjusting the portfolio according to market conditions. The main change in the portfolio in the last few months has been to re-build a position in platinum."
Johanna Keller, Fondsmanagerin "LO Funds – World Gold Expertise (USD) P A" (19.03.2010): "Mid and small caps are overweighted, this is the most important bias. We have implemented this bias to benefit from the growth and scarcity embedded in future gold reserves."
Daniel Sacks, Fondsmanager "Investec GSF Global Gold A Acc Gross", Investec (10.03.2010): "As a general rule, the Investec Global Gold Fund is overweight gold producers, with operations (costs) in weak currencies, having strong balance sheets, and exhibiting growing production profiles. Specific examples of such companies which we are overweight include Newcrest, Agnico-Eagle, Randgold Resources and Goldcorp.The fund is underweight those companies which are battling to replace mined reserves.
We have a large overweight position in Palladium, via the palladium etf."
Claude Rivaud, Fondsmanager "SGAM Fund Equities Gold Mines AC" (15.03.2010): "The fund is structurally underweight the large cap Gold Mines Equities – Barrick Gold, Gold Corp, AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont Mining and Newcrest - due to the very high weighting these companies have in the benchmark FTSE Gold Mines. Indeed these 5 companies weigh almost 60% in the benchmark and so for legal and structural reasons including of course diversification of risk, the fund is underweight in these companies.
Primarily a stock-picking fund, the overweight positions can be found in the Mid cap Gold Mines Equity stocks where Osisko Mining, Randgold Resources and Alamos are overweight."
Markus Bachmann, "Craton Capital Precious Metal Fund A" (16.03.2010): "Gold equities in particular are in oversold territory since August 2008. They were sold down heavily in line with the decline in equities in the second half of 2008. They also strongly recovered but at the same time the gold price kept going up and reached record levels in all currencies. The strong recovery since the 20th of November 2008 of gold equities should not be misinterpreted as a move towards fair value. They just corrected from an absurd oversold position to a still exceptional attractive value level. The Craton Capital Precious Metals Fund has a particular focus on small to mid cap opportunities within the precious metals universe and as consequence of record high risk aversion and volatility during the financial crisis, the environment took its toll on the fund. But it also showed a very remarkable recovery since the lows in November 2008. We do no comment on particular holdings that we have included in the portfolio but it is in its composition well balanced and nevertheless focused. We put a special emphasis on investment cases on the small to mid capitalized companies as we see superior growth profiles across the board compared to large gold producers. In particular we focus on investments where we can identify very company specific catalysts that should result in superior share price returns of the respective company over time. The research process of the fund is very bottom up driven, a factor that is enabling the team to catch a lot of the prospects at an early stage. General risk and volatility factors within global financial markets remain on the path to “normalized” levels, an environment that is beneficiary and conducive for an overweight of the small to mid cap universe versus the big gold producers. However, stock selection will remain key over the next 12 to 18 months, an environment where the team feels particular comfortable in."
Walter Wehrli, Berater "NESTOR Gold Fonds" (17.03.2010): "Im Portfolio wird Südafrika stark untergewichtet. Südafrikanische Produzenten haben Wachstumsprobleme, sind mit einer schwierigen politischen Situation konfrontiert und weisen, aufgrund der starken Fluktuationen des Rands, eine hohe Ertragsvolatilität auf. Auf Titelebene bevorzugen wir mittel- und kleinkapitalisierte Werte mit Reservenwachstum. Dabei sind wir geographisch nicht gebunden, meiden aber einige Länder in Afrika, Asien und Südamerika aufgrund der instabilen politischen Lage oder zu schwacher Eigentumsrechte. Die Marktführer wie Barrick Gold, Newmont Mining, Newcrest, etc. sind innerhalb der Industrie hoch bewertet und werden deshalb stark untergewichtet."
Alle Daten per 05.03.2010 in Euro: