International Equity

The Altrinsic International Equity portfolio declined 1.5% during the first quarter, outperforming the MSCI EAFE Index’s 5.9% decline, as measured in US dollars.   Just as most nations began lifting COVID-related restrictions and returning to normal, tensions intensified amidst surging inflationary pressures, tightening policy measures in the US,  lockdowns in China, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  

3 min read | Hypersonic weaponry is one of the most disruptive technologies in modern defense. We recognize that this is a controversial, sensitive, and potentially polarizing topic for multiple reasons, especially given the ongoing war in Ukraine. Yet, given the significant resources governments are committing to hypersonic research and innovation, we felt it would be valuable to provide a brief, fact-based review of hypersonic technology, its history, and the potential implications from both geopolitical and industry standpoints. Our sole intent is to provide an educational overview.

Beginning with the January insurrection at the US Capitol and ending with the rapidly spreading Omicron COVID-19 variant, 2021 provided much for markets to digest.  Nonetheless, equity markets continued their rise with support from re-opening economies, strong corporate earnings growth, and stimulative monetary and fiscal policies.  US equities and “growth” stocks continued to lead markets during the fourth quarter, but important transitions are underway that are supportive of a long overdue broadening away from this leadership in markets.

7 min read | Data breaches are up 280-fold over the past decade, and worldwide underinvestment in cybersecurity and data protection is a massive problem.  A ransomware attack now occurs every 11 seconds.  The cost to control cybercrime has ballooned to 1% of global GDP but related spending still represents just 3.6% of companies’ IT budgets.  This paper by Glenn Cunningham (global technology analyst), presents a case for why data has become one of the world’s hottest commodities and why protecting it has become a hot button topic for corporate and political leaders alike.  

The Altrinsic International Equity portfolio declined 2.2% during the quarter, compared with declines of 0.4% and 3.0% for the MSCI EAFE and MSCI All Country World ex-US indices, respectively, as measured in US dollars.  Strong performance by our financials holdings was offset by weakness among health care, communications, and consumer-related investments that lagged due to uncertainties stemming from COVID-19 and China. 

This interview with two of our research analysts, Rich McCormick (global financials) and Glenn Cunningham (global technology), dives into the underappreciated risk of disruption to traditional banking businesses.  Fintech firms have banks' profitable consumer and small business segments in the cross-hairs.  Meanwhile, investors have largely been bullish on banks since the November 2020 COVID-19 vaccine announcement.  We question how much value is left to unleash and believe the risks of disruption could take center stage.

Equity markets delivered strong gains in the second quarter, aided by continued policy stimulus, robust economic and corporate earnings growth, positive sentiment stemming from fewer global COVID-19 cases, and a supportive interest rate environment.  Health care stocks led the market on softening political rhetoric and positive new drug discoveries, while higher quality stocks in consumer staples and technology also advanced sharply.  

Equity returns were strong in the first quarter, supported by positive economic and corporate earnings revisions that offset the negative impact of rising interest rates.  The Altrinsic International Equity portfolio gained 3.6%, as measured in US dollars, compared with the MSCI EAFE Index’s 3.5%.  The most significant market developments were a continued rotation into cyclical and leveraged equities, a surge in commodity prices (S&P GSCI +14.2%), increased inflation expectations, and negative returns for bonds (FTSE WGBI -3.2%).

International equity markets delivered strong gains during the fourth quarter with the Altrinsic International Equity portfolio and the MSCI EAFE Index returning 15.4% and 16.0%, respectively, as measured in US dollars.  As shown in Charts 1 and 2, the strong narrow leadership by highly priced technology stocks that prevailed during most of the year gave way to a rebound in deep cyclical and lower quality businesses during the fourth quarter as encouraging vaccine developments spurred optimism about a return to normal life and improving economic conditions.  Financial markets continued to b

Equity markets delivered solid gains during the third quarter, propelled by significant upward revisions to corporate earnings prospects, low interest rates, and a US Federal Reserve policy announcement suggesting that interest rates will be kept low for the foreseeable future.  COVID-19 case counts remain elevated and economic conditions generally remain pressured, but recent data has been trending better than consensus expectations.  As stock markets appear to be discounting further economic improvement, they continue to be led by a small group of highly-valued "new economy" stocks that a

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