Standard Life Investments

Focused Insight

Big brands - the end of an era?

Big brands - the end of an era?

Branded consumer goods have been a favoured investment theme for many investors. However, a number of fundamental changes mean new entrants are challenging these once profitable, predictable businesses.

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Shopping online suits logistics just fine

Shopping online suits logistics just fine

The rise of e-commerce has led to a surge in demand for logistics space. As a result, the industrial sector has outperformed across global real estate markets. Built-in upside for logistics and innovative distribution strategies means strong performance should continue.

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China points to the financial future

China points to the financial future

Financial technology is being widely adopted in China. The wealth-management industry is growing rapidly through fintech, and the banking, insurance and property sectors are facing disruption. Chinese fintech is set to expand both at home and abroad.

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Avoiding the pitfalls of quantitative investing

Avoiding the pitfalls of quantitative investing

Technological advances will drive increasing popularity of algorithmic investment strategies in 2018. Quantitative investing marries the science of models with the art of knowing when to use them. Algorithms and data are becoming more important, but investment still needs investors.

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Artificial intelligence: finding opportunities amid the rise of the machines

Artificial intelligence: finding opportunities amid the rise of the machines

Identifying the winners and losers of the rise of AI requires an understanding of the underlying technology – fast processors and vast datasets.

Hardware winners include both innovators and mass producers of semiconductors.

Facebook, Amazon and Google have vast amounts of data on their users, but so do other businesses such as health insurers.

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Asia powers ahead in tech

Asia powers ahead in tech

In 40 years, Asia has moved from poverty to the forefront of technology. Asian companies are now innovators rather than imitators. Investors shouldn’t take the West’s technological superiority for granted.

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How green are ‘green bonds’?

How green are ‘green bonds’?

The August announcement by Tianjin SDIC Jinneng Electric Power Co Ltd that it had issued green bonds worth RMB1 billion ($150 million) to finance a 2,000 megawatt coal‐fired power plant neatly encapsulates the conundrum of green bonds.

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Europe's dirty secret

Europe's dirty secret

A rise in bad debt is common in times of financial distress. However, two factors differentiate the Eurozone’s non-performing loans (NPLs) problem.

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Election Insight – Germany 2017

Election Insight – Germany 2017

On 24 September, elections to the 19th Bundestag will be held in Germany, with the result determining who will serve as chancellor for the next four years. The incumbent candidate, Angela Merkel, currently enjoys a strong lead in the polls and is widely expected to secure a fourth term in office. However, under Germany’s proportional representation system, a coalition administration is the most common form of government and here a number of possible outcomes exist.

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Argentina – no more tears?

Argentina – no more tears?

Just over a century ago, Argentina ranked among the world’s ten richest economies. However, since those halcyon days, it has experienced long and steady economic decline relative to the developed world – described as ‘one hundred years of ineptitude’.

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Credit: is the glass half empty or half full?

Credit: is the glass half empty or half full?

How full is your credit glass? Is a change in the interest rate cycle and an uncertain political backdrop an ominous combination, or do healthier corporate balance sheets and an improving global economic backdrop mean the asset class can continue to deliver in 2017?

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Trump and European Banks

Trump and European Banks

Few expected Donald Trump to win the US presidential election. Even fewer predicted the aftermath, a strong rally in global stock markets. When the unexpected happened, the extent to which investors were wrong‐footed could be observed in the sharp rotation between sectors, away from defensive stocks and into cyclicals.

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