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Equity gains rise as confidence grows for eurozone stability, says Camradata survey

Lack of unexpected volatility over the final three months of 2012 helped to boost the performance of European equities, according to the latest Camradata Independent Quantitative Investment survey.

Figures for Q4 2012 showed European equities making overall returns of 8.1 per cent (in sterling terms) over the quarter. MFS’s Smaller Companies Fund took advantage of this growth and beat the benchmark comfortably while showing genuine skill.
Emerging markets also finished the year strongly, up 15.2 per cent higher with emerging market debt also up 12.9 per cent. Aberdeen Asset Management – a consistent top five manager throughout the year – continued to make strong, relative returns in the equity space. It also demonstrated relative margins over the benchmark. HSBC also set itself apart with strong relative and risk adjusted returns.
Camradata founder and managing director Steve Butler says: “Despite concerns that the Eurozone would fall back into recession, there was clearly more confidence in moves being made to bolster markets. Equities gained as a result.
“Overall, global equity markets made modest gains despite familiar volatility. Sovereign bonds tended to be fairly flat in comparison with corporate debt, producing returns between equities and sovereign bonds.”
Butler adds that US equities lost ground over the same time period, largely due to continuing uncertainty over the fiscal cliff dominating policy concerns at the tail-end of 2012. That said, managers in the Camradata universe produced positive returns over the last three years, despite the average return coming under the benchmark.
Two managers caught the eye with Delaware Investments and Beck, Mack and Oliver topping the rankings. They both displayed similar traits with strong excess and risk adjusted returns as well as producing big wins whilst limiting losses against the benchmark.
The spread of returns in the multi-asset universe reduced with the minimum return of all managers increasing by 0.2 per cent from Q3 2012. In addition, they achieved these returns whilst generally displaying a lower level of risk. Despite the fierce competition in this space, Invesco Perpetual topped the pack by yielding benchmark-beating strong returns with genuine skill.

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