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September saw large cap stocks regaining some ground as the bluechip SMI index advanced 1.4% during the month, outperforming the SPI Extra Index, which fell 2.4%.
The current market environment continues to be characterised by an outperforming pharmaceutical sector and the market’s negative sentiment towards industrial stocks has persisted, though September saw a slight recovery in European “value” investment indices that was largely driven by a rising oil price and a consequent recovery in the energy sector.
In this interview published in Citywire Selector, Philip Best and Marc Saint John Webb discuss the tricks and pitfalls of investing in European micro-caps.
In this interview published in Fund Selector Asia, our CEO Jean Keller explains how concerns about family-owned companies tend to be distorted and how data shows they outperform their non-family counterparts.
In this video published on Fund Selector Asia, our CEO Jean Keller discusses QUAERO CAPITAL’s value investing strategy that targets family-owned small caps in Europe.
Can you explain the strategy? What sets you apart from other managers in this space?
At QUAERO CAPITAL we believe that the best returns are often to be found in the companies that are the least well-followed. In spite of the fact that there are only 247 shares quoted on the SIX exchange, there are over 60 companies where there is no research coverage. Many of these companies are small and liquidity problems can deter larger fund managers. QUAERO CAPITAL can use its size to our advantage and invest in companies where others cannot.
Following company visits and new attractive prices, we have invested in three Swiss stocks for our European Small Companies strategy: Composite materials specialist Gurit, private bank EFG International and high precision machining company Tornos. With a total of 69 holdings, we will now be pruning smaller positions in coming months.
Value investors are returning to Greece, hopeful that if improving macro economic conditions persist, the coming year will prove a major boost to Greek small cap stocks.
Uncertainties certainly persist: the government has still to agree a post-bailout strategy with the Troika of lenders (made up of the International Monetary Fund, The European Commission and the European Central Bank). There is an estimated EUR 1 billion shortfall in Greece’s proposed 2018 privatisation programme (which may impact personal tax and VAT measures), and an election cycle is set to begin soon.
QUAERO CAPITAL has introduced Arrash Zafari’s ‘New Europe’ equity fund into the UK.
The introduction of Zafari’s New Europe fund, extends QUAERO CAPITAL’s existing European small and mid (SMID) cap capabilities to include companies from Eastern Europe, as well as other ‘peripheral’ states, such as Greece, Turkey and Russia.
After a strong start in the first quarter of the year, European stock markets have been consolidating but the core holdings of our Smaller European Companies strategy continue to benefit from economic growth across the region. Small cap stocks have coped with the strengthening Euro but further gains may start to have a negative impact on the competitive position of European exporting companies. The EUR106 million strategy, launched in 2007, is invested in 63 listed, partially family-owned European Smaller Companies.