Press Releases

07/15/19 A universe of opportunities: emerging market corporate bonds
In 2004 the EM hard-currency corporate bond universe was relatively small at approximately USD 270bn. By 2009 the asset class had more than doubled to USD 600bn driven by strong economic expansion across developing economies. By the end of 2018, the emerging market hard-currency corporate bond universe had grown to USD 2.2 trillion. The investment universe also boasts attractive yields, solid fundamentals, which continue to improve, and it still has a lot of potential for continued growth. In short, EM fixed income still delivers income. 
06/28/19 The Opportunities of Low Interest Rates
Frankfurt, 28 June 2019 – Germany's public debt fell by 1.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019 to 1,927.2 billion euros. This was reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Thursday. At the same time, the cabinet draft for the federal budget 2020 adopted on Wednesday foresees a further reduction of the debt ratio from 59 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the current year to 51 percent in 2023. According to Patrick Vogel, one of the fund managers of the MainFirst Absolute Return Multi Asset, now is not the time to save. "The continued low interest rates present an ideal opportunity to help the country achieve higher long-term growth through targeted fiscal policy, economic stimulus programs and structural reforms," Vogel said. At minus 32 basis points, the 10-year German government bond yield is at a historic low. Austria has already used the low interest rate environment to issue 100-year bonds. Germany should also take advantage of the low refinancing costs. "In this interest rate environment, investing in future growth makes particular sense," emphasises the investment expert.
06/12/19 Mexico: Interesting investment opportunities in the energy and finance sector
Zurich, 12 June 2019 - A new president, low growth in the first quarter of 2019 and the tensions with the US around immigration and trade: Mexico faces a number of challenges. Not least in view of the tense situation with the US, many investors are currently rather cautious towards the Latin American country. Cornel Bruhin, fund manager for the MainFirst Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund Balanced, continues to find interesting investment opportunities in Mexico - particularly in the energy and financial sectors: "Oil and gas, electricity and finance have little exposure to the US economy. Tourism and exports can even benefit from a weaker Mexican peso as most goods and services are paid in US dollars but their operating costs are in pesos," Bruhin points out. With a precise knowledge of the companies, there may even be opportunities to expand positions.
In addition, the US and Mexican governments have reached to an agreement based on months of secret negotiations. Even if Trump threatens to impose tariffs again, they are unlikely to be imposed. Because they would affect US consumers considerably and the American automotive industry would suffer particularly as a result.  Moreover, Mexico is the third biggest trading partner of the USA and the tariffs would jeopardise the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
03/20/19 "Everything as a service" – where will the trend lead?
Frankfurt am Main, 20 March 2019 Rumour has it that Apple will announce a competitor platform to Netflix and Prime Video at its keynote on 25 March. Following the success of Apple Music, this would not only be a logical step for the group, but also an indication of a structural trend: "Everything as a service". What is meant here is the change away from the sale of simple products towards services. Frank Schwarz, fund manager of the MainFirst Global Equities Fund, is convinced that the business model "as a service" (aaS) could in future dominate across industries - and that investors can take advantage of this development.
01/09/19 MAINFIRST and ETHENEA combine their distribution support in new company
Frankfurt am Main, 9 January 2019 MAINFIRST Asset Management and ETHENEA Independent Investors S.A. are combining their distribution support in a newly formed company, FENTHUM S.A. Based in Luxembourg, FENTHUM is taking over the distribution support activities for both fund asset managers with immediate effect.
MAINFIRST will continue to manage the accounts of institutional investors and individual mandates for Germany and Austria directly. In this way, specific institutional requirements can be implemented easily and efficiently. Moreover, the close cooperation with the fund management and the dedicated account managers will continue to be available. 
12/13/18 EM corporate bonds: MainFirst expects solid returns over the next years and perceives interesting buying opportunities
 Frankfurt am Main, 13 December 2018. Emerging market corporate bonds should deliver solid returns in the coming years. Thomas Rutz, an Emerging Market expert at the independent financial services provider MainFirst, is convinced of this. "The fundamentals of EM companies remain strong and they have more room for manoeuvre than companies in developed countries," says Rutz. In his view, many emerging market corporate bonds are currently very attractive. Bonds in the JP Morgan Corporate Emerging Market Bond Index (CEMBI), for example, have an identical risk-reward profile to US and EUR High Yields. In addition, many EM companies still have upside potential, as they are considerably less levered. Moreover, in contrast to industrialized countries, emerging markets are still early cycle or at most in the middle of the cycle and there is, therefore, still a lot of potential. 
11/26/18 Facts in favour of Indonesia
Frankfurt am Main 26 November 2018 Since the Asian crisis of 1997/1998, investor confidence in Indonesia has been dampened. "However, the general sell-off recently lacked any factual basis," says Thomas Rutz, fund manager of the MainFirst Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund Balanced. "Investors are guided by their fears and not by the continued robust fundamentals. In fact, since 2010, the Indonesian economy has enjoyed considerable and continuous growth of around 5 percent per year, which makes it the G20 country with the most stable economic development. Inflation has been fairly stable since 2016, usually at around or below 4 percent. The main reason for this is a strong export business with commodities such as coal, whose prices increased by 6.6 percent in 2018 alone. In the last five years, 15 percent of coal exports went to China, which makes Indonesia one of the largest coal suppliers to a country that continues to use it as its primary energy source. “The coal market is currently under a healthy supply-demand regime and coal prices have recovered significantly since the supply-side reform introduced by the Chinese government in late 2016”, explains Rutz.  
11/19/18 How can investors avoid the demographic trap?
Frankfurt am Main, 19 November 2018 Demographic change does not only affect pension debates in Europe. Economists are also warning of the effects of population decline, which are likely to have an impact on economic growth. Not only in Germany, but throughout Europe the average age of the population is rising steadily. According to studies, around 30 percent of people in the euro zone will be older than 65 in 2070. By comparison, in 2016 the figure was still 20 percent. "Demographic change in developed countries will have an economic impact," says Adrian Daniel, fund manager of the MainFirst Absolute Return Multi Asset, warning against a slowdown in economic growth. At the same time, however, he sees opportunities in industries that are growing particularly fast as a result of such structural changes. "Structural trends, including demographic change, offer interesting investment opportunities," says the fund manager, citing developments in healthcare and automation as examples. 
11/08/18 Technological innovators see accelerating growth
Frankfurt am Main, 08 November 2018 – The latest setback in technology stocks could offer attractive buying opportunities for investors wishing to benefit from structural growth trends. Frank Schwarz, portfolio manager of the MainFirst Global Equities Fund, holds after the MSCI World Information Technology Index fell by around twelve percentage points in October. He sees it as a temporary correction based on investor sentiment and profit taking in the current reporting season. However, with an average organic revenue growth of 28 percent for his portfolio companies in the current season, the most important indicator remains intact. Schwarz anticipates rising profit margins in the long term and double-digit growth rates for technological innovators - including for companies other than Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet (Google).
10/25/18 After the run off in Brazil – what lies ahead?
Frankfurt am Main, 25 October 2018 A victory for the favourite Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) in the run-off elections in Brazil should give Brazilian real and assets values a boost. Thomas Rutz, fund manager of MainFirst Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund Balanced, expects a recovery of the Brazilian Real and a narrowing of credit spreads for Brazilian government bonds for this scenario. "We see positive indicators pointing to a sustained economic upturn in Brazil," said Rutz. Recent surveys, such as those conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics, predict that Bolsonaro will win the runoff elections on 28 October against Fernando Haddad of the Workers' Party (PT).
10/17/18 Investment into global megatrends unconstrained: the MainFirst Global Equities Unconstrained Fund
Frankfurt am Main, 17 October 2018 MainFirst expands its range of funds to include another global equity fund, the MainFirst Global Equities Unconstrained Fund. Its investment strategy is the same as that of the successful MainFirst Global Equities Fund with the difference that the new fund does not use an overlay based on technical indicators. Lead fund manager Frank Schwarz explains: "In response to multiple client requests, we have decided to offer the fund without tactical hedging. 
10/05/18 Presidential elections in Brazil: immediate risks for financial markets largely priced in
Frankfurt am Main, 5 October 2018 - Around 145 million Brazilians will be voting for their new president next Sunday and on 24 October in the general elections. "The country needs drastic, unpopular economic reforms to reduce the bloated government, counter the high budget deficit and reduce rising social security spending," says Thomas Rutz, fund manager of the MainFirst Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund Balanced. However, the expert sees the widening of the spread of the credit default swap (CDS) in Brazil and the correction of the Brazilian equity market as a sign that the financial markets have already priced in the risks associated with the outcome of the presidential elections and should remain stable for the time being after next Sunday. In the medium term, however, investors would take a very close look at whether the next elected president is pursuing a credible and reform-friendly economic program. "If this is not the case, a worsening of the situation will have to be expected," said Rutz. Two candidates currently stand a good chance of taking office: Jair Bolsonaro, a former military leader and member of parliament, who belongs to the right-wing populist Partido Social Liberal (PSL), and Fernando Haddad, the former mayor of Sao Paulo, who will run for the left-wing Workers' Party (PT). Haddad was nominated as a candidate for the PT at short notice after the popular ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had resigned because of his conviction in a corruption trial. "A run-off among these two candidates already seems almost certain," says Rutz. Geraldo Alckmin, the favorite of investors and candidate of the middle class, by contrast, "practically does not stand a chance". The financial markets are following the election campaign closely. After a severe recession in 2015 and 2016, Brazil has recently experienced a slight upswing. "But the effects are not yet really felt by the population," explains Rutz. In the past four years, the budget deficit amounted to more than seven percent of gross domestic product (GDP). According to the expert, high social security contributions and rising pension expenditure are preventing urgently needed investments in the country's physical and social infrastructure. Frustration about unemployment, corruption and crime among the population is correspondingly high. "Bolsonaro exploits this for populist slogans," says Rutz. The former captain of the army promises to crack down on crime, fight corruption and restore economic growth. His presumed future finance minister, Paulo Guedes, is liberal, wants to cut spending and buy back debt with income from privatizations of profitable state-owned enterprises and the public pension system. "For many hope that he will implement the necessary reforms makes him the favorite of the two front runners. Lula's candidate Haddad has worked his way up to second place since his nomination on 11 September. He promises to reverse many of the unpopular (but necessary) reforms of the highly disliked President Michel Temer to cut social spending. Temer had moved to the head of state in 2016 after the dismissal of President Dilma Rousseff. "Instead of pushing ahead with privatisation and pension reform, Haddad wants to boost the economy through investment. The markets hope that, like Antonio Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico, he will not implement his more drastic ideas for reform," says Rutz.
09/18/18 The MainFirst Classic Stock Fund is renamed MainFirst Euro Value Stars
MainFirst’s fund with the longest track record is getting a new name to better reflect its investment approach. Its new name (as of 15 September 2018) is: 
06/11/18 The dilemma for savers in the eurozone – why structural trends are more important than economic cycles
Frankfurt am Main, 11 June 2018 – European savers will have to adjust their investment behaviour in order to generate positive medium-term returns. This is the view of Adrian Daniel, fund manager of MAINFIRST - ABSOLUTE RETURN MULTI ASSET, launched five years ago. Growth momentum in the eurozone is slowing and the low interest rate environment will continue. “A look at leading indicators suggests it is not advisable to rely purely on the positive economic situation at the moment”, according to the fund manager. He advises investors to invest on a more global basis and generally to focus their portfolios to a greater extent on long-term structural trends rather than economic cycles.
04/12/18 4 MainFirst funds receive Lipper Fund Awards
MainFirst was presented with multiple honours at this year’s Lipper Fund Awards. For more than three decades the Lipper Fund Awards have been awared across more than 20 countries to investment companies and funds that have excelled at delivering consistently strong risk-adjusted performance relative to their peer group. Honored multiple times, the MainFirst – Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund Balanced (ISIN: LU0816909955) managed by our AAA-rated (Citywire) fund managers Cornel Bruhin, Dorothea Fröhlich and Thomas Rutz, took home awards in the Bond Emerging Markets Global Corporates 5-year category in seven different regions (Europe, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Switzerland and the UK), as well as the award in the 3-year category in Scandinavia. The MainFirst – Emerging Markets Credit Opportunities Fund (LU1061983901), managed by the same team, received the award for the Netherlands in the Bond Emerging Markets Global HC 3-year category.  Managed by Olgerd Eichler, Evy Bellet and Alexander Dominicus the MainFirst – Germany Fund (LU0390221256) received – in addition to such other accolades as the Euro Fund Award and the Deutscher Fondspreis,  the Lipper Fund Award for the third year in a row in the Equity German Sm & Mid Cap 5-year category in Germany.  The MainFirst – Absolute Return Multi Asset (LU0864714000) managed by Adrian Daniel, Frank Schwarz, Patrick Vogel and Jan-Christoph Herbst won in the Absolute Return EUR High 3-year category in Switzerland. Adrian Daniel and Patrick Vogel also received Citywire’s Best Fund Manager 2017 Italy award (Mixed Assets - Absolute Return).  Recipients of a Lipper Fund Award, presented by Thomson Reuters, are investment funds which are evaluated each year on the basis of their historical performances of the past 36 months or more. The funds showing the best risk-adjusted performances in their category over 3, 5 and 10 years are honored with a Lipper Fund Award. 
03/19/18 Winners and losers: These are the world’s biggest companies in 2025
Frankfurt am Main, 12 March 2018 – By 2025, things are set to change in the list of the world’s biggest companies. A current forecast by MainFirst Asset Management shows that while Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft currently have the highest market capitalisation, Alibaba, Tencent and Amazon look like they will be leading the rankings by 2025. “In the years ahead, they will benefit from the future themes of e-commerce, artificial intelligence, digital advertising and driverless cars," explains Frank Schwarz, who led the analysis. Through the MainFirst – Global Equities Fund, which he manages, Schwarz has been successfully investing for five years in listed companies that benefit from these trends. In 2017, the fund recorded growth of 39 percent, and growth of 125 percent since inception.[1] “The projected shifts in the period to 2020 are already priced into share prices, so we are looking ahead to identify the best investment opportunities,” says the fund manager, whose team monitors a universe of around 700 global companies.
At the beginning of 2018, MainFirst is again pleased that a large number of its funds have been awarded for their achievements by various bodies.
12/11/17 Outlook for 2018: future-oriented equities with the potential to outperform
Frankfurt am Main, 11 December 2017 Investors will not have to wait a long time to benefit from future-oriented themes such as digitalisation, artificial intelligence, automation and self-driving vehicles. Companies with structurally expanding business models should already outperform the overall market in 2018. This is the opinion of Frank Schwarz, fund manager of the MainFirst Global Equities Fund. “Future-oriented themes such as these should drive performance in the coming year in an environment that will remain challenging for equities,” explains fund manager Mr Schwarz, whose top holdings currently include Facebook, NVIDIA and Tencent.
11/24/17 Excellent rated fund management - Citywire Italy Award “Best Fund Manager 2017“
MainFirst is pleased to announce the reception of the Citywire Italy Award “Best Fund Manager 2017“ in the category of “Mixed Assets – Absolute Return EUR“. Adrian Daniel and Patrick Vogel manage together with their team the MainFirst Absolute Return Multi Asset (ISIN LU0864714935).
07/17/17 MainFirst fund manager Olgerd Eichler: “Continued strong potential for cyclicals due to the run on defensive stocks”
10 years Top European Ideas Fund Frankfurt am Main, 17 July 2017 Cyclical stocks are currently exhibiting significant catch-up potential, explains Olgerd Eichler, fund manager of the MainFirst – Top European Ideas Fund. “Although the European economic engine has once again been up and running since 2011, defensive stocks have performed more strongly than cyclicals,” reports Eichler. Defensive food and beverage manufacturer stocks, as well as those of pharma companies, have almost doubled since the euro crisis. At the same time, the cyclical sectors of European car manufacturers have increased by only approximately 60 percent, while banks were even slightly down over the same period. In view of this, Eichler is anticipating a catch-up effect in the price development of cyclical stocks. Nevertheless, Eichler warns against the consequences of an unchecked rally of defensive stocks: “We are concerned that the low interest rates could encourage carelessness among many investors, with a run on more defensive sectors creating the risk of the development of a bubble.”
07/13/17 Changes in management team and supervisory bodies at MainFirst
Frankfurt/Main, 13 July 2017 – After having established a long-term stable shareholder structure by selling the majority of shares to Haron Holding AG in April 2017, MainFirst is setting on course a change in its management team. Andreas Haindl, member of the management board of MainFirst Bank AG since 2007 and CEO since 2013, at his own request will leave the firm when his current contract ends on 30 April 2018. Succession to the management board will be appointed from within the Bank and be announced in due course. Bjoern Kirchner, CFO since 2007, has extended his contract until 2020. 
04/24/17 MainFirst sees itself well positioned for the future
Frankfurt/Main, 24 April 2017 - MainFirst has established a long-term stable shareholder structure and, with Haron Holding, a new majority shareholder. Existing MainFirst shareholders have sold 24.5 per cent of MainFirst Holding registered shares to Haron Holding - in addition, Haron Holding is acquiring 4.5 per cent of MainFirst Holding AG´s treasury shares. The closing of the transaction took place on 21 April 2017, having obtained all required regulatory consents. Haron Holding, which previously controlled 44.9 per cent of the share capital of MainFirst Holding, now owns 73.9 per cent of the share capital.
03/06/17 French elections influence investment opportunities for government bonds
Frankfurt am Main, 06 March 2017 The current forecasts for the presidential elections in France have significantly increased the risk premiums of French government bonds over the past months. This creates attractive opportunities for investors, as the bond markets have already taken the risks of the French presidential election into account and currently offer good chances for high yields. "Investors are worried about an election victory of the eurosceptic Le Pen. However, with regard to current election forecasts, we consider this view to be one-sided," explains Adrian Daniel, fund manager of the MainFirst Absolute Return Multi Asset. Especially the poll results of the independent candidate Emmanuel Macron (En Marche!) offer attractive opportunities for the current high risk spreads with French government bonds.
(Mannheim 01/25/2017) MainFirst is pleased to announce the renewed reception of the German Fund Award (Deutscher Fondspreis) in the category of “German Equity” for the MainFirst Germany Fund A (ISIN LU0390221256). 
01/17/17 Investors in Germany heading for a serious returns problem
Frankfurt am Main, 17 November 2017 For German investors, the chances of achieving a sustained growth in value will deteriorate dramatically if their allocation of assets remains unchanged. This is the conclusion of independent financial adviser MainFirst in a recent study. Accordingly, and considering only the current market environment, the average German will in future achieve a return of only 1.5 percent if they do not change their allocation of assets. Adjusted for inflation, the performance of their portfolio could even be in the red, at -0.3 percent.