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βeta Solutions Quarterly Style Analysis – Q3 2023

Q3 was difficult for emerging market assets. Both SA equities and bonds suffered with September resulting in single digit equity returns in rand terms for 2023. The outcome is expected given the kind of year 2023 has been with a continuing major European conflict not seen since World War II, runaway inflation and a very strained SA economy. In terms of style, value and dividend yield made a come-back in Q3, comfortably beating both momentum and growth. If one were a contrarian, the latter styles seem pretty cheap but are also naturally high beta. Therefore if you are expecting a recovery in Q4, momentum and growth are viable. However, against the backdrop of the explosive tension and a developing conflict in the middle east, the market is seriously jittery, manifesting in outflows from emerging markets and flows to the safe haven of US treasuries. If a resolution is found quickly, markets could experience a very much needed switch to risk-on, that would foster increased fund flows to emerging market bonds and equities. Such a scenario would allow for a much needed bounce on the JSE. However, given how volatile and fluid the situation is, from a style perspective the best bets would be quality, dividend yield and low volatility as they are constructed to protect against market downturns and increased volatility through consistent profitability, low gearing, low duration and low correlations with the market. The last thing this world needs is more war and conflict, therefore we should all pray for a peaceful outcome with the lowest possible loss of life. This would not only benefit the world on a moral and spiritual level, but also provide markets with a well-deserved positive pivot and recovery.

Agrarius - Historical Pricing