Bloomberg reports on the impact for developing markets of the rapid rise in inflation and war in Ukraine following the worst quarter for emerging-market dollar bonds in 24 years. The article notes that the rise in inflation and increasingly large potential rate hikes being considered by the Fed are drawing investors to commodity exporters in the Middle East and Latin America, and that this will likely make it more difficult for lower-income and commodity-importing nations to borrow as costs increase. The war in Ukraine has also made lenders more risk-averse, which is also likely to put pressure on borrowers. Goldman Sachs’s Andrew Tilton and Kamakshya Trivedi explained “The economic costs of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions are likely to be both significant and highly asymmetric,” while Jean-Dominique Butikofer, Head of emerging markets fixed income at Voya Investment Management said “Rising inflation, and more particularly food inflation, are giving emerging-market ministers of finance and central bankers growing headaches.” He also “warned that the need to subsidize food prices will hit the budgets of commodity importers, especially as the risk of social unrest grows alongside households seeing their purchasing power diminish.”
IBS Intelligence reports Voya Investment Management “recently announced that it has partnered with iCapital, a leading global FinTech platform driving access and efficiency in alternative investing for the asset and wealth management industries.” Voya “will leverage iCapital’s customized technology, service and diligence solution for financial advisors and their high-net-worth clients seeking access to Voya’s alternative and private fund offerings, starting with Pomona Investment Fund.” Pomona Capital CEO Michael Granoff said of the new partnership, “As investors look to diversify their portfolios, providing access to PIF via a streamlined and efficient solution makes it easier to invest in private equity, leading to an improved experience for everyone involved in the investment process.”
Voya Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Asset Allocation Barbara Reinhard was on Bloomberg TV discussing how markets have responded to geopolitical uncertainty, the decline in COVID cases and rising inflation levels. Looking at the likelihood of a strong Federal Reserve response to rising inflation levels, Reinhard said, “I don’t think you are necessarily going to get a monetary policy response. The Federal Reserve has a price stability mandate. They have very high consumer prices at this time, but I think the real channel for the Fed to be watching is going to be through the wage channel. If wages settle back down and you get crude back down, that would be a relatively very good scenario.”
Voya CIO for Fixed Income Matt Toms was recently on Bloomberg discussing the fixed income sector, specifically the “impact of geopolitical tensions, inflation, and a preview of next week’s FOMC meeting.” Toms’ segment begins near the 48-minute mark, where he notes that an economic slowdown “absolutely changes the investment landscape. You really have a tug of war between the upside to inflationary pressure that has gotten so much attention over the last six to eight months and downside pressure – not just from the long-term disinflationary influences that seem to be abating, but from the growth standpoint. There is certainly a stagflationary impulse, and what this means for fixed income is that there’s a downside risk tail we need to be aware of from a credit risk standpoint.”
Bloomberg reports on the market impact of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, which resulted in increased volatility in global bond markets. Voya Investment Management Chief Investment Officer Matt Toms believes that “the escalated uncertainty in Ukraine, and the spike in commodity prices, moderates the outlook for global growth and therefore increases the risk for corporate credit.” The heightened risk means new bond sales will likely shut down for the remainder of the week, according to people familiar with the matter.
Appearing on Bloomberg, Voya IM’s Senior Portfolio Manager and head of Asset Allocation discussed the markets’ response to the January Labor Report and the latest announcements from the Federal Reserve.
Voya IM CEO Christine Hurtsllers spoke with Ignites editor Emily Laermer about how Voya educates both their advisors and their clients. Hurtsellers says it is important for Voya advisors to “have good education, good material to then help their client base.” In order to give their clients the best advice, Hurtsllers says Voya is “spending more time on education and educational resources that advisors need in order to make some of this more understandable and easier for their clients.”
Appearing on Bloomberg TV Voya Fixed Income CIO Matt Toms spoke on the market’s reactions to Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s comments on how the Fed is planning to fight inflation. Toms said the market is currently reacting to a “calm, measured” reaction from the Fed as Chairman Powell announced the doubling of tapering and expected rate hikes. Toms said the market is still expecting inflation to be “moderating” over the next few years. Toms believes that while it is hard to predict an exact timeline, he believes the Fed’s current timeline of ending tapering in March and beginning rate hikes is a good estimate. Minus a sharp rise in inflation that would deserve a more harsh reaction, Toms believes the current plan from the Fed is good for the equity market. Toms also believes that increasingly higher prices will push consumer spending down, which will get rid of some of the “inflationary push.”
Ignites provides the transcript for an interview with Voya Investment Management CEO Christine Hurtsellers. When asked about the “tech trends that have most impacted mutual fund distribution,” Hurtsellers said, “It really goes to customized portfolios, customized advice and model portfolios. So one of the things that we’ve done is developed a partnership with a large wealth manager where we provide model portfolios for less-high-net-worth individuals. So think about people that have fewer assets.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that investors seeking higher yields have pushed fixed-income sales to record highs, especially for riskier debt offering higher payouts. The uptick in inflation has pushed price increases above average junk bond yields, an inversion of the way investors traditionally think of the bond market. Voya Investment Management Chief Investment Officer Matt Toms believes that investors are looking more at each individual issuer rather than categories, saying, “It is now about which companies can manage supply and pricing pressures and less so whether they can survive through the pandemic.”