Monday December 8th, 2014
The Fund seeks to provide shareholders with attractive long-term capital appreciation by investing in a high conviction portfolio of North American equities. The Fund invests in a portfolio of North American equities held by some of world’s most renowned investment managers.
The Fund was positive in November. All sectors were positive led by consumer discretionary, technology and healthcare.
The best performing stocks were Actavis, Apple and Liberty Global while the worst performers were Priceline, Google and Alibaba.
The pharma sector has been buoyed all year by a slew of M&A activity. Actavis was lifted higher after announcing that it would buy Allergan in a highly synergistic merger. Apple rose on the back of iPhone 6 demand and optimism over the upcoming Apple Watch launch. Liberty Global spiked higher on the last day of the month on rumours that Vodafone was holding internal talks and analyzing financial and regulatory hurdles in a possible merger deal.
Priceline reported solid Q3 results, however the stock traded lower as the company had disappointing Q4 guidance. Recent events such as ebola slowed the pace of international travel and the weak Euro dampened performance across European regions. Google and Alibaba drifted sidewise most of the month.
The Fund completed its quarterly rebalance adding Alibaba and removing Baidu. The portfolio continues to hedge USD currency exposure maintaining a net USD exposure at approximately 10% of the Fund’s NAV.
Stocks moved higher this month. In the U.S., generally strong data continued to support a positive economic outlook for 2015, and widen the economic gap between the U.S. and other developed countries. Conversely, Japan and Europe saw weakening economic data which prompted the BOJ and ECB towards even more aggressive stimulus measures in order to fend off deflationary pressures. In addition, the Bank of China unexpectedly cut rates to improve liquidity sending global stocks higher. Commodities were under pressure all month highlighted by an 18% plunge in crude prices. The end of month OPEC meeting was pointed to as a potential catalyst for stemming the fall in prices; however OPEC kept its production ceiling unchanged escalating its price war with other oil producing nations. The U.S. dollar pushed higher this month in particular against the Japanese Yen and currencies from commodity exporting nations. The loonie sold off in tandem with oil prices as USD/CAD closed at the year highs above 1.1400.