Register For Our Mailing List

Register to receive our free weekly newsletter including editorials.

Home / 403

The fascinating bank hybrid journey of the last year

This time last year we were scrambling to figure out how best to explain the hybrid market’s performance. From 2 March 2020 to the close of business on 23 March 2020 the broader market, as represented by Elstree Hybrid Index declined by a material 15.7%. By the month’s end the index had managed to claw its way back such that it was down, over the month, by a relatively pedestrian 6.2%.  

Wow, that was some 12-month period!

On the 12-month anniversary of the biggest drawdown since the GFC, it's an interesting time to reflect.

Most risk markets, hybrid markets included, bottomed on or around 23 March before rallying strongly on coordinated government and central bank intervention. The rally that ensued produced extraordinary return outcomes – we might even go so far as to say ‘ridiculous’ return outcomes.

Over the year to end 31 March 2021 the hybrid market as represented by the Elstree Hybrid Index returned 13.32%. This compares (now) with an expected hybrid market return of cash +3% (i.e. 3%). Investors certainly should not expect those hyper-inflated return outcomes again any time soon. The chart below shows the returns on individual hybrids (vertical axis) and the standard deviation (horizontal axis). We’ve also shown the Elstree Hybrid and All Ordinaries Accumulation indices.

What does this tell us?

  • Almost everything did well but the non-major bank hybrids did best with many producing around 30% returns.
  • Volatility was relatively subdued given the return outcomes. Pretty much everything went up in a straight line.
  • If you produced the same chart but started it at 28 February 2020, you would get different outcomes with hybrids still producing an acceptable return and risk profile with equities displaying more risk and less return.

What were the fascinating days?

  • The hybrid market’s worst day was a -6.1% decline on 23 March 2020. This was the day that the NAB announced that they were converting their maturing NABPB hybrid into shares via a VWAP (Volume Weighted Average Price) agreement with UBS. This ‘option’ is present in almost every hybrid document and it allows the issuer to raise $1-$2 billion of equity capital without the usual complexities. In this instance investors received their $100 (for the note) and then the NAB ‘on sells’ the note to UBS and NAB then issues ordinary shares to UBS. The market erroneously interpreted the cleansing statement issued by NAB to mean that the maturing NABPB holders would not get $100 and instead would receive NAB shares at an estimated 30% premium to the last traded price. Investors sold everything including equities. NABHA fell 12%, AMPPB fell 11% while the broader equity market declined by just under 6%.
  • The hybrid market’s best day was a mere two days later on 25 March 2020 resulting in a 3.8% return. This was the day investors realised they had sold for the wrong reasons and bought back the stocks they had sold. The market had a net gain of 3.9% for that week.

Probably the biggest lesson is that many investors don’t understand the structures, and in a crisis, everyone panics first and thinks later.

 

Campbell Dawson is an Executive Director of Elstree Investment Management, a boutique fixed income fund manager. The Elstree Enhanced Income Fund delivered 18.7% in the 12 months to end March 2021. This article is general information and does not consider the circumstances of any individual investor.

 

RELATED ARTICLES

What now for SMSFs and hybrids?

How are high net worths investing and thinking now?

Take a total return focus during COVID-19

banner

Most viewed in recent weeks

10 reasons wealthy homeowners shouldn't receive welfare

The RBA Governor says rising house prices are due to "the design of our taxation and social security systems". The OECD says "the prolonged boom in house prices has inflated the wealth of many pensioners without impacting their pension eligibility." What's your view?

Three all-time best tables for every adviser and investor

It's a remarkable statistic. In any year since 1875, if you had invested in the Australian stock index, turned away and come back eight years later, your average return would be 120% with no negative periods.

The looming excess of housing and why prices will fall

Never stand between Australian households and an uncapped government programme with $3 billion in ‘free money’ to build or renovate their homes. But excess supply is coming with an absence of net migration.

Five stocks that have worked well in our portfolios

Picking macro trends is difficult. What may seem logical and compelling one minute may completely change a few months later. There are better rewards from focussing on identifying the best companies at good prices.

Let's make this clear again ... franking credits are fair

Critics of franking credits are missing the main point. The taxable income of shareholders/taxpayers must also include the company tax previously paid to the ATO before the dividend was distributed. It is fair.

Survey responses on pension eligibility for wealthy homeowners

The survey drew a fantastic 2,000 responses with over 1,000 comments and polar opposite views on what is good policy. Do most people believe the home should be in the age pension asset test, and what do they say?

Latest Updates

Investment strategies

Joe Hockey on the big investment influences on Australia

Former Treasurer Joe Hockey became Australia's Ambassador to the US and he now runs an office in Washington, giving him a unique perspective on geopolitical issues. They have never been so important for investors.

Investment strategies

The tipping point for investing in decarbonisation

Throughout time, transformative technology has changed the course of human history, but it is easy to be lulled into believing new technology will also transform investment returns. Where's the tipping point?

Exchange traded products

The options to gain equity exposure with less risk

Equity investing pays off over long terms but comes with risks in the short term that many people cannot tolerate, especially retirees preserving capital. There are ways to invest in stocks with little downside.

Exchange traded products

8 ways LIC bonus options can benefit investors

Bonus options issued by Listed Investment Companies (LICs) deliver many advantages but there is a potential dilutionary impact if options are exercised well below the share price. This must be factored in.

Retirement

Survey responses on pension eligibility for wealthy homeowners

The survey drew a fantastic 2,000 responses with over 1,000 comments and polar opposite views on what is good policy. Do most people believe the home should be in the age pension asset test, and what do they say?

Investment strategies

Three demographic themes shaping investments for the future

Focussing on companies that will benefit from slow moving, long duration and highly predictable demographic trends can help investors predict future opportunities. Three main themes stand out.

Fixed interest

It's not high return/risk equities versus low return/risk bonds

High-yield bonds carry more risk than investment grade but they offer higher income returns. An allocation to high-yield bonds in a portfolio - alongside equities and other bonds – is worth considering.

Sponsors

Alliances

© 2021 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer
The data, research and opinions provided here are for information purposes; are not an offer to buy or sell a security; and are not warranted to be correct, complete or accurate. Morningstar, its affiliates, and third-party content providers are not responsible for any investment decisions, damages or losses resulting from, or related to, the data and analyses or their use. Any general advice or ‘regulated financial advice’ under New Zealand law has been prepared by Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892) and/or Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc, without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. For more information refer to our Financial Services Guide (AU) and Financial Advice Provider Disclosure Statement (NZ). You should consider the advice in light of these matters and if applicable, the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision to invest. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product’s future performance. To obtain advice tailored to your situation, contact a professional financial adviser. Articles are current as at date of publication.
This website contains information and opinions provided by third parties. Inclusion of this information does not necessarily represent Morningstar’s positions, strategies or opinions and should not be considered an endorsement by Morningstar.

Website Development by Master Publisher.