Client information of Aegon Hungary Investment Fund Management Co.
Dear Clients, Investors,
Hereby we would like to inform our clients about the effects of the extraordinary military conflict on the capital market and the suspension of Aegon Russia Equity Investment Fund.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and the consequent announcement of Western economic sanctions will have a serious impact on the regional stock and bond markets in the short term. The disconnection of a significant number of Russian banks from the international SWIFT system, the banning of Russian aircrafts from the airspace of EU member states, the USA and other countries, and the freezing of the assets of some Russian citizens are expected to cause severe damage to the local and global economy as well. The situation may change radically from day to day, which could cause significantly higher-than-usual volatility in global equity, commodity and foreign exchange markets.
The EU sanctions have completely banned trading in many Russian securities, while Russia has also imposed a ban on the sale of Russian securities to foreigners. In addition to the above, the European Union has also imposed a number of other economic sanctions, for example on oil refining, aviation, aerospace and maritime transport. These sanctions currently make it completely impossible to enter and trade on the Russian market.
Positive news flows affected the bond markets last week. There seems to have been further rapprochement between the Russian and Ukrainian sides. The Russians have announced that they consider the first phase of the war to be over and are concentrating the bulk of their forces in the east of Ukraine. Furthermore, after the peace talks in Istanbul, there is talk of a possible Zelenskiy – Putin meeting, which would be a step forward. The markets are watching anxiously to see whether the Russian rhetoric will translate into action and whether the fighting will indeed shift to eastern Ukraine or whether the Russians have simply used it as a distractions to buy time.
Based on the flow, there was some buying interest in the Ukrainian and Russian papers. The price of Ukrainian dollar-denominated government bonds rose by around 10% and Russian bonds also managed to rise significantly.
Central and Eastern European bonds remain under selling pressure. Investors fear inflation uncertainty and see a substantial risk that the region will face higher-than-expected consumer price increases. The forint, meanwhile, has tended to focus on the good news on the geopolitical front and after a significant gain, has dipped below the 370 level against the euro.
The Russian stock market has partially reopened on 24 March 2022 and the Russian equities have mostly rallied in the first week of the market’s re-opening, mainly on the back of a significant bounce on the first day compared to levels at the end of February. At the beginning of this week, the number of tradable stocks was extended from 33 to all stocks available on the local market. However, the ban on the sale of Russian shares remains in place, meaning foreign investors are still not allowed to sell shares on the Russian market. In addition, the Russian Central Bank has banned the opening of short (sell) positions. The exclusion of foreign players could therefore significantly distort the shares prices upwards. Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Russia has announced that the restriction introduced by presidential decree on 1 March 2022 will remain in place indefinitely, so that no easing of the restriction is expected at this stage.
As a result, despite the reopening of the Russian market, the market access of Aegon Hungary Investment Fund Management Co. (Investment Fund Manager) to the Russian equity markets is still not guaranteed, and therefore the sale or redemption of investment units cannot be carried out due to reasons attributable to the Investment Fund Manager.The conditions for the resumption of continuous distribution of the Aegon Russia Equity Investment Fund are still not met.
Our previous announcements about Aegon Russia Equity Investment Fund you can reach on the following link:
We further inform our Clients that the suspension of the Aegon Russia Equity Investment Fund will not result in any change in the operation and solvency of the Investment Fund Manager.
31 March 2022.
Aegon Investment Hungary Fund Management Co.
The information contained in this communication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an investment recommendation, offer, investment advice or solicitation. The information contained in this communication may change. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance of the investment funds. Aegon Hungary Investment Fund Management Co. is not responsible for the investment decision and its consequences made on the basis of this information.