Investment Professionals

Investing in the transformation of supply chains for your clients

Jul 06, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic may be accelerating the trend towards using robotics, automation and artificial intelligence to enhance supply chains. Our dependence on human labour forces has been highlighted as we face scarcity of some basic grocery essentials during lockdown periods. ROBO Global, the index provider of ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ASX code: ROBO), discusses how robotics, automation and AI are transforming supply chains in a new paper. Read the article Many of the world’s largest companies are already focused on accessing robotics, automation and AI in their supply chains. Amazon is a well-known global example of this, using KIVA robots in their warehouses, while domestically, Coles is partnering with UK online grocer Ocado to use their software and technology for automation. Investors may be less aware of the companies supporting transformation and the specific areas of the supply chain they are set to disrupt. ROBO Global anticipate five key supply chain areas accelerating: Automated warehouse solutions assisting with inventory access and inspection. Warehouse picking and packing using robots to assist with social distancing as well as efficiency. Online grocers with automated fulfilment, warehouses and contactless delivery. Micro-fulfilment such as curbside pick-up for smaller retailers. Prepared food delivery using ‘ghost kitchens’ to maximise capacity of restaurants. For more information on investing in robotics, automation and AI, click here or contact us. Sales Trading Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: Phone +61 2 8311 3483 Email:

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Webinar Recording: Investing in the essential - healthcare & biotechnology

Jul 06, 2020

Recorded on the 2nd July 2020. In this webinar, we discussed: What biotechnology is and how it is different from broad healthcare Why investors should look outside Australia to the US How biotechnology is being used to fight COVID-19 What the future of biotechnology and healthcare look like Volatility and how to allocate to biotechnology in your portfolio To watch the webinar recording, please click here.

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Global biotechnology in your clients’ portfolios

Jun 23, 2020

Biotechnology has hit the headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic as companies race for vaccines and treatments, but its growth prospects extend beyond this period. Australian investors may be well familiar with this industry, given the dominance of CSL, but may be missing exposure to the international market, in particular, the US, the global centre of biotechnology. Download the full article here What is biotechnology? Biotechnology is a sub-industry of the healthcare sector and specifically refers to technologies that use biological processes, capturing companies that focus on research, development, manufacturing and/or marketing of products based on biological and genetic information. The different types of biotechnology include biological drugs, vaccines, immunotherapy, gene therapy, orphan drugs and genetic engineering. The US is typically viewed as the centre of global biotechnology due to the size of its market and the world-renowned US Food & Drug Association (FDA) approval process. The US industry is valued at US$, approximately 14.2x the size of the Australian biotechnology industry[1]. Why use global biotechnology in your clients’ portfolios? A growth investment a. Biotechnology is predicted to be valued at more than US$729bn by 2025, compared to US$295bn today[2]. b. The industry will benefit from increased spending in healthcare. The US, for example, is expected to average 5.4% annual increases in national health spending through to 2028[3]. Diversification away from concentrated Australian industry a. Biotechnology can be a high-risk industry, as well as lucrative. Average development costs for developing a drug are estimated at more than US$2.1bn and processes can take 10 years or more for approvals – assuming the drugs are successful[4][5]. Biotechnology performance has also benefited from highly active mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, expected to continue in the future. a. M&A for biotechnology was valued at US$23bn in 2019 with predictions of increased activity for 2020[6]. How to invest in biotechnology? You can consider direct shares or managed options for your clients’ portfolios. Direct shares may be a riskier option due to the high failure rates of drug testing and long periods of development. Managed options such as ETFS S&P Biotech ETF (ASX code: CURE) may offer broader exposure across a number of companies. For more information about investing in biotechnology, click here or contact us using the details below. Investor Relations Institutional Trades Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: Phone +61 2 8311 3483 Email: [1] [2] [3] [4] Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions, Unlocking R&D Productivity, 2018. [5] [6]

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Clean energy in your clients’ portfolios

Jun 10, 2020

Battery technology investments could be the answer for clients with an interest in the environment and a desire to incorporate this within their portfolios. Renewable energy and electric cars are set to take over fossil fuels as a source of energy in coming decades, but to do so, battery technology and storage will be critical. Renewables and battery technology Renewable energy, namely solar and wind power, are intermittent power sources. To rely on these is to require reliable energy storage in the form of batteries. Likewise, electric cars are completely dependent on battery storage to operate. The South Australian Hornsdale Power Reserve is the largest example in the world of battery storage for renewable energy, making Australia one of the leaders (surprisingly, given our coal industry) in transformation. Wind and solar energy are forecast to supply around 48% of world electricity needs by 2050, with battery technology, gas peakers (turbines or engines that burn natural gas) and dynamic demand anticipated to drive market penetration of solar and wind by more than 80% according to BloombergNEF[1] . To accommodate this growth, utility scale battery energy storage capacity is expected to more than double by 2022, while the market for battery technology is anticipated to reach $90bn by 2025, growing more than 12%[2][3] . How to invest in battery technology? The value chain for battery technology ranges from mining companies, mining for metals like lithium, to manufacturers of battery storage and storage technology providers. All are potential beneficiaries of the anticipated growth in this industry. There are a range of ways to access battery technology in your clients’ portfolios. Direct shares in value chain component companies with the bulk of their revenue related to this area, such as mining companies like Pilbara Minerals or battery manufacturers. Direct shares in broader companies which still include exposure to battery technology, such as Panasonic. Managed funds, either active options or ETFs such as ETFS Battery Tech & Lithium ETF (ASX code: ACDC) which offer exposure across the industry. For more information about ETFS Battery Tech & Lithium ETF (ASX code: ACDC) or investing in battery technology for your clients, please contact us. Sales Trading Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: Phone +61 2 8311 3483 Email: This document is communicated by ETFS Management (AUS) Limited (Australian Financial Services Licence Number 466778) (“ETFS”). This document may not be reproduced, distributed or published [1] [2] [3]

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Webinar Recording: Gold - A Precious Metal for Portfolios, 2020

Jun 02, 2020

Recorded on the 27th May 2020. This webinar focuses on the alternative asset that is gold. In this webinar, we discussed: Gold's strategic and tactical place in a portfolio Understanding gold's valuation factors: The short, medium and long-term price drivers Examining the recent rise of gold The future outlook To watch the webinar recording, please click here.

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Trading the greenback

May 18, 2020

Product in focus: ETFS Enhanced USD Cash ETF (ASX Code: ZUSD) Trading the greenback Many investors view cash as part of the defensive, and somewhat static portion of their portfolios, but in uncertain markets it might also be used as a trading tool to act on shorter term views and expectations of currency exchange rates. The US dollar is one such option that investors could consider, using an ETF like the ETFS Enhanced USD Cash ETF (ASX code: ZUSD). ZUSD aims to track the performance of an interest-bearing US dollar cash deposit by investing in US dollar bank deposits with maturities ranging from overnight to three months and earning a variable rate of interest. Using USD as a defensive position Cash typically forms part of a defensive allocation in a portfolio for liquidity and downside protection, with Australian investors typically using the Australian dollar. Much like equities and fixed income, diversifying cash can assist with risk management, particularly in volatile periods. For example, holding currencies other than the Australian dollar might buffer the cash allocation in periods where the Australian dollar is weak. The US dollar often holds appeal to Australian investors as a result of its strength compared to the Australian dollar. AUD/USD 14 May 2015-12 May 2020 The US dollar has traditionally been viewed as a safe-haven asset, with most global central banks keeping it as a reserve currency and many international transactions conducted in the US dollar. The value of the US dollar tends to be less volatile, particularly compared to emerging markets, backed by what is to the most part seen as political and economic stability[1]. Trade your conviction Investors can also use cash investments to make tactical decisions on how they expect a currency to perform. For example, investors who believe the US dollar is likely to appreciate, may increase their cash allocation to the US dollar while those who believe it is likely to depreciate may choose to reduce their allocation. An ETF like ZUSD is a simple and liquid way to trade your convictions on the US dollar, allowing you to move quickly based on your changing market views. It may also be more cost-effective and accessible for some investors when compared to setting up cash deposits internationally or using a currency exchange. Demand for the US dollar globally driven The US dollar is heavily used across the globe. There is more than $13 trillion in US dollar denominated assets held in banks outside the US[2], reflecting approximately 15% of world GDP[3]. Approximately 80% of global trade financed by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is in US dollars (BIS finances 35% of global trade)[4]. The US dollar has also been used by the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) to improve liquidity within the US and other countries by way of swap accords. An example of how this works is as follows: the Fed has an agreement with the Reserve Bank of Australia to exchange US$60 billion of US dollars for Australian dollars and reverses this transaction at a later point in time[5]. The Fed has permanent swap arrangements with the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, European Central Bank and Switzerland but set up temporary relationships at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and Sweden[6]. This has been to support the large demand and tight supply of the US dollar outside the US and has resulted in an increase from US$60 million in the first half of March 2020 in swap activity to nearly US$400 billion at the start of April 2020[7]. Depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, demand for the US dollar – either through swap activity or broader global activity – may put upward pressure on the greenback. Those who believe this is likely may choose to ‘go long’ on the US dollar by taking exposure to it either by buying US dollars or other means, such as ZUSD. Currency exchange and equity markets The exchange rate between the US and Australian dollars correlates negatively with US equity markets as represented by the S&P 500, meaning that the US dollar tends to appreciate against the Australian dollar when the US share market is falling and vice-versa. In other words, the Aussie dollar tends to perform well when markets are rising, which is linked to demand for Australia’s resources-heavy exports. This is demonstrated further in the following charts. As shown in the correlation panel at the bottom of the chart below, across 5 years there is a negative relationship between the movements of the S&P 500 compared to the USD/AUD rate. In periods of more pronounced downturns, the correlation has become more negative, as seen in the global financial crisis and the more recent volatility in March 2020. Long term S&P 500 vs USD/AUD rate (performance in top chart and correlation in bottom chart) Source: Bloomberg, 14 May 2020 To highlight how pronounced that relationship can be the chart below shows a strong negative relationship between the S&P 500 and the USD/AUD rate in the recent months of COVID-19 driven volatility. Short-term S&P 500 v USD/AUD rate (performance in top chart and correlation in bottom chart) Source: Bloomberg, 14 May 2020 An enhanced approach to the US dollar ZUSD tracks the USD/AUD rate and invests in US dollar bank deposits with maturities ranging from overnight to three months and aims to earn a rate above the rate available on overnight deposits. Deposits are held with one or more Authorized Deposit Taking Institutions and earn a variable rate of interest spread across a range of maturities to enhance yield, while maintaining the liquidity of the fund. Generally though, exposure to the US dollar through ZUSD may assist as a buffer against weakness in the Australian dollar and offer diversification in the cash allocation of a portfolio. Alternatively, investors may choose to consider ZUSD as a trading tool for a short-term tilt to access any strength they may anticipate in the US dollar. ZUSD is the only physical US dollar ETF offering quarterly distributions. This may make it appealing to income-focused investors. More information on ZUSD Fund Name ETFS Enhanced USD Cash ETF ASX Code ZUSD Management Fee 0.30% p.a. Distribution Frequency Quarterly For more information on ZUSD, please contact us on: Sales Trading Phone +61 2 8311 3488 Email: Phone +61 2 8311 3483 Email:

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