Ibercaja Gestión steps on the accelerator and consolidates its position as the fifth manager. The group has registered more than 1,700 million net entries until April, a figure that allows it to surpass the record of 20,000 million assets under management. The Ibercaja manager has stepped on the accelerator at the start of the year, with growth of 12.5%. The figure has been boosted by the volume of deposits, in which 15 out of every 100 euros has gone to investment funds. “The markets have experienced volatility, but almost all sectors are going through a positive situation,” says the director of the Ibercaja financial group, Luis Miguel Carrasco.
In a meeting with the media, Carrasco explained that Ibercaja’s retail balance amounted to 68,571 million at the end of last March, 8,000 million more compared to December 2019. Of this amount, around 49% was in investment funds, savings insurance or pension plans. “We are the entity that has the most off-balance savings. We have almost half of the products invested in different terms,” adds Carrasco.
In this sense, private fixed income of high credit quality in the short term and public debt have been the main bets of the manager based in Zaragoza. The rise in interest rates has made them become an interesting option that Ibercaja Gestión wants to squeeze. “This 2023 is proving to be a year of return to fixed income that we have not seen for a decade,” said the general director of Ibercaja Gestión, Lily Corredor.
Despite this, he believes that the profitability offered by fixed income may begin to fall and show that there will be periods throughout 2023 in which they opt for mixed products. “In private income, the quality of the balances and the businesses with the greatest generation of benefits will prevail,” said the director of Investments, Beatriz Catalán. In this regard, Carrasco added that private income has good fundamentals and returns in the short-medium term. Regarding variable income, Catalán has highlighted that they prefer defensive values such as those from the health sector, ‘utilities’ or technology.
The average profitability of Ibercaja’s investment funds has stood at 2.47%, “recovering a good part” of the falls recorded during 2022, one of the worst years in decades on record for financial markets. Ibercaja Sostenible y Solidario and Ibercaja Confianza Sostenible stand out within their mixed portfolio, which achieved a return of 4.8% and 3.1%, respectively between January and April.
They warn of a “strong” economic contraction
During his speech, Catalán warned that the economic cycle is slowing down after a historic 2022 in which no type of asset has achieved a “breath” and that the developed economies will suffer a “strong” economic contraction and focuses on the eurozone, which is in a weaker position than the US, from the point of view of the manufacturer, while orders for goods are already registered falls. Thus, he foresees that corporate profits could fall by up to 6%.
In parallel, he believes that the European Central Bank (ECB) still has between 50 and 75 basis points of rate hikes left, in a region that has not been able to exceed pre-Covid GDP. This will allow inflation to gradually slow down to 4.5%-5%, although it will still move far from the target set by the body that governs monetary policy.