Investor with 30% in cash says N Korea equity selloff will come

Stock markets are headed for a big selloff, maybe not today, but soon, says Nader Naeimi, who heads a dynamic investment fund at AMP Capital. By Livia Yap

Stock markets are headed for a big selloff, maybe not today, but soon.

That’s the view of Nader Naeimi, who heads a dynamic investment fund at AMP Capital and helps manage about $110 billion. The Sydney-based investor has about 30 per cent of his holdings in cash, an allocation to gold and is short emerging-market currencies versus the dollar. His fund has beaten 77 per cent of peers over the past year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

While Naeimi joined a chorus of investors this morning in predicting a muted market reaction after North Korea said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, he sees the isolated Asian state as one of the factors that could eventually bring down the long bull run in equities.

“Markets need a correction,” Naeimi said. “There is a significant disconnect between uncertainty and market pricing of risk. North Korea and other events will provide the triggers for a correction.”

Japanese stocks fell as the yen and gold gained in Monday trading in Asia, with the benchmark Topix index dropping as much as 1.2 per cent before paring losses. South Korea’s benchmark equity gauge fell 1.7 per cent at the open and then trimmed its decline to 0.7 per cent. All but two of 24 developed stock markets tracked by Bloomberg have posted gains in 2017, with the S&P 500 Index up 11 per cent despite rising risks of a military conflict or trade war over the standoff with North Korea.

“While today’s fall in risk assets might not be deep, the process is one of an incremental rise in market volatility,” Naeimi said. This “will culminate in a deeper-than-expected correction.”

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