Erste Asset Management - Blog

Gerhard Winzer

Gerhard Winzer has worked at Erste Asset Management since March 2008. Up until March 2009, he was Senior Fund Manager in Fixed Income Asset Allocation; he has been Head Economist since April 2009.

He holds a degree from a polytechnical college and studied economics and business at Vienna University with a special focus on financial markets. He holds a CFA charter and participated from 2001 to 2003 in the doctoral programme for finance at the Center for Central European Financial Markets in Vienna.

From July 1997 to June 2007, he worked in research at CAIB, Bank Austria Creditanstalt, and UniCredit Markets & Investment Banking. His last position was as Executive Director for Fixed Income / FX Research and Strategy. He was responsible for research on asset allocation at Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB) in Vienna from July 2007 to February 2008.

Gerhard Winzers Posts
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Gerhard Winzer am 17th July 2015

Agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries depresses oil price

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The negotiations between Iran and the UN veto powers plus Germany were concluded successfully on Tuesday, 14 July. Iran will curtail its nuclear programme. In exchange, the international economic sanctions will be reduced.

The result is remarkable in so far as the interests of the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) and of Iran differ strongly in many areas. The sanctions apparently had a very serious impact on the Iranian economy, and the P5+1 no longer wanted to hamstring Iran as a political and economic power in the region.

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Gerhard Winzer am 06th July 2015

Parallel currency in Greece?

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Last Sunday, the Greek people decided with a clear majority to follow the proposal of their government. With 61.3%, the No camp rejected the conditions of the expired adjustment program. Thereby, Greece is one step closer to an exit from the Eurozone and the European Union.

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Gerhard Winzer am 29th June 2015

Greece – the never ending story

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The breakdown of the negotiations between Greece and its creditors as well as the planned referendum on 5 July troubles capital markets. Greece itself is formally not insolvent. As long that this is not the case the European Central Bank (ECB) will do whatever it takes to contain spillover risks. After the referendum, the next key date will be 20 July, where bonds issued by the ECB will be payable. Until then a number of decisions has to be taken and a new financial package negotiated.

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Gerhard Winzer am 19th June 2015

High noon in Greece and the trend to volatility

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Summary: The economic recovery in the developed economies is supported by the very expansive monetary policies, lower austerity pressure on the government front and among banks, and the fallen oil price. Growth rates remain moderate. In the emerging markets we can see signs of low-level stabilisation at best. The possible default of Greece, excessive interest rate hikes in the USA, a further decline of productivity, and continued economic weakening in the emerging markets are the main risks the markets are faced with.

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Gerhard Winzer am 01st June 2015

Economic Growth: Is the glass a third full or two thirds empty?

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Weak growth

Real global economic growth was weak in Q1. Estimates put economic growth at an annualised 1.5% (q/q). Thus the long-term trend of downward revisions is intact, which keeps the fears of global economy possibly heading for persistent stagnation alive.

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Gerhard Winzer am 15th May 2015

Changes in the market regime

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The big trends of the past weeks such as the appreciation of the US dollar, the weakening oil price, falling yields, and the outperformance of Eurozone equities have reversed in the past days and weeks, in some cases drastically so.

What is behind all of this?

When both demand (i.e. economic growth) and supply (i.e. production growth) are weak and the central bank policies are very loose, we have a textbook example of an environment causing yields to fall and/or remain low. Indeed, yields were high after the Great Depression in 2008/2009. Having transitioned to a slow, weak, and fragile recovery, yields have started to fall and bond prices have started to rise (i.e. asset price inflation). Even if the economic regime remains unchanged, the market environment may change; the higher the asset price, the lower the expected return or yield.
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Gerhard Winzer am 08th May 2015

Market and fundamentals

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Weak growth
Real global economic growth was surprisingly weak in Q1. The preliminary estimate for the annualised growth rate of Q4 2014 to Q1 2015 is only 1.5%. This is mainly due to disappointingly weak growth of the GDP in the USA (+0.2%), in China (+5.3%), in the UK (+1.2%), and in Japan (+1.5%; estimate). Brazil (-2.4%) and Russia (-11.5%) have even shrunk (both figures are preliminary estimates). In line with this situation, the data surprises have been largely negative, and the trend of downward revisions for economic growth has continued.

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Gerhard Winzer am 23rd April 2015

China – the biggest economy in the world

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The new normal

The importance of China for the global economic and financial system continues to grow at a rapid pace. Last year the country set a new milestone by becoming the world’s biggest economy. The total value of goods and services produced in a year exceeds that of the United States. Thus, at 30% China accounts for the largest contribution to global economic growth.

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Gerhard Winzer am 08th April 2015

Macro data: Dynamics down

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The dynamics of the economy and the markets have declined. Global economic growth is down on a quarter-on-quarter basis, the two most important trends of the past months (appreciation of the US dollar and falling oil price) have come to a halt, inflation is not falling anymore, and the US Fed has put a damper on the expectations of interest hikes. One important exception: the Eurozone has been picking up speed.

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Gerhard Winzer am 20th March 2015

The confrontation of the doves

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The most important central bank in the world, i.e. the US Fed, made an announcement yesterday that attracted a large deal of attention from investors. The bank withdrew its assurance to remain “patient” before the Fed funds rate would be increased. This paved the way for a possible abandonment of the zero interest rate policy, if economic need be. The new formula goes like this: the Fed funds rate will be raised once the labour market has improved more and the FOMC is optimistic about inflation rising towards the medium-term target of two percent.

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