Insights & Commentary

Notes from India: All is Well in the World’s Fastest Growing Market

We had the opportunity to meet the management teams of a dozen Indian banks, insurers and asset managers in the financial capital of Mumbai, India last month. Nearly a year since our last meetings with senior bank executives and notwithstanding the recent slowing of economic growth, management teams were optimistic of India’s medium to long-term GDP growth outlook. The optimism was driven by a structural market…

Canadian Banks: One Chart Showing Higher Volatility Since New PCL Accounting Took Effect

In April we wrote an Insight in which we explained why we believed the volatility of Canadian bank stocks was likely to rise[1]. Specifically, we cited two reasons: (i) rising acquisition risk, and (ii) implementation of the new provision accounting (IFRS 9). Since the first reporting season (February 2018) following the introduction of this new provision accounting, it does appear that the monthly volatility for the…

HFA: Identical Return to the Canadian Banks with Much Lower Volatility (and Lower Correlations)

The Hamilton Australian Financials Yield ETF (HFA) recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Although the global financials and the Canadian banks experienced significant volatility since its launch in December 2018, HFA has produced consistent monthly returns and dividends as well as identical returns to the Canadian banks, but with much lower volatility (and relatively low correlations). Note to Reader: This Insight includes references to certain Hamilton ETFs…

U.S. Bank M&A: Another Accretive MOE, Another Positive Market Reaction

On Monday, this year’s third (sizable) U.S. bank merger-of-equals (“MOE”) was announced, continuing a trend we expected following similar transactions early in 2019. We have previously written that after a multi-year period of muted merger activity that U.S. bank consolidation – particularly among mid-cap banks – was poised to accelerate. We have cited this theme as impacting the U.S. mid-cap financials sector generally and the banking…

U.S. Mid-Caps: Yield Curve False Alarm? 9th Straight Quarter of 10%+ EPS Growth

Since Hamilton U.S. Mid-Cap Financials ETF (USD) (ticker: HFMU.U) was launched in September 2017, the yield curve has flattened. Some market participants have taken this broader market signal to be an accurate predictor of a recession and by extension a credit cycle for banks. However, those interpreting the flattening of the yield curve (spread between the yield on the US 10 year and the Fed funds…

Australian Financials: History of Strong/Stable Dividend Growth

The Australian financial sector is among the highest quality and strongest in the world (and very similar to that of Canada). Moreover, Australia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world with GDP/capita nearly 20% higher than that of Canada. It is also forecast to be one of the world’s fastest growing developed economies in 2020 (at 2.4%), providing a supportive backdrop to the financial…

13th Straight Quarter of Double-Digit EPS Growth; Valuations at Five-Year Lows

Hamilton Global Bank ETF (ticker: HBG) holdings reported portfolio-weighted EPS growth of 10% Y/Y[1], driven by strong U.S. banks fundamentals (~60% weight) and a diversified portfolio of global banks (~40% weight). This is the 13th consecutive quarter of double-digit portfolio-weighted EPS growth for HBG. The strong growth was led by U.S. mid-caps and bank holdings in India, Norway and select European countries. Note to Reader: This…

Notes from Dallas: Big Things Happen Here

We recently returned from a visit to Dallas (our third in four years) where we met with eight banks operating in the Lone Star State. Five of the eight have footprints beyond Texas, and hence offered a fuller picture of the attractiveness of the Texas economy and business outlook (hint, there’s a reason they’re in Texas). Of the banks we met, three are holdings in our…

A Day in the Life of the U.S. Financials – Notes from New York

Three days in New York gave us the opportunity to meet with a broad-based group of financial services companies, largely based in the U.S., but several operating globally. Included in the mix were several holdings of the Hamilton Global Financials Yield ETF (ticker: HFY) and the Hamilton U.S. Mid-Cap Financials ETF (USD) (ticker: HFMU.U), both of which invest in the broader financials services sector. The former…

What U.S. Investment Bankers and Banks are Saying about M&A

At Hamilton ETFs, the prospects for M&A is one the supporting factors for our investment thesis for the U.S. mid-cap banks, in which both the Hamilton Global Bank ETF (ticker: HBG) and Hamilton U.S. Mid-Cap Financials ETF (USD) (ticker: HFMU.U) are heavily-weighted[1]. Note to Reader: This Insight includes references to certain Hamilton ETFs that were active at the time of writing. On June 29, 2020, the…

Notes from Washington, DC – Investigating One of the Wealthiest MSAs in the Country

We recently had the opportunity to meet senior management of over a dozen U.S. mid-cap banks headquartered in the Washington, DC area. Anchored by the capital city, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria MSA (Washington MSA) is the sixth largest U.S. MSA ([1]) with real GDP of US$507 bln ([2]) and a population of 6.3 mln. Importantly, it is also the second wealthiest MSA ([3]) in the entire country, supported…

HFY: Thriving in a Very Challenging Market (Supported by 4%+ Yield)

The Hamilton Global Financials Yield ETF (HFY) continues to thrive in a very challenging market, generating excellent returns, with much lower volatility. Year-to-date, HFY has risen ~13.0%, over 800 bps ahead of its benchmark of higher yielding financials[1]. It is also outperforming with lower downside volatility than the Canadian banks, global financials, U.S. banks (both large and mid-cap), European financials/banks, and major financials indices in Asia…

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