Investors bet on a quiet tech revolution in Europe: HumSub.TV

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Investors bet on a quiet tech revolution in Europe: HumSub.TV

Investors bet on a quiet tech revolution in Europe: HumSub.TV: It’s not banking or mining shares, but rather technology stocks, that have come up trumps in Europe this year and are poised to end the first quarter as the best-performing sector.

European tech companies often pale in comparison to the glamor of peers across the pond such as Facebook, Snap Inc and Amazon, and are dwarfed in terms of market value. The US sector, at $4.3 trillion, is worth more than eight times Europe’s.

Investors, however, have been quietly buying into a European industry they see as being at the heart of disruptive digital developments across a slew of sectors.

Tech stocks in Europe have risen nearly 12 per cent in the first quarter, outstripping the broader market, which is up 4.8 per cent, and also their performance in the first three months of last year when they fell 5.4 per cent.

Driverless cars, iris-scanning technology and augmented reality are just a handful of the themes at play globally in which European companies such as STMicroelectronics, Infineon Technologies and SAP are involved.

Many European software firms are involved in corporate back-offices, keeping systems efficient and running – a less headline-grabbing side of the tech sector but one that can be important for companies across all industries looking to cut costs.

“Every consumer is exposed to Google, or Facebook, or Twitter … something like SAP, which actually is in most corporations, is less visible to the end consumer,” said Marcus Morris-Eyton, European equities portfolio manager at Allianz Global Investors. Tech now accounts for nearly a quarter of Morris-Eyton’s portfolio, and SAP is his biggest position.

The mining sector was the standout performer in Europe over the course of 2016, gaining 61.9 per cent, followed by oil stocks which rose 22.9 per cent – far ahead of technology firm shares which were up 3.4 per cent.

Banking stocks endured a turbulent first half, dragged down by problems in the Italian sector, but after hitting a low in July they rallied almost 47 per cent to the end of the year.

These trends were expected to continue into 2017, but so far banks are only up 4.6 per cent in the first quarter, miners are up 6.2 per cent and oil stocks are down more than 3 per cent.

Like many sectors, the commodities and financial industries have since last week been hit by investor concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump may not be able to deliver on all his tax and infrastructure pledges, after his healthcare plans were blocked.

Tech is less exposed to immediate political and economic developments, according to analysts, and is more governed by long-term global trends in technologies such as automation, driverless cars and augmented reality.

“(In tech) there’s always this level of innovation that keeps people engaged and keeps people investing for those opportunities almost irrespective of the economic cycle,” said Steve Sherman, senior portfolio manager at BNP Paribas.

Flows into tech have been strong globally, with tech sector-focused funds seeing the biggest inflows year-to-date since 2009, according to data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Likewise Europe-listed robotics and automation exchange-traded fund (ETF) ROBO hit a new record high last week and saw record monthly inflows in February of $80.6 million. ABB and Krones are among its top 10 holdings.

The move toward digitization across industries has market participants particularly excited.

Morgan Stanley analysts highlighted SAP’s S/4 HANA enterprise cloud software which helps integrate data and applications, and also its new product line for the “internet of things” (IOT) – where everyday objects are connected to networks to send and receive data.

At Evenlode, one of Britain’s best-performing investment funds last year, portfolio manager Hugh Yarrow holds stocks such as Sage and Relx whose digital analytics are being increasingly used in law, accountancy and finance.

In more traditional sectors of tech, chip makers such as Infineon, STMicroelectronics and ASML are closely linked to Apple and the iPhone cycle. Infineon shares have surged to a record high.

Stuart Mitchell, manager of the SWMC European Fund at SW Mitchell, is betting big on STMicro. The stock, up 33 per cent this year, is the fund’s biggest holding.

Mitchell said that he became interested in the stock when its share price fell after its loss-making set-top boxes business went belly up last year.

He reckons STMicro’s role in the auto industry with its car chip business and time of flight (TOF) technology – which is used in sensors – means it will surprise with its quick growth.

Neil Campling, global head of TMT Research at Northern Trust Capital Markets, said he expected opportunities in areas such as semiconductors, automated vehicles, sensors and virtual and augmented reality.

“The tech industry in Europe may not be as big in terms of revenue as the US is, but it has a critical role to play in basically what is, without doubt, a digital revolution that is global in nature,” he said.

Investors bet on a quiet tech revolution in Europe: HumSub.TV

About HumSub TV
Introduction
HumSub TV is Pakistan’s leading forwarding-thinking, edutainment channel, aimed at promoting and upholding peace, interfaith harmony and social responsibility within Pakistan through informative and insightful programmes and documentaries; analytical interviews on issues pertaining to social, economic, legal and environmental set-up; dedicated shows to canvass and thereby promote the culture and heritage of Pakistan and in-depth coverage of national and international news.

HumSub TV is the first channel and thus a pioneer within its own right that mainly focuses on emphasising the “Rights” as well as the “Obligations” of the citizens in light of the Constitution of Pakistan, numerous International declarations signed by the Government and various laws that have been promulgated over the years but are not in the knowledge of the common citizen.
HumSub TV also aims to enter into bilateral agreements with other countries to promote not only their culture, heritage and tourism, but also their educational and medical facilities.
Following the successful launch of HumSub TV’s head office in Blue Area, Islamabad; the bureau office has been set up in Lahore.

Vision
To project positive image building of Pakistan and inculcate nationalism, as per the vision of the founder of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Mission
HumSub TV is resolute about the promotion of a pluralistic, inclusive and egalitarian society in Pakistan where all citizens are allowed to contribute to promote interfaith harmony, peace and collective wisdom in the social, political and economic development of Pakistan and to encourage critical and lateral thinking in the society. HumSub TV strives to make a positive contribution to this end.

HumSub TV’s Theme
HumSub TV, Pakistan’s first EDUTAINMENT Channel, has been set up for not only those audience residing in Pakistan or overseas but the international community on the whole. The vision of the channel is to project positive image building of Pakistan and inculcate nationalism as per the vision of the founder of the nation.

HumSub TV strives to make a positive contribution to this end by promoting pluralism, inclusiveness and egality in Pakistan and give voice to the suppressed. It endeavors to act as a positive catalyst for social change and Pakistani nationalism. It envisions providing a platform for airing critical and lateral thinking and collective wisdom by inviting positive minded intellectuals and opinion forming individuals for the promotion of interfaith harmony and peace in the social, political and economic development of Pakistan.

Whereas the channel airs upbeat edutainment programmes, it, nonetheless, has the primary objective of countering negative anti-Pakistan regional and international propaganda as well as advancing fundamental rights as encapsulated in the Constitution of Pakistan.

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