Equity Volatility Is Most Significant Risk for Investors: AIA Group CIO

By Divya Chowdhury | September 30, 2020

Heightened equity market volatility extending beyond the U.S. presidential election is the most significant risk for investors, AIA Group’s chief investment officer said on Tuesday.

Mark Konyn, group CIO at the insurance and securities firm in Hong Kong, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum that his fund had put in place hedges that protect investments in equities for a period well beyond the election on Nov. 3.

“Where we have equity hedge strategies in place to protect the downside, we have extended the term until well after the election to avoid being caught out in this period of higher volatility,” said Konyn.

Investors are preparing for prolonged uncertainty after President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the election outcome and a peaceful transfer of power, and his attacks on postal voting.

Konyn, who manages $221 billion worth of assets, said AIA does not directly trade volatility.

Konyn said his longer-term view was “overweight equities,” while staying “constructive on risk assets.”

He expected the price recovery in equity markets to broaden, while giving a 75% chance to a U-shaped recovery. A significant fall in the U.S. S&P 500 index was a low-risk outcome, he said.

Konyn said he expected the U.S. dollar to fall 5% from current levels, adding the currency will “remain structurally weaker but cyclically robust.”

(Reporting by Divya Chowdhury; editing by Vidya Ranganathan and Simon Cameron-Moore)

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