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iBoxx SGD Monthly Update: January 2022
December 2021 Performance
A number of markets faltered in the first half of December as the fast-spreading Omicron variant added uncertainty to the health and wealth of investors. However, as the month progressed, investors became somewhat more reassured. Early data on the new strain began to suggest an average prognosis better than first feared and this invigorated risky markets.
By month-end, expected volatility indicators had nosedived and many equity markets were resolutely up, capping off a year of extensive gains in stocks (despite numerous pandemic plights). December also saw the USD moderately weaken and commodities prices advance. Conversely, major bond markets experienced stress heading into year-end as the prospect of rate hikes intensified. Moreover, longer-dated rates rose substantially given the steady pressure from realized and expected inflation.
In line with other fixed income markets, the SGD bond market cooled a little over December, losing 7 bps as per the iBoxx SGD Overall index. This loss was driven by the government sub-index that dropped 22 bps (mostly impaired at the very long-end). Meanwhile, moderate gains were seen in the non-sovereign and HY sub-indices.
The overall index closed the year offering a yield of 2.04% with a duration of 7.18 years.
Given the local bond market is tethered to such an open economy we close this year's final monthly commentary with an upbeat (but caveated) excerpt from PM Lee Hsien Loong's year end message. In appraising Singapore's economic prospects for 2022 he said, "Our economy is recovering steadily. Barring fresh disruptions, it should grow in step with global economic recovery".
January 2022 Rebalance
This rebalance, S$300 million of new notional was inserted into the index via two new bonds.
The larger insertion was a S$200 million bond, maturing in two years, issued by Cagamas Global PLC (a Malaysian sub-sovereign agency).
The smaller new bond, offered by Keppel Infrastructure Trust (a Singapore based financial), was issued with a maturity of five years, as of settlement date.
No bonds departed the index this rebalance.
Please refer to the full report for rating changes observed at the January rebalance.
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