Swiss equities in 2016: “a picture of contrast”

19th January 2017
-Gestion de fonds, IAM

Marc-Christian Bollet, Head of Client Relationship Management

“A picture of contrast.” That’s how we can summarize the development of Swiss equities over the course of 2016. Indeed, the SMI index, which groups the Swiss Large Caps, shows a decrease of -3.4% for the year, though Mid and Small Caps ended 2016 in positive territory at + 8.4% and + 14.7%, respectively. For the Large Caps, this difference can be explained by the decline in the pharmaceutical sector (Novartis disappointed, and Roche is undergoing a pivotal period with the awaited arrival of biosimilars) and the banking sector (on account of regulatory constraints, fines and low rates). The Mid Caps have benefited from a resilient Swiss economy; they succeeded in remaining innovative and adapted to the strong Swiss franc. After two subdued years, we believe that Swiss equities offer interesting potential, especially as the three major Swiss companies, Nestlé, Roche and Novartis, continue to have a solid medium-term outlook, and the rest of the index is rich in promising Mid Cap companies. We therefore intend to maintain our investment philosophy of selecting Large & Mid-cap companies with good visibility for long-term profit growth, good management and creation of solid cash-flow.