The fund developed negatively during the month of April, -2.3 %, mainly against the background of concerns about weaker guidance going forward for IT companies and defense companies. Among the negative contributors were Teledyne, Science Applications and SAAB, which was down almost 9 %, but remains the best annual performer for the fund with a gain of 40 %.
Among the fund's cyber companies, Microsoft has had continued strong development with 6.58 % for the month and 28 % for the year. The company has shown strong growth in both core products and cloud services, and the boom around AI means that the company is well positioned. ChatGPT enables Microsoft to implement AI in its own Bing search engine. If Microsoft can challenge Google and gain market share in digital marketing, there is great potential for the company.
The cyber companies Zscaler, Crowdstrike and Cisco had weak development. Zscaler has indeed recovered strongly in May through a reverse profit warning for the quarter and through stronger guidance going forward.
Our defense companies, which are mainly American, benefit from the US going out and raising the defense budget for 2024 with a clear expression that the intention is to meet China's actions and defense investments. In addition to missile systems and securing dominance in airspace, large investments are also made in resilience in the broadest sense. The budget also includes investments together with Japan, the Philippines and Australia. Alongside an increased escalation in the South China Sea, it is interesting to follow the actions of Japan, which has previously limited defense funding to 1 % of GDP. Now it has been stated that one should reach 2 % of GDP but not until 2027. Which, however, many critics believe is still too low.
The central banks have continued to raise key interest rates and, although communication has changed, nothing has been clearly conveyed about when it is conceivable to start with reductions. We have a continuing banking crisis in the US and interest rate hikes can make the economy and economy very fragile and could be what causes us to go into a recession.
2023 has started strongly but it should not be forgotten that the rise, at least in the US, has been led by the sectors that last year were down between 30-40 % and that the rise only took in 25% – 50 % of those losses. The fund has both in 2022 and so far in 2023 offered diversification especially when volatility rose, and alongside creating strong risk-adjusted returns over time, the intention is to continue to offer attractive diversification for investors