Global Security Fund månadsrapport – juni 2023

Global Security Fund Monthly Report – June 2023

The Finserve Global Security Fund performed strongly during the month of June, driven by positive developments in the defense and cyber security sectors. Both sectors benefited from robust fundamentals and favorable market trends which helped us to generate a return of a whopping 7.3 %. At the time of writing, the fund is up 10 % for the year and has also provided a different and more stable return pattern than the stock market in general. We are happy with that and it provides diversification value for our investors.

The defense sector continues to be a stable investment with strong growth forecasts, largely thanks to rising defense budgets globally. When the concern about the debt ceiling in the USA is also gone and the defense budget is prioritized in the USA, it is positive for the large proportion of American companies we have in the portfolio. We have been able to capitalize on these trends by investing in companies that demonstrate strong growth potential and robust business models.

Technology stocks also continued to rise, and the Nasdaq 100 had its best first half on record. The market's high expectations for the effects and power of generative artificial intelligence have, through a small number of companies, driven the market strongly upwards for the year. Within the fund, we have a favorable positioning for AI's development with shares in companies such as Intel and Microsoft, both of which benefit greatly from this trend. Intel recently revealed details of an AI chip it plans to launch in 2025, marking a potential strategic shift to compete with NVIDIA and AMD.

The cyber security industry has also contributed to AI's rise in the stock market. Companies in this sector can leverage large productivity gains through AI-powered automation solutions. It is estimated that between 20 % and 40 % of a security analyst's time can be automated using AI, representing a potential cost savings of around $100 billion. The general assessment is that it is the large global companies that will benefit the most from AI, and we believe that this also applies in cyber security. It is expected that much of the growth will accrue to a select few companies. The fund's holdings Palo Alto, Microsoft and CrowdStrike are among the likely winners. During the month of June, Palo Alto's share price increased by a whopping 20 %. This positive development in the use of AI is particularly welcome as the industry simultaneously grapples with a possible labor shortage of up to 3.4 million people. The development of AI can also lead to large cost savings over time, which in turn can provide improved cash flows, which is a high priority for investors today and is reflected in stock performance. Succeeding in investments and implementation of AI will be very important for companies' competitiveness.

The fund has a positive exposure to technology and AI which we judge to create good positive conditions going forward, but at the same time it is not too large if we see a decline in optimism and a different market sentiment and in such a situation there is no need to hit the fund too hard. Developments in the technology sector and artificial intelligence show increased market optimism, but market sentiment can also develop negatively quickly despite the potential of technology and AI.

We see technology, AI and cyber security as part of an ongoing megatrend in the world and it is above all the one we are trying to expose the fund and its investors to.
The megatrend the fund captures is an increased geopolitical tension and competition between superpowers and blocs that causes economics, global trade and competition in technology and space to increase as a result.
Despite negative effects for society as a whole, it leads to large consequential investments, including defense and cyber security, but also an arms race in space and large investments in energy and infrastructure to increase resilience and reduce external dependence outside of well-established collaborations, such as between the United States and Europe or USA and Japan. The fund's ambition is to invest in the companies that are best positioned to benefit from these trends and effects, as we believe they can provide a good relative return compared to the stock market in general. In addition, they lower the risk in a portfolio and can provide a positive return when the stock market generally does poorly.

Macroeconomically, there will be a lot of data this week including the purchasing managers' index as well as job and wage data from the US which is so important and has held up well and contributes to the FED once again signaling future interest rate increases. The stock market will likely fluctuate in the short term as a result of macroeconomic developments, but we assess that the fund has an exposure that is favorable and can provide good returns over time for its investors.

It is very gratifying for the fund that Sweden's former army chief, Karl Engelbrektson has chosen to join the fund as partner and Head of Advisory Board. Karl has a unique knowledge of global security which will be of great use in the management of the fund. This gives us additional opportunities to position ourselves correctly in defense and security and to understand the long-term trends in the sectors.

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