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Exclusive: Hostplus’ CIO Sam Sicilia talks investment

ICC Sydney EDITED

Hostplus’ Chief Investment Officer, Sam Sicilia, gives HM his 2015-16 investment outlook.

What are the investment focuses for Hostplus in 2015-16? Are there any specific segments Hostplus will be focusing on in 2015-16?
Over FY1516 we will focus on various strategies to ensure we can take advantage of opportunities that may arise from equity market corrections. We will also continue to maintain our focus on unlisted assets because these are expected to provide downside protection from volatile equity markets.

How do you see the Australian economy at present?
The Australian economy is of particular concern because economic activity is not being adequately stimulated and the Reserve Bank of Australia may be forced to cut rates more aggressively. Australian companies are decreasing the amount they spend in their own business, which further erodes the conditions necessary for economic growth. The Australian economy remains exposed to adverse impacts from an escalation in a number of potential global geopolitical events. If the US Federal Reserve opts to increased rates this year (and that’s a big if), then it will inevitably result in upward pressure on funding costs for Australian banks. Should a few of these circumstances happens at the same time, it will be a vicious circle for the economy overall and it is critically important to take pre-emptive steps to avoid this.

Any concerns on the increased level of Chinese investment from a property perspective?
We are not concerned about foreign investment in real assets – after all, we are global investors too!

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