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The Lyxor ETFs on this website are undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) (i) domiciled in France and approved by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) or, (ii) domiciled in Luxembourg, approved by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and authorised to market their units or shares in the French Republic in accordance with the notification procedure under Article 93 of Directive 2009/65/EC. Investors should note that the prospectuses of certain Lyxor ETFs under Luxembourg law that have been notified in accordance with this procedure are only available on the website in English. A French translation of these prospectuses can be obtained upon request by sending a letter to Lyxor International Asset Management (“Lyxor”) – 17 Cours Valmy, 92987 Paris La Défense, France.


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19 Feb 2019

Euro bonds in a post QE world

These days, conventional bonds are providing very little shelter from equity volatility, complicating asset allocation decisions once again. So what’s next for euro bonds? Philippe Baché, Head of Fixed Income at Lyxor ETF, shares his views

Recent market stress has suppressed core euro government bond yields once again. 10-year bund yields are back below 0.2% for the first time since late 2016 – an unattractive level and a valuation that’s overly sensitive to rate moves.

But beyond that short-term stress, the ECB’s policy path and the identity of Mario Draghi’s successor are the issues that will be on investors’ minds in the new, post QE world. The elimination of negative interest rates and the provision of liquidity to the banking system are the major priorities – with another Targeted Long-term Refinancing Operation (TLTRO) on the horizon it’s clear the bank can’t yet abandon stimulus entirely.

Offering unlimited funding to all banks could however result in a material expansion of the bank’s balance sheet, which would seem odd given it’s just concluded its QE programme. A generous TLTRO could also delay a rate hike. For now, we still expect the ECB to deliver just one, minimal hike of 10 basis points in September 2019 – just prior to Draghi’s departure – but any slowdown in the economy could push that out even further. Like Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, our Chairman and a former ECB banker, we expect little in the way of change from his, as yet unknown, successor. 

Pockets of opportunity on the periphery

Prudence is the watchword for the ECB, given the economic uncertainties. Draghi’s doves should sustain the hunt for yield, so we still see value in peripheral bonds, but it won’t necessarily be an easy ride. We’ll be watching out for any sign of more tension in Italy in particular.

So far, this year’s new issuance has met with solid investor demand but we do expect some volatility after the European elections in May. The EC will have to react to the results of the Italian government’s latest Stability Programme, and if there are no improvements to be seen in the country’s debt and growth prospects, then the question of an EC procedure against it will be back on the table. For now, country spreads look to be a good place to earn yield and carry. 

A high yield haven?

That search for yield should also encourage investors to prefer corporate bonds to sovereigns. Bank lending to non-financial corporates is gaining traction and there is no sign of a tightening in financial conditions anywhere outside of Italy. The ECB is far likelier to relax policy again.  

Default rates should fall in early 2019, as they have in the US, and they remain well below historical averages. Low funding costs and relatively low levels of balance sheet leverage don’t mean companies won’t default, but they do mean that the lag between defaults and growth will probably be longer compared to previous years. The peak of defaults in this cycle may well come in 2020-2021.

Meanwhile, the spread between high yield and investment-grade debt is back to “normal” (or at least its average since 2012).  On this basis, we prefer high yield given its higher carry, but it’s still important to be selective.

Explore our euro high yield range

Innovation in inflation

We’re still positive on inflation-linked assets, although the Q4 2018 collapse in oil prices has had an indirect effect on inflation term premia and growth expectations. Even if inflation expectations don’t pick up, we should see greater demand for linkers as a carry trade given their attractive yield advantage over nominal bonds.

As it did in early 2018, liquidity could improve in the early part of this year as supply comes to the market. If the first January auctions are anything to go by, interest is strong. All in all, it could be worth considering using some more innovative fixed income strategies to bolster your bond portfolio. 

Investigate our inflation range

Discover our ETFs

Lyxor EuroMTS 10Y Spain BONO Government Bond (DR)
Lyxor EuroMTS 1-3Y Italy BTP Government Bond (DR)
Lyxor iBoxx EUR Liquid High Yield BB
Lyxor EuroMTS Inflation Linked Investment Grade (DR)
Lyxor EUR 2-10Y Inflation Expectations

Source: All data, views & opinions Lyxor International Asset Management & Bloomberg as at 31 Jan 2019 unless otherwise stated. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Risk Warning​

This document is for the exclusive use of investors acting on their own account and categorised either as “Eligible Counterparties” or “Professional Clients” within the meaning of Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2014/65/EU. These products comply with the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EC). Société Générale and Lyxor International Asset Management (LIAM) recommend that investors read carefully the “investment risks” section of the product’s documentation (prospectus and KIID). The prospectus and KIID are available free of charge on, and upon request to

The products mentioned are the object of market-making contracts, the purpose of which is to ensure the liquidity of the products on the London Stock Exchange, assuming normal market conditions and normally functioning computer systems. Units of a specific UCITS ETF managed by an asset manager and purchased on the secondary market cannot usually be sold directly back to the asset manager itself. Investors must buy and sell units on a secondary market with the assistance of an intermediary (e.g. a stockbroker) and may incur fees for doing so. In addition, investors may pay more than the current net asset value when buying units and may receive less than the current net asset value when selling them. Updated composition of the product’s investment portfolio is available on In addition, the indicative net asset value is published on the Reuters and Bloomberg pages of the product, and might also be mentioned on the websites of the stock exchanges where the product is listed.

Prior to investing in the product, investors should seek independent financial, tax, accounting and legal advice. It is each investor’s responsibility to ascertain that it is authorised to subscribe, or invest into this product. This document is of a commercial nature and not of a regulatory nature. This material is of a commercial nature and not a regulatory nature. This document does not constitute an offer, or an invitation to make an offer, from Société Générale, Lyxor Asset Management (together with its affiliates, Lyxor AM) or any of their respective subsidiaries to purchase or sell the product referred to herein.

Lyxor International Asset Management (LIAM), société par actions simplifiée having its registered office at Tours Société Générale, 17 cours Valmy, 92800 Puteaux (France), 418 862 215 RCS Nanterre, is authorized and regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) under the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EU) and the AIFM Directive (2011/31/EU). LIAM is represented in the UK by Lyxor Asset Management UK LLP, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under Registration Number 435658. Société Générale is a French credit institution (bank) authorised by the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (the French Prudential Control Authority).

Research disclaimer

Lyxor International Asset Management (“LIAM”) or its employees may have or maintain business relationships with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that LIAM and its employees may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decision. Please see appendix at the end of this report for the analyst(s) certification(s), important disclosures and disclaimers. Alternatively, visit our global research disclosure website

Conflicts of interest 

This research contains the views, opinions and recommendations of Lyxor International Asset Management (“LIAM”) Cross Asset and ETF research analysts and/or strategists. To the extent that this research contains trade ideas based on macro views of economic market conditions or relative value, it may differ from the fundamental Cross Asset and ETF Research opinions and recommendations contained in Cross Asset and ETF Research sector or company research reports and from the views and opinions of other departments of LIAM and its affiliates. Lyxor Cross Asset and ETF research analysts and/or strategists routinely consult with LIAM sales and portfolio management personnel regarding market information including, but not limited to, pricing, spread levels and trading activity of ETFs tracking equity, fixed income and commodity indices. Trading desks may trade, or have traded, as principal on the basis of the research analyst(s) views and reports. Lyxor has mandatory research policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to (i) ensure that purported facts in research reports are based on reliable information and (ii) to prevent improper selective or tiered dissemination of research reports. In addition, research analysts receive compensation based, in part, on the quality and accuracy of their analysis, client feedback, competitive factors and LIAM’s total revenues including revenues from management fees and investment advisory fees and distribution fees.

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