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                    The global coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on thousands of businesses large and small, shuttering restaurants, bars and many retail stores. But for some businesses, the pandemic has been a boon, boosting their popularity if not yet their revenue. Grocery stores, online delivery and the post office are all hiring. But not all the businesses seeing a rise in demand are as obviously tied to the response to the pandemic. 

Among them is Coursera, which offers extremely popular courses. The company also has a program that helps universities transition entire classes online, which Coursera recently made free to any university that wanted it until July 31 — longer for students who signed up before the deadline. Traffic at Coursera is four to five times higher than usual. 

                    ​​ITI Funds platform holds a number of webinars on special investment opportunities during this period of volatility and unpredictability of stock markets. The topic of the April 2 webinar is algorithmic trend strategies - the first winners of the crisis. What happens to them after?
                    ITI Funds Marrying Football And Private Equity For High Returns

Buying sports teams has been traditionally as much a labour of love as it has been a business decision, but for ITI Funds, they see football as an opportunity to provide healthy IRRs to their clients. To that end, ITI Funds is launching a football private equity fund which will acquire five teams – to create a portfolio of football assets which they expect to provide a 3x return in the next five to seven years.

Read more in new interview at Alpha Week.

#alternative #PE
                    The online education company Coursera announced that any university in the world closing its doors in response to the new coronavirus can receive free access to most of its online courses.

Stanford, Princeton, Columbia, Rice, and Harvard are just a few of the growing list of schools cancelling in-person classes and moving online. Coursera has already fielded inquiries about online learning options from government education authorities in Pakistan, Kurdistan, and Peru.

Online learning has grown due to long-run factors including cost and convenience, but higher education has generally been “slow to adopt” tools like Coursera’s. “The higher education community will take a big leap forward because of the forced experimentation that’s happening during this crisis,” Coursera Chief Enterprise Officer Leah Belsky says.

Coursera is one of the most popular and oldest websites offering massive open online courses. Its base of users has grown from 26 million in 2017 to 40 million in 2019. This makes Coursera the largest provider in the online education market, which is projected to be worth between $42.97 billion and $65.48 billion worldwide by 2026. Current valuation is around $1.6 billion.

                    Global recession fears may not be well grounded as expected jobs reductions may be balanced by economy in adoption to new reality. 

                    ​You call that volatility?

The current market turmoil again underlines the importance of portfolio diversification – not only among assets, but also between investment strategies. While some strategies, particularly long only, weather significant declines, others actually profit from them. The best example is trend strategies that profit from volatility regardless of the market’s direction.

ITI Funds’ algorithmic trend strategy operates on three exchanges: CME, MoEx, and Bitmex/Binance (crypto). On Monday volatility movement the strategy gained 14% in USD terms on CME, 16.4% in RUB terms on MoEx, 8.7% in USD terms on crypto exchanges.

YTD returns are:
CME: +20.58% in USD terms
MoEx: +40.83% in RUB terms
Crypto: +23.45% in USD terms

                    Russia has rejected OPEC+ proposal for further oil production cuts. Quite unpredictable and reckless move sparked further plunge in oil prices. As a result Saudi Arabia announced lowered prices and production increase as soon as current agreement on cuts ends in April. Politically motivated "shot in the foot" decision will most probably erase gains of previous years and will return Russian markets back to after Crimea distressed valuations. RUSE ETF is an instrument to short to hedge your portfolios.  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-oil-prices/saudi-arabia-slashes-april-crude-oil-prices-after-opecs-supply-pact-collapsed-idUSKBN20U0Y4
                    OPEC has agreed to impose a deeper round of production cuts by 1.5 million barrels per day in order to support oil prices, paving the way for crunch talks with non-OPEC leader Russia, who still has to agree to the plan.

The proposed cuts, which were at the top end of analyst expectations, are conditional on approval from Russia.

It means energy market participants will now turn their attention to a meeting of both OPEC and non-OPEC members, sometimes referred to as OPEC+, on Friday.
                    ​«Bitcoin’s 2020 Rally More Sustainable Than 2019 Surge»
«Top Cryptocurrencies Are Exponentially More Liquid Than Ever Before»

These and other similar recent headlines encourage investors to increase their exposure to crypto. Early 2020 has seen “notable upward volume trend” and bullish market sentiment “both from retail and institutional users. When comparing the current crypto markets against the climate preceding the previous bull run, many top markets have seen volume gains by a factor of multiple thousands, evidencing a significant expansion in market liquidity.

Bitcoin gained 34.84% YTD. ITI Funds Crypto Index brought investors 70.71% YTD.

                    How much money is Russia worth?

Russia has a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of $1.64 trillion and purchasing power parity (PPP) of $4.21 trillion.
Russia is home to 20% of the world's natural reserves. 
Russia holds 30% of the world's gas reserves, ranking first in the world for reserves; it produces 10% of its own oil, ranking second for oil production; and it is home to 22 coal basins and 115 coal fields. Russia also ranks first in iron resources.

Russian Eurobonds and equities are growing: RUSE (equity ETF) +38.11% YOY, RUSB (Eurobond ETF) +14.62% YOY.
                    ​​“Altcoins significantly outpace BTC as crypto markets begin a full-fledged bull run. Furthermore, it does appear that this ongoing “altseason” is still in its early stages, as data shows that most major cryptos just started outperforming Bitcoin earlier this month, meaning that there is significantly further room to rally”.

That perfectly corresponds to the strategy of ITI Funds Crypto Index Fund. While BTC gained 45.87% YTD ITI Funds Crypto Index comprised of 7 top cryptocurrencies surged 102.59% YTD. The max weight of each coin is limited to 15% in order to obtain sufficient diversification and the ability to participate in the altcoins' growth.

                    ITI Funds investment products performance. Report for January 2020 (performance in USD terms):

RUSB LN +0.12%, +14.49% MAT (Russia-focused Eurobond ETF)
RUSE LN -0.69%, +36.45% MAT (Russia-focused equity ETF)
ITIFC +59.24%, +119.83% MAT (Crypto index fund)
Telescope +5.7%, +47% MAT  (Actively managed hedge fund, Russia-focused)
Market Timing Strategy +2%, +61.8% MAT  (Actively managed, US-focused)
Algo Trend Strategy -0.96%, +20.03% MAT (Quantitative investing)
Algo Trend Strategy: crypto +6.76%, +204.34% MAT (Quantitative investing)
Export Finance Project +12% (bonds, fixed coupon)

                    ​Preqin has distributed its Global Alternatives Reports, saying “Although market conditions have become more difficult, the hedge fund industry keeps growing. Investors are continuing to look to the asset class to diversify their portfolios and generate high, uncorrelated returns. Amid concerns that a 10-year bull run in equity markets may be coming to an end, 43% of investors surveyed are positioning their hedge fund portfolios more defensively in the year ahead, up from 33% in 2018”.

Defensive assets have always been in high demand. ITI Funds has several low risk products including bonds with fixed coupon 11-12% USD and Eurobond ETF. The ETF gained 15.27% in 2019, average coupon is 5.65% USD.

We also agree that diversification should be the main asset management approach. Our range of products include a low-risk arb hedge fund (7% in USD p.a.), high-risk strategies (20% to 50% USD p.a.)., private equity (3x CoC), a crypto index fund (50% YTD), commercial film fund and many other opportunities.
                    ​The McKinsey Quarterly, a business magazine for senior executives focused on management and organizational theory, has published its new research. The key point is: as workers interact with ever-smarter machines, the demand for soft skills is beginning to surge. HR professionals report difficulty recruiting candidates who have the necessary soft skills for an automating world. So retraining is becoming more and more in demand.

Coursera, an American online learning platform, has all chances to growth further. The company has already reached global audience. Its IPO is to be held in Autumn 2020. Entry valuation is ~$1.6b. Exit valuation is $3b+ (4Q20-1Q21).

                    Russia-focused ETFs were some of the top performers in 2019: RUSE gained 49.31% in USD terms, while RUSB gained 15.27%, the uprun is likely to continue in 2020. More analytics is available in new research by Hypothesis. The notes can be accessed via the buttons below.

                    ​​Watch Out Bears: These Altcoins Are on The Cusp of an Insane Rally

The similar articles appear all over the press and the headline speaks for itself. Bitcoin’s firm 2020 uptrend has allowed major altcoins to incur some much-needed momentum. Altcoins begin breaking key resistance levels as the crypto market shows signs of bullishness.

ITI Funds Crypto Index gained 58.5% YTD. ITI Funds Crypto Index Fund invests in seven leading cryptocurrencies. These are selected according to the criteria including being in the top 30 by capitalisation, being able to be secured in licensed custody, and the availability of insurance.

                    ​Not a single conciderable drawdown caused by epidemic is known for the past 50 years. At ITI Funds we are optimistic about equity and bond markets and think rally will resume soon. Current sell off is a good chance to average down.
                    ​International Monetary Fund issued World Economic Outlook, where it increased Russia's real GDP growth projection. The GDP is to accelerate to just under 2% in 2020 after growing close to 1.1% in 2019.

Despite facing "tough" U.S. sanctions, Russia's economy is picking up steam, and its financial markets are delivering massive rewards to investors. 

Russian stocks and bonds had a banner year in 2019 and look poised for more of the same in 2020. Russia has managed to get its economy on track by bolstering its current account, bringing its debt-to-GDP ratio below 15% and accumulating hefty reserves. 

RUSE LN gained 49.31% in 2019 and already 4% YTD
RUSB LN gained 15.27% in 2019