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EY: Yields expected by investors show fluctuating trends

25 August 2023
General Interest

Most of the analyzed industries continue to register a decrease in the cost of capital, a trend observed since the second part of 2021. However, there are also different developments in the case of certain sectors, according to the sectoral analysis of EY Romania.

At the end of the first half of 2023, the Telecommunications and Information technology sectors were once again recording the lowest yields, while the Healthcare and Financials sectors are leading the top of the highest yields. The Financials sector recorded the most significant quarter-to-quarter fluctuation in the first part of the year.

Compared to the same period of last year, the largest decreases in the cost of capital were recorded at the level of the Materials (-3.5 p.p.) and Consumer staples sectors (-3.1 p.p.). For the second quarter of 2023, the Real estate sector was also on a downward trend, with a decrease of 1.9 p.p., respectively the energy sector, which recorded a decrease of 1.2 p.p.

On the other hand, there were also significant increases in the cost of capital, both compared to the same period last year and compared to the previous analyzed quarter. The biggest increases were recorded in the Financials sector (+6.3 p.p. compared to the first quarter and +1.8 p.p. compared to the second quarter of 2022) and that of Consumer discretionary (+2.3 p.p. compared to the first quarter and +3.2 p.p. compared to the same period of the previous year).

The evolution of yields was based on trends recorded by the component parts / constituents of the cost of capital. Compared to the previous quarter, there is a decrease in the risk-free rate and implicitly in the country risk premium, but also in the cost of debt, which has caused, for most sectors, the cost of capital to maintain its downward trend compared to the previous period. In contrast, the beta coefficient has increased, which contributed to the increase in the cost of capital, compared to the previous quarter, for several industries.

In the second quarter of 2023, albeit at a slower pace, central banks continued to raise interest rates to moderate rising inflation. Towards the end of the first semester, inflation appears to have peaked, with a high level of core inflation (characteristic of essential goods and services). Sustained growth in food prices, as well as volatility in energy prices continue to cause signs of concern, which could impact economic growth forecasts.

Nevertheless, Romania’s economy continues to show resilience in a difficult global context. In the second quarter of the current year, according to preliminary data published by Eurostat, Romania reported the second best annual growth rate in the EU, after Ireland, recording an advance of 2.7%. On a quarterly basis, the growth rate was 0.9% compared to the first three months of 2023.

In the context of persistent geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges, the outlook for some sectors shows signs of improvement, while for areas vulnerable to delicate budgetary and trade conditions, as well as for those targeted by new fiscal measures packages, the market experiences imbalances, higher economic costs and fear of recession.

„The current macroeconomic volatility, with positive signs on the supply side, but with geopolitical outlook still uncertain and a potential slowdown in economic growth, has caused the yields expected by investors to evolve differently, with declines for most sectors, but also significant increases for certain sectors, such as the Financials or the Consumer discretionary sectors. Against the background of the current macroeconomic and geopolitical context, we expect the cautious approach of investors to continue and this will be reflected in the future developments of yields. Adaptability will remain an important aspect for the period ahead,” said Ileana Guțu, Partner and Coordinator of the Valuation, Financial Modeling and Economic Analysis department, EY Romania.

The analysis is based on financial data available at the end of the second quarter (Q2) of 2023, published by listed companies in 10 sectors: Consumer discretionary and Consumer staples, Energy, Financials, Healthcare, Industrials, Information technology, Materials, Real estate and Telecommunications services.

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