NEW YORK, Aug 09, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Global High Income Fund Inc. (the "Fund") GHI -0.19% is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company seeking high current income and, secondarily, capital appreciation through investments primarily in securities of emerging markets debt issuers.
Fund Commentary for the second quarter 2012 from UBS Global Asset Management (Americas) Inc. ("UBS Global AM"), the Fund's investment advisor
During the second quarter, US dollar-denominated emerging markets debt, as measured by the JP Morgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Global (EMBI Global), posted a return of 2.47%. Although sovereign spreads widened by approximately 33 basis points (bps), declining 10-year US Treasury yields--down from 2.21% to 1.64%--outweighed the detractions and kept the overall market return positive.(1) Local market investments delivered weak results, ending the quarter with a loss of approximately 1.21%, based on the JP Morgan GBI-EM Global Diversified Index. Depreciating currencies versus the US dollar was the main detractor, while local yields added to the overall performance by following US Treasury yields down from 6.4% at the end of March to 6.1% at the end of the second quarter, as measured by the same index.
Rising global stock market volatility, fears of a US recession and persistent doubts about sovereign risk in Europe continued to impact global markets. Market concerns and risk aversion increased significantly ahead of elections in Greece and France in the beginning of May. The failure of the Greek elections to form a reform-oriented coalition government was followed by increased volatility and a massive selloff in all higher-risk asset classes. These events are likely to have an impact on emerging market countries' economies, as well. However, we believe the long-term effect on emerging markets debt should be limited.
The Fund posted a net asset value total return of -0.32% and a market price total return of -6.87% for the second quarter of 2012. On a net asset value basis, the Fund underperformed its benchmark, the Global High Income Fund Index (the "Index"), which returned 0.65% for the quarter.(2)
During the quarter, the Fund's local market bond exposures were positive for performance, as yields reached historic lows in June 2012. Overweights in Brazil, Mexico and South Africa contributed significantly to performance.
Our allocation to US dollar-denominated bonds was beneficial for results. Longer-term US Treasury yields reached all-time lows during the quarter which, in turn, supported these holdings. In particular, our long duration position in the Middle East was additive for results. On the other hand, spread widening in higher risk countries, like Argentina and Venezuela, detracted from results, offsetting the positive contributions, as mentioned above.
Overall, the Fund's currency exposures detracted modestly from performance during the quarter, as our overweight to local currencies versus US dollar-denominated bonds was not rewarded. In particular, several local currencies, including Indian rupee and Ghana cedi, hurt the Fund's results.
We continue to have a positive long-term outlook for the emerging markets debt asset class. Many emerging market countries are experiencing growth well above the levels of major developed markets. We believe the growth gap will at least continue in 2012, and this gap, as well as relatively low fiscal deficits, will be favorable for debt dynamics in emerging markets relative to developed markets. While volatility may stay elevated in the near term due to market uncertainty and investor risk aversion, we continue to have a positive long-term outlook for emerging markets investments. In our view, demand for emerging markets bonds is likely to be supported by both investors' search for higher-yielding securities and strong sovereign and corporate balance sheets in emerging markets. In our opinion, strong fundamental data, stable reserves, a more solid fiscal situation and lower indebtedness are signs of such strengths, especially for sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns and currencies.(3)
Disclaimers Regarding Fund Commentary - The Fund Commentary is intended to assist shareholders in understanding how the Fund performed during the period noted. Views and opinions were current as of the date of this press release. They are not guarantees of performance or investment results and should not be taken as investment advice. Investment decisions reflect a variety of factors, and the Fund and UBS Global AM reserve the right to change views about individual securities, sectors and markets at any time. As a result, the views expressed should not be relied upon as a forecast of the Fund's future investment intent.
Past performance does not predict future performance. The return and value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Any Fund net asset value ("NAV") returns cited in a Fund Commentary assume, for illustration only, that dividends and other distributions, if any, were reinvested at the NAV on the payable dates. Any Fund market price returns cited in a Fund Commentary assume that all dividends and other distributions, if any, were reinvested at prices obtained under the Fund's Dividend Reinvestment Plan. Returns for periods of less than one year have not been annualized. Returns do not reflect the deduction of taxes that a shareholder would pay on Fund dividends and other distributions, if any, or on the sale of Fund shares.