Monetary normality, automation and robotics, Chinese consumer, and millennials, are the four investment themes experts at GAM are recommending for 2018.

Enzo Puntillo, head of fixed income and emerging markets fixed income said he believes the European Central Bank is more likely to surprise the market than the Fed. 

He said given the fact that the European cyclical economic expansion is less mature than in the US, this would support a convergence of the spread between German and US 10-year bond yields, meaning German Bunds are likely to underperform against US Treasuries.

In Japan, one of the top themes this year will be more work process improvement, noted Ernst Glanzmann, Citywire A-rated manager for Japanese equities. 

‘Companies will be eager to contain cost pressure as much as possible.

‘One way of doing this is by further standardising processes through the application of information technology-based solutions - automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, internet of things - as well as allowing people to work shorter days and weeks, something that is valued very highly,’ he said.

In the case of China, Citywire AA-rated manager Jian Shi Cortesi, manager of China and Asia equity strategies said the top theme is the country’s economic evolution towards a consumer-driven economy. 

‘In our China and Asian growth funds, we continue to focus on companies that benefit disproportionally from China’s economic evolution.

‘These companies – which can be found mainly in the consumer, technology, healthcare and financial services sectors – continue to experience fast growth.’

For luxury equities manager Scilla Huang Sun, the big theme she will be watching out in 2018 is millennials, as they are increasingly becoming the main target group for most luxury companies.

‘In combination with this trend, we look at what luxury companies are doing in terms of digitalisation, something which will clearly have a tremendous impact on the industry as a whole,’ Huang said.