2014 and the fourth quarter have been defined by a continued climb in international equity markets, a collapse in commodity prices, and a further reduction in government bond yields, many of which have actually fallen below zero. We believe these conditions are unsustainable. Having enjoyed an almost uninterrupted ascent from the 2009 bottoms, markets may be entering a more turbulent environment, asconsequences associated with volatility in commodities, the economic slowdown in China, and the geopolitical developments in Europe, Russia, and the Middle East garner greater attention.
The Altrinsic Global Equity portfolio gained 2.0% during the second quarter, outperforming a 0.3% return by the MSCI World and MSCI All Country World indices as measured in U.S. dollars. Strong mergers and acquisitions activity involving our holdings, efforts to unlock value via prudent capital management (e.g., dividends, buybacks, divestitures), and growing evidence of positive change in Japanese corporate behavior contributed to outperformance during the quarter.
The Altrinsic Global Equity portfolio gained 4.3% during the quarter, outperforming the 2.3% gain by the MSCI World and MSCI All Country World indices as measured in U.S. dollars. Strong absolute and relative performance was led by our Japanese holdings. A combination of company-specific initiatives along with Prime Minister Abe’s aggressive macroeconomic policies boosted profits and share prices.