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Dave Nicoski ...
  • Ross LaDuke
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Vermilion Int'l Compass: Global Equity Strategy

EU and UK Financials remain actionable

Our outlook on global equities (both the MSCI ACWI and ACWI ex-US) remains positive and we continue to expect higher equity prices going forward. Below we highlight several new developments which give us additional confidence in our outlook, including but not limited to continued price and RS improvements for UK/European Financials.

• Actionable Sector: Financials. Today's stock recommendations go beyond UK and European Financials, however these regions are the primary focus due to a plethora of attractive setups. In today's report we reiterate our 3/21/19 and 3/28/19 Int'l Compass recommendations to add exposure to Financials with a focus on the UK and Europe... see below, page 2, and pages 6-15 for actionable stocks.

• Germany and Austria bullishly inflecting. Germany's DAX and Austria's ATX display bullish price and/or RS inflections and are exhibiting signs of bottoming -- add exposure... see page 3 for overviews and actionable stocks highlighted in this report.

• Cyclicals strengthening while defensives deteriorate. Global Consumer Cyclicals have emerged as leadership and are bullishly inflecting relative to Consumer Staples. Technology remains leadership and fellow cyclical Sectors Materials, Manufacturing, and Financials are developing positively. Alternatively, Utilities are exhibiting price and RS deterioration -- underweight... see page 4.

• Breadth is healthy for MSCI ACWI and ACWI ex-US indexes (USD). In addition to bullish price inflections, Advance-Decline (A/D) Lines point to healthy breadth for both the MSCI ACWI and ACWI ex-US indexes. The A/D Line for the ACWI ex-US is on the cusp of hitting new highs, while the A/D Line for the ACWI has been hitting new highs since mid-February... see page 5.
Underlyings
3i Group PLC

3i Group is an investment company with two complementary businesses: Private Equity, which invests in companies with an Enterprise Value of Euro100.0million to Euro500.0 at acquisition in its primary investment markets of northern Europe and North America; as well as Infrastructure, which invests in economic infrastructure and greenfield projects in developed economies, principally in Europe. Co.'s private equity business is focused on three sectors: consumer, industrial and business and technology services. Co. invests primarily in northern Europe and North America.

Allianz SE

Allianz is engaged in the provision of a range of insurance and asset management products and services. Co. has three business segments: Property-Casualty, which provides insurance products to both private and corporate customers, including motor liability and own damage, accident, general liability, fire and property, legal expense, credit and travel insurance; Life/Health, which provides life and health insurance products including annuities, endowment and term insurance, unit-linked and investment-oriented products and private health and supplemental health and long-term care insurance; and Asset Management, which provides institutional and retail asset management products and services.

Alm. Brand A/S

Alm Brand is a holding company. Co., through its subsidiaries, operates within Non-life insurance, Banking and Life insurance sectors. The Non-life insurance segment focuses on private customers, small and medium sized businesses, property owners, agricultural customers and the public sector. The Banking segment is a nationwide bank that offers products for private customer financial needs. The Life insurance segment consists of life insurance, pension savings, pension insurance and health and personal accident insurance. As of Dec 31 2011, Co. has total assets of DKK44,913,000,000 and total deposits of DKK7,956,000,000.

Amundi

Amundi is a holding company. Through its subsidiaries, Co. provides advisory and investment management services. Co. provides savings, financial instruments, equity trading, credit activities, and investment solutions for both private individuals and institutional and corporate clients worldwide.

Aurelius Equity Opportunities

Aurelius Equity Opportunities is an industrial holding with a long-term investment horizon. Co. is engaged in the acquisition and restructuring of medium-sized companies and corporate spin-offs throughout Europe. Co. acquires the companies with potential for development with the goal of increasing their profitability by means of operational improvements. Co.'s portfolio companies operate primarily in the sectors of industrial enterprises, chemicals, business services, consumer goods/food & beverage, and telecom, media & technology. Co.'s operating segments are Industrial Production (IP), Services & Solutions (S&S) and Retail & Consumer Products (R&P).

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria is an international financial group, engaged primarily on providing banking services and consumer finance to private individuals and businesses in Spain and Portugal; providing real estate activity in Spain; providing services to international companies and investment banking, capital markets and treasury management services to clients; and providing the banking, insurance and pension businesses in Mexico and the U.S., as well as in South America.

Banco Santander

Banco Santander is a holding company, providing a range of financial products. Co.'s products and services include: retail banking business that covers all customer banking businesses; wholesale banking business; as well as asset management and insurance business. Co.'s principal operations are in Spain, the U.K., Portugal, Germany, Italy and Latin America. As of Dec 31 2014, Co.'s total assets amounted to Euro1,266,296,000,000 and total customer deposits amounted to Euro647,627,000,000.

Bank of China (H)

Bank of Jiangsu (A)

Bank of Jiangsu Co Ltd. BANK OF JIANGSU CO., LTD. is a China-based regional commercial bank. The bank is principally engaged in the provision of banking and related financial services. The Bank mainly operates its businesses through personal banking business, corporate banking business, interbank financial business, network finance business, small and micro financial business, as well as credit card issuing. Its personal banking business provides loan, deposit, investment and financing, as well as bank card business to individuals. Its corporate banking business provides deposit and lending services, wealth management services, as well as project finance financing services, among others to enterprises. The Bank is also involved in the provision of electronic banking, Internet banking, mobile phone banking and telephone banking services.

BPER Banca

Bper Banca operates mainly in the banking sector, such as loans and deposits and providing credit to customers, who are mainly represented by households and small and medium-sized businesses. Through a network of companies, Co. provides a range of services to its customers in Corporate and Investment banking, Private Banking and Wealth Management, as well as a series of financial products such as leasing and factoring. As of Dec 31 2016, Co.'s network consists of 1,200 branches located in 18 Italian regions, as well as a branch office in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. As of Dec 31 2016, Co.'s total assets was Euro53.74 billion.

Cembra Money Bank

Cembra Money Bank provides financial services in Switzerland. Its product range includes consumer loans, auto leases and loans, credit cards and insurances sold with these products as well as deposit and savings products. As of Jan. 1, 2017, Co. renders its services through its headquarters in Zurich as well as through 18 branches in Switerland.

Chugoku Bank Ltd.

The Chugoku Bank is a regional bank engaged in commercial banking services with total assets of Y8,284,008 million as of Mar 31 207. Co. maintains 153 branches and 7 sub-branches mainly in the Chugoku Region and one branch in Hong Kong. Co.'s principal services include various type of deposits; consumer and commercial loans; interest bearing government bonds, portfolio management, venture capital, and custody of securities; foreign exchange; international trading assistance; electric banking; and other services including ATM and Internet banking. In addition, Co., through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the provision of credit card, leasing, and insurance and asset management services.

Credit Agricole S.A.

Credit Agricole is active in the market of retail banking and related businesses. Co. provides day-to-day banking, savings products, mortgage and consumer loans, insurance, private banking, asset management, lease finance and factoring, corporate and investment banking. Its activities can be divided into six business lines: French Retail Banking - Regional Banks; French Retail Banking - LCL; International Retail Banking; Specialized Financial Services; Savings Management and Insurance; and Corporate and Investment Banking. Co.'s customers are personal customers, farmers, small businesses, companies and local authorities. As of Dec 31 2013 Co.'s total assets amounted to Euro1,536,873,000,000.

Erste Group Bank

Erste Group is a financial services provider based in Austria. As of Dec 31 2015, Co.'s total assets amounted to Euro199,743 million and the number of customers was approximately 16.5 million. Co.'s key business is the retail business, covering the entire spectrum from lending, deposit and investment products to current accounts and credit cards. In addition to providing financial services to private individuals, Co.'s core activities also include advisory services and support for corporate clients in financing, investment and access to international capital markets, public sector funding and interbank market operations.

Exor NV

HDFC Bank

HDFC Bank is a commercial banking group based in India. Co. is engaged in providing banking and financial services. Co.'s operations are organized along four segments: Treasury, which includes its investment operations; Retail Banking, which serves retail customers with deposit products, loans and other services through a branch network and other delivery channels; Wholesale Banking, which provides loans, non-fund facilities and transaction services to corporations, public sector units, government bodies, and medium scale enterprises; and Other Banking Business, which includes para banking activities such as credit cards and debit cards.

Hellenic Exchanges SA

The Hellenic Exchanges is engaged in the following business sectors: trading, clearing, settlement, data feed, IT, exchange services, depository services, clearinghouse services, and other.

IGM Financial Inc.

IGM Financial is engaged in the provision of financial services. Co.'s Investors Group segment provides financial and investment planning services to Canadians through its network of consultants across the country. Co.'s Mackenzie segment is engaged in the provision of investment advice and related services offered through investment applications, distributed through channels focused on independent financial advice. Co.'s Corporate and Other segment includes net investment income earned on unallocated investments and other income, operating results for Investment Planning Counsel as well as inter-segment eliminations. As of Dec 31 2010, Co. had total assets of C$8,892,563.

ING Groep N.V.

ING Groep is a global financial institution based in the Netherlands. Co. is engaged in offering a wide range of retail and wholesale banking services to customers in over 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia. In addition to the basic banking services of lending, payments and cash management and treasury, Co. provides tailored banking solutions in areas including corporate finance, commercial finance (factoring), equity markets and debt capital markets to help clients achieve their business goals. Co.'s operations are organized along five segments: Retail Netherlands; RetailBelgium: Retail Germany: Retail Other; and Wholesale Banking.

Intesa Sanpaolo

Intesa Sanpaolo is a commercial bank. Co. is engaged in lending and deposit collection operations in Italy and associated financial services, serving Households, Personal, Small Business, Private and Small and Medium Enterprise customers. Co. provides medium-term credit, leasing, factoring and agribusiness (Mediocredito Italiano), consumer credit (Intesa Sanpaolo Personal Finance), management of electronic payments (Setefi), and trust services (Sirefid). Co. has approximately 4,300 branches, including Retail and Business branches, distributed broadly throughout Italy. At Dec 31 2014, Co. had total assets of Euro646.43 billion.

Investec PLC

Investec is an international specialist bank and asset manager that provides a range of financial products and services in three principal markets, U.K. and Europe, South Africa and Asia/Australia as well as certain other countries. Co. has three main areas of activity: Asset Management, which provides investment capabilities through active segregated mandates or mutual funds to clients; Wealth & Investment, which provides investments and savings, pensions and retirement, and financial planning; and Specialist Banking, which provides services for both personal and business needs right across Investment, Corporate and Institutional Banking, and Private Banking activities.

Investor AB B

Investor AB is an industrial holding company. Through its subsidiaries, Co. invests in companies and industries. Co.'s holdings are divided into two business areas: Core Investments and Financial Investments. Core Investments consists of listed holdings, in which Co. is a major owner, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. Financial Investments consists of Co.'s investments in EQT and Investor Growth Capital, its partner-owned investments and other investments and activities.

Jupiter Fund Management

Jupiter Fund Management is a holding company for a group of investment management companies. Co. is a fund manager, focused on delivering value to clients through investment outperformance after fees. Co. enables individuals and institutions to access this outperformance through a variety of savings products.

KBC Ancora

KBC Ancora's principal activity is the maintenance and management of its shareholding in KBC Group with a view to ensuring, in collaboration with Cera, MRBB and the Other Permanent Shareholders, the shareholder stability and continuity of KBC Group. Co.'s assets consist almost entirely of this participating interest in KBC Group. Thus its recurrent income consists principally of the dividend it receives from its participating interest in KBC Group.

KBC Bankverzekeringsholding N.V.

KBC Group is a bank-insurance group engaged in providing products and services mainly to retail, private banking, SME and mid-cap clients. Co. focuses on its primary markets of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria. Co. is also present in Ireland and, to a limited extent, in several other countries to support corporate clients from its primary markets. Co.'s main brands are KBC and CBC in Belgium, CSOB in Czech Republic and Slovakia, K&H in Hungary, CIBANK and DZI Insurance in Bulgaria, and KBC Bank Ireland in Ireland. As of Dec 31 2014, Co. had 1,601 bank branches. In addition, Co. had total assets of Euro245.17 billion.

L.E. Lundbergfoeretagen AB B

L E Lundbergforetagen AB is an investment company that manages and develops a number of companies. The asset portfolio includes the wholly owned real estate company, Fastighets AB L E Lundberg, the publicly traded subsidiaries, Hufvudstaden and Holmen and the associated companies, Indutrade and Husqvarna. Co. also has major shareholdings in Industrivarden, Handelsbanken, Sandvik and Skanska. Co.'s subsidiary, L E Lundberg Kapitalforvaltning, is engages in securities trading. Operations consist of real estate operations, the manufacture and sale of printing paper, paperboard and sawn timber products, forest and power operations, and equity management (including securities trading).

Macquarie Capital Alliance Group

Mirae Asset Daewoo

Mirae Asset Daewoo is engaged in securities trading providing services to both institutional and individual clients. Co.'s activities include equity brokerage; financial consultation on asset portfolio management, real estate and business investment; investment banking such as securities underwriting, and trading; research services; asset management; mergers and acquisitions advisory services, including corporate evaluation, strategic planning, and consulting; and the dealing of futures, options, and foreign exchange. As of Mar 31 2010, Co. had total assets of SKW17,551,206,661,510 and total deposits of SKW2,520,177,992,307. Co. operates 121 domestic branches and 3 overseas branches.

Motilal Oswal Financial Services

Motilal Oswal Financial Services Limited is a financial services company focused on wealth creation for its customers, such as institutional, corporate, high net worth individual (HNI) and retail. The Company's segments include Broking & Other related activities; Fund based activities; Asset Management & Advisory, Investment Banking and Housing Finance. The Broking & Other related activities segment consists of broking and wealth management. The Fund based activities segment includes strategic allocation of capital to long return on equity (ROE) enhancing opportunities, such as sponsor commitments to mutual funds and private equity funds of the Company and non-bank financial company (NBFC) loan book. Its offerings include traditional capital markets businesses (retail and institutional broking, and investment banking) and asset management. The Company's products include Equities, Derivatives, Commodities, Currencies, Insurance, Fixed Income and Portfolio Management Services.

Natixis

Natixis is a player in the European banking industry. As the banking partner of large companies in France, Co. also plays an active role in serving financial institutions (banks, insurance companies, pension funds, etc.). Co.'s activities are divided into in three main business lines: Wholesale Banking, Investment Solutions (Asset Management, Private Banking, Insurance, and Private Equity) and Specialized Financial Services. Co. operates in four geographical regions: France; other EU countries; North America (Canada, USA); and other OECD countries. As of Dec. 31 2013 Co.'s total assets totaled Euro510,131,000,000.

Paragon Banking Group

Paragon Banking Group is a financial services business. Co.'s operation are managed in three lending divisions, Mortgages, which provides first and second charge mortgage products with buy-to-let mortgage finance for landlords operating in the U.K.'s Private Rented Sector; Commercial Lending, which provides motor and asset lease products to consumer, Small Medium Enterprise and corporate customers, focusing on assets and underserved markets; and Idem Capital, which is a consumer debt purchaser, acquiring and servicing loan portfolios, including first and second mortgages as well as unsecured loan assets.

Prudential PLC

Prudential is a parent holding company. Co., together with its subsidiaries, is an international financial services group with its principal operations in Asia, the U.S. and the U.K. In Asia, Co. has operations in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other markets. In the U.S., Co.'s principal subsidiary is Jackson National Life Insurance Company. In the U.K., Co. operates through its subsidiaries, primarily The Prudential Assurance Company Limited and M&G Investment Management Limited. Co. provides a range of retail financial products and services and asset management services throughout these territories.

SBERBANK

Sberbank Russia is an open joint stock commercial bank. Co.'s principal business activity is corporate and retail banking. This includes, but is not limited to, deposit taking and commercial lending in freely convertible currencies, local currencies of countries where the subsidiary banks operate and in Russian Roubles, support of clients' export/import transactions, foreign exchange, securities trading, and trading in derivative financial instruments. Co.'s operations are conducted in both Russian and international markets. As of Dec 31 2014, Co. had total assets of RUB25.20 trillion.

St. James's Place

St. James's Place provides a range of insurance, investment and other wealth management services through its subsidiaries, which are incorporated in the U.K., Ireland and Asia.

Swiss Re

Swiss Re is engaged in wholesale reinsurance, insurance and risk transfer solutions. Co.'s clients include insurance companies, corporations, the public sector and policyholders. Co.'s business units include: Property & Casualty Reinsurance, which includes the business lines property and casualty (including motor); Life & Health Reinsurance, which includes the life and health line of business; Corporate Solutions, which serves mid-sized and large corporations, with product offerings ranging from property and casualty insurance to customised solutions; and Admin Re®, which provides risk and capital management solutions.

Tokio Marine Holdings

Tokio Marine Holdings is a holding company undertakes the domestic non-life insurance, domestic life insurance, international insurance and financial and general businesses. Co.'s principal business segments are casualty insurance services, life insurance services, and others. Co. is engaged in the underwriting property and casualty insurance and related investment activities in Japan; underwriting life insurance and related investment activities in Japan; underwriting casualty and life insurance in overseas; and securities investment advisory, securities investment trusts business, derivatives business, staffing business, real estate management business and elderly care business.

Unicredit

Unicredit is a pan-European commercial banking group based in Italy. Co. is engaged in the provision of in-branch and online corporate and investment banking services, providing customers with access to banks in 14 core markets as well as to an another 18 countries worldwide. Co.'s operations are organized along six business lines: Commercial Banking Italy; CEE Division; CIB; Commercial Banking Germany; Commercial Banking Austria; and Asset Gathering. Co.'s European banking network includes Italy, Germany, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey.

Uniqa Insurance Group AG

UNIQA Versicherungen is a provider of insurance products and related services. Co.operates in three business segments: property and casualty insurance, life insurance and health insurance. Co. provides property and casualty insurance; personal insurance, including health, accident and life insurance. Co. is also a direct marketer of accident, life and health insurance products, including online sales. Co.develops solutions for unit-linked products for the whole group.Co. provides its products and services through sales channels, including brokers and general agencies, banks and direct sales.

Vienna Insurance Group

Vienna Insurance is an insurance group based in Austria. Co. is engaged in the provision of insurance services in both life and non-life areas in 24 countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The business lines in which Co. operates are property/casualty, life and health insurance. Outside its Austrian core market, Co. is active in Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine. Co. also has branch offices in Italy and Slovenia.

Wendel

Wendel is an investment company specializing in acquiring long-term holdings in industrial and services companies. Co.'s activities can be divided into six main divisions. Through Bureau Veritas, Co. provides conformity assessment services and certification. Through Stahl, Co. is engaged in high performance coatings and leather finishing products. Through Saint-Gobain, Co. manufactures, transforms and distributes construction materials. Through Legrand, Co. specializes in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Through Deutsch, Co. provides high-performance connectors. Through Materis, Co. provides specialty chemicals for construction.

Provider
Vermilion Research
Vermilion Research

Vermilion Research delivers timely, actionable, and unique research inputs to professional investors. Our research strategists highlight securities which we believe are at major inflection points, based on our various proprietary technical indicators, and offer asymmetric risk/return profiles. We believe our research methodology, which is not limited by industry sector or market capitalization, enables us to deliver superior investment recommendations.

Our process begins by organizing all actively traded stocks into coherent sectors, then into logical industry groups. We then apply our proprietary relative strength tools to identify developing price trends. Once attractive trends are identified within a selected sectors or groups, we screen for individual stocks which we believe offer the best risk/reward profile. Vermilion offers U.S. and global equity market research products. Vermilion’s research team, which has received numerous awards and accolades, has a combined 70 year of experience in the analysis of investment securities.

Analysts
Dave Nicoski

Ross LaDuke

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