5.5.2020 Miika Koskela

Corona accelerates digitalisation and takes the Focus fund to a record result in April

Stormy Markets and New Winds in HCP Focus Fund Management
Focus’s portfolio companies announced their results and the stocks hit an all-time high

The HCP Focus fund was up 23.25 percent in April, making the month the most profitable one in the fund’s history.

Corona pandemic accelerates many of the existing trends in society. These include, for example, online shopping, working from home, digital services, robotics, and other needs of increasing knowledge work.

The fund’s strongest performers over the past month were Etsy, an online store for handicrafts and vintage goods; Shopify, a company providing payment system and trading platform services; and the peer-to-peer loan platform LendingTree. Etsy rose in dollars about 69%, Shopify 52%, and LendingTree 36% over the past month.

“Corona has acted as a catalyst for digitalization, both in people’s daily lives and at work. The current shift in the use of digital services is one that would normally take several years,” says portfolio manager, Pasi Havia.

The rise in the stock market has made the contrast visible between the securities market and the real economy. Stock valuations are not a measure of the current state of the economy, but they reflect the companies’ expected future returns. If investors believe in the future of a company, its stock price will rise.

“If users who have newly discovered digital services continue to use them as the corona pandemic eases and society returns to business as usual, the growth of these companies can be sustainable,” Havia argues.

According to Havia, the rise in equities now seen in April is also due to the exceptionally strong measures taken by central banks.

“Central Banks have poured money into national economies and the cash needs to flow somewhere. These measures boosted US stock exchanges.”

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Stormy Markets and New Winds in HCP Focus Fund Management
Focus’s portfolio companies announced their results and the stocks hit an all-time high

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