Last Monday, while US investors were enjoying a long week-end off-work for the Labor Day holiday and making the most of the last summer days, vacation came to an end for many children who headed back to school.
Even for grown-ups, there is something special about the back-to-school season. We may not have new notebooks and pens, but nevertheless it does feel like an opportunity to start a fresh with a clean sheet of paper. And this is all the more true for Ageas this year, now that we have resolved the legacies from the past and we are about to announce later this month, on the 19th of September, our updated strategy for the next three years.
And, despite the absence of US investors, Monday marked a good start for Ageas with the share price jumping 0.67%, its best day in over two weeks. The stock may have benefited from the change of recommendation from JP Morgan Cazenove who upgraded the share from Neutral to Overweight and increased their target price to EUR 48.39 from EUR 46.15.
As for the stock market in general, did investors follow the old saying “Sell in May and go away, but remember to come back in September”? As a matter of fact, investors did go away in May: from the start of May to the end of August, the Stoxx 50 fell 4.1%, the BEL20 4.3% and the Stoxx Insurance 5.7% while Ageas strongly outperformed the sector with a decrease limited to 0.3%. As for coming back in September, it is too early to tell. The climate was not particularly favourable this week thanks to an emerging markets sell-off and concerns about potential new US trade tariffs on Chinese goods. As a result, markets remained in the red: the Stoxx 50 lost 3.0%, the BEL20 2.7% and the Stoxx Insurance 0.6%. Closing the trading week at EUR 44.46 (-0.3%), Ageas’s share once more outperformed the market.