Strategic Global Income Fund, Inc. (the "Fund") (NYSE: SGL) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company seeking a high level of current income as a primary objective and capital appreciation as a secondary objective through investments in US and foreign debt securities.
Fund Commentary for the first quarter of 2012 from UBS Global Asset Management (Americas) Inc. (“UBS Global AM”), the Fund’s investment advisor
As was the case during the last three months of 2011, risk appetite was generally robust during the first quarter of 2012. This was driven by strengthening economic data in the US and expectations for a soft landing for China's economy. In addition, concerns relating to the European sovereign debt crisis moderated, as the European Central Bank’s three-year Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) soothed the markets, at least for the time being. Greece also successfully restructured its debt with relatively little drama.
The improving US economy and generally positive investor sentiment helped the spread sectors to produce solid results during the first quarter and to outperform comparable duration Treasuries.
Within the US, unemployment declined, consumer spending was solid, the manufacturing sector continued to expand and there were indications that the housing market may be finally reaching a bottom. Among the best performers were high yield bonds, emerging markets debt, investment grade corporate bonds and commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and asset-backed securities (ABS) posted positive, but more modest gains during the quarter.
During the first quarter, US dollar-denominated emerging markets debt, as measured by the JP Morgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Global (EMBI Global), posted a return of 4.86%. Local market investments (in other words, emerging markets debt denominated in the currency of the issuer) posted even stronger results, finishing the quarter with a return of 8.30%, as measured by the JP Morgan Government Bond Index-Emerging Markets Global Diversified (GBI-EM Global Diversified). The emerging markets debt asset class began the year strongly, as emerging markets debt spreads tightened significantly in January and February. The asset class weakened somewhat toward the end of the quarter, as new issuance increased and investors appeared to capture some of their earlier profits.