Credit Suisse examines innovation in 'Global Investor Focus'
- United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, July 10 - 2007 at 12:45
- PRESS RELEASE
In Credit Suisse's latest issue of 'Global Investor Focus', analysts and external specialists examine the subject of innovation.
Innovation is both a component and a driver of economic growth. Most of the innovations that promote this growth and create new business opportunities focus on technologies which, in turn, generate other technologies. The recent acceleration of economic growth in the US illustrates the impact that technological innovation has on the economy's growth rate. The analysis in the latest issue of 'Global Investor Focus' reveals that innovation-based investment opportunities are now more numerous than ever.
In collaboration with prominent authors from academic circles and the media, Credit Suisse has arrived at three conclusions: 1) The information revolution is still in an early phase, which suggests that further stock market growth is likely provided that valuations remain reasonable and corrections occur solely as a result of short-term increases and decreases in risk appetite and liquidity; 2) Investors should focus on those companies that are not only producing pure product innovations but are, at the same time, also improving their processes and organization; 3) Companies that are gearing their business models to the purchasing power of consumers at the bottom end of the wealth pyramid, as well as those that are supplying niche markets and marketing mass-produced goods that can be customized, are likely to remain lucrative for investors in the long run.
Nanotechnology: A Key Driver of Progress
Technological advances often lay the foundations for the development and employment of innovative products and services. Nanotechnology is therefore bound to emerge as one of the main drivers of progress. As a technology that spans many industries, nanotechnology fosters innovation in a wide variety of value chains, such as in the consumer electronics, healthcare and power generation sectors.
Even though this key form of technology is still in an early stage of development, the analysts at Credit Suisse consider it sensible to conduct a precise analysis of the potential that nanotechnology-influenced trends hold in store for investors. Many industry and business experts expect the market potential for nano products to reach trillions of dollars in a wide range of sectors over the next 10 to 15 years. The energy storage and solar power sectors in particular already offer investment opportunities that will benefit from the expected nano evolution.
A Host of Important Fields of Innovation
New technologies, globalization and demographic trends are opening up fields of innovation and fueling growth in a vast range of industries. The analysts at Credit Suisse have pinpointed a variety of opportunities for investors who wish to participate in this growth potential.
The increasing deployment of artificial intelligence in mass-produced goods and the resulting market-readiness of robotics should drive the further expansion of the market for robots. Cost-efficiency considerations can also lead to the development of innovative business models; in the semiconductor industry, for example, the outsourcing of production capacity has enabled companies to concentrate more on designing chips and to delegate the manufacturing process to other firms.
In the healthcare sector, numerous companies have made progress in researching Alzheimer's disease in recent years and have built up a promising pipeline of innovative products. In addition, the market for fertility treatments is destined to grow at an above-average rate because an increasing number of married couples are delaying starting a family until they have completed their studies and established their careers, which means that women are having children later in life.
New client needs and lifestyle changes have also generated increased demand for personalized service and customized product offerings in the consumer goods sector. This trend has made its way into the toy manufacturing industry as well, as examples from the US impressively illustrate.
In the food and beverage industry, companies operating in the health and wellness, premium products and convenience food sectors possess growth potential.
Vibrant economic growth in emerging countries is creating shortages in the existing education infrastructure in some areas, which has prompted private suppliers to swing into action. In the global market for education companies, Credit Suisse therefore sees promising investment opportunities that should continue to be bolstered by demographic trends.
Innovation Activity in the Financial Sector
The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 proposed tradable emission certificates for CO2. As a result, investment bankers, including Credit Suisse, have begun to establish facilities for trading these certificates, as well as to develop and sell structured products on this basis. The replication of hedge fund returns represents another innovation in the financial sector. In the alternative investments segment, quantitative methods and products have been developed to synthetically replicate sophisticated hedge fund strategies. Such products make it possible to reach a broader investing public, the liquidity is much higher, and the costs are considerably lower compared to conventional hedge funds.
Innovation as a Key Growth Driver in Asia
To ensure they can continue to compete successfully in the global marketplace, a number of Asian governments have launched programs aimed at fostering innovation. Japan, which is recognized as a pioneer in the field of innovation in Asia, wants to focus on life sciences, information and communication technology, environmental sciences and nanotechnology. China intends to increase government spending on science and technology by 20% as part of its five-year plan (2006 - 2010), largely in an effort to develop
renewable energies in order to reduce the country's dependence on imported crude oil and to diversify its energy sources.
Environmental Sustainability and alternative energies
Environmental sustainability is strongly increasing the importance of alternative energies. Credit Suisse has already highlighted investment opportunities in this area in a number of publications and launched the Credit Suisse Global Alternative Energy Index in early 2007. In 2006, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Credit Suisse and Consensus Business Group launched the USD 250 million Masdar Clean Tech Fund, which invests in clean energy and sustainable technologies, thus contributing to the economic diversification of the Gulf region. The fund is part of the Abu Dhabi government's Masdar Initiative, which encompasses a special economic zone, a research network and an innovation center focusing on renewable energies and the reduction of emissions.
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