Bonds

Invesco: We’re cutting risk over Trump policy uncertainty

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The lack of clarity over President-elect Donald Trump's policies has been so great that major fund manager Invesco is reducing its risk exposure, said Kevin Egan, a senior portfolio manager.

"We've really taken a lot of risk off the table because we are concerned about this uncertainty, this disconnect between stated policy, tweeted policy and the things that are coming out of all different directions," Egan told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday.

"It makes a very difficult investment environment and therefore taking risk off the table being more conservative is the best way to go in the short term."

Invesco had around $812.9 billion in assets under management at the end of 2016, with around $201.7 billion of that in fixed income.

As an example, Egan pointed to the outlook for the pharmaceutical sector. He noted that after headlines around the Democratic Party demonizing the sector, the market should have been able to expect the sector to perform better under the Republicans and Trump.

But that expectation was short-circuited as Trump has criticized the sector, Egan noted.

Cameron Spencer | Getty Images

Last week, in his first press conference since July, Trump said: "Our drug industry has been disastrous, they're leaving left and right. They supply our drugs, but they don't make them here, to a large extent. And the other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry, because they're getting away with murder."

Egan pointed to other concerns about the incoming administration's policies.

"There's a real disconnect in some cases between what was stated on the campaign trail, and the various tidbits of information we've gotten across the board," Egan said. "There's a lot of contradiction and in the long term, you do worry about how these policies are going to fit together: How we can have stimulus, how we can have tax cuts, what that will ultimately do to the deficit and ultimately what that does to interest rates."

Trump has pledged to boost U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth to at least 4 percent a year, a goal that some economists see as overly optimistic and likely unsustainable.

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To do that, Trump has promised, without details, less regulation, tax cuts and as much as $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, potentially financed by deficit spending.

Invesco's Egan also noted that there was a lot of uncertainty in Europe's credit markets as well.

"We see a lot of geopolitical risk, not just from hard Brexit, but obviously we have a number of elections here in the European market that really could cause some geopolitical uncertainty," he said. "Credit markets abhor uncertainty."

—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter


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