Strategy Spotlight

Preferred and Capital Securities Fund: Bank Fundamentals Haven’t Been This Strong in Decades

A segment of the credit market many investors may overlook, preferred securities are one of PIMCO’s highest-conviction credit views today.

With strong bank fundamentals – in the U.S., they are the strongest they’ve been in 50 years – preferred securities are among PIMCO’s highest-conviction corporate credit investments today. Preferred securities issued by U.S. banks have generally performed very well over the last year, and U.K. and European bank securities have performed even better given the cyclical recovery in European growth and improvement in business and consumer confidence. Over the next year, preferreds and similar securities issued by non-U.S. banks will likely continue to offer opportunities to generate higher yield and potentially higher return than traditional fixed income.

PIMCO’s Preferred and Capital Securities Fund focuses on the most attractive ideas we’re finding around the world, diversified across issuers, currencies and structures. In this discussion, Philippe Bodereau, portfolio manager for Preferred and Capital Securities Fund, and Jeff Helsing, product strategist, review PIMCO’s approach and outlook for investing in global bank securities.

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Philippe Bodereau

Portfolio Manager, Head, Credit Research Europe

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Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results. The performance figures presented reflect the total return performance for Institutional Class shares (after fees) and reflect changes in share price and reinvestment of dividend and capital gain distributions. All periods longer than one year are annualized. The minimum initial investment for Institutional class shares is $1 million; however, it may be modified for certain financial intermediaries who submit trades on behalf of eligible investors.

Investments made by a Fund and the results achieved by a Fund are not expected to be the same as those made by any other PIMCO-advised Fund, including those with a similar name, investment objective or policies. A new or smaller Fund’s performance may not represent how the Fund is expected to or may perform in the long-term. New Funds have limited operating histories for investors to evaluate and new and smaller Funds may not attract sufficient assets to achieve investment and trading efficiencies. A Fund may be forced to sell a comparatively large portion of its portfolio to meet significant shareholder redemptions for cash, or hold a comparatively large portion of its portfolio in cash due to significant share purchases for cash, in each case when the Fund otherwise would not seek to do so, which may adversely affect performance.

Differences in the Fund’s performance versus the index and related attribution information with respect to particular categories of securities or individual positions may be attributable, in part, to differences in the pricing methodologies used by the Fund and the index.

There is no assurance that any fund, including any fund that has experienced high or unusual performance for one or more periods, will experience similar levels of performance in the future. High performance is defined as a significant increase in either 1) a fund’s total return in excess of that of the fund’s benchmark between reporting periods or 2) a fund’s total return in excess of the fund’s historical returns between reporting periods. Unusual performance is defined as a significant change in a fund’s performance as compared to one or more previous reporting periods.

A word about risk:
Contingent Convertible (“Coco”) Bonds
are bonds that are converted into equity of the issuing company if a pre-specified trigger occurs. Co-cos are subject to a different type of risk from traditional bonds and may result in a partial or total loss of value or may be converted into shares of the issuing company which may also have suffered a loss in value. Investing in the bond market is subject to risks, including market, interest rate, issuer, credit, inflation risk, and liquidity risk. The value of most bonds and bond strategies are impacted by changes in interest rates. Bonds and bond strategies with longer durations tend to be more sensitive and volatile than those with shorter durations; bond prices generally fall as interest rates rise, and the current low interest rate environment increases this risk. Current reductions in bond counterparty capacity may contribute to decreased market liquidity and increased price volatility. Bond investments may be worth more or less than the original cost when redeemed. Investing in foreign-denominated and/or -domiciled securities may involve heightened risk due to currency fluctuations, and economic and political risks, which may be enhanced in emerging markets. Bank loans are often less liquid than other types of debt instruments and general market and financial conditions may affect the prepayment of bank loans, as such the prepayments cannot be predicted with accuracy. There is no assurance that the liquidation of any collateral from a secured bank loan would satisfy the borrower’s obligation, or that such collateral could be liquidated. High yield, lower-rated securities involve greater risk than higher-rated securities; portfolios that invest in them may be subject to greater levels of credit and liquidity risk than portfolios that do not. Investments in illiquid securities may reduce the returns of a portfolio because it may be not be able to sell the securities at an advantageous time or price. Equities may decline in value due to both real and perceived general market, economic and industry conditions. Derivatives may involve certain costs and risks, such as liquidity, interest rate, market, credit, management and the risk that a position could not be closed when most advantageous. Investing in derivatives could lose more than the amount invested. Diversification does not ensure against loss.

Past rankings are no guarantee of future rankings. Fund rankings: 1Yr. 2 out of 56; 3Yrs. 1 out of 46. Morningstar Ranking for the Preferred Stock category as of 4/30/2018 for the Institutional Class Shares; other classes may have different performance characteristics. The Morningstar Rankings are calculated by Morningstar and are based on the total return performance, with distributions reinvested and operating expenses deducted. Morningstar does not take into account sales charges.

The benchmark is a blend of 70% ICE BofAML 8% Constrained Core West Preferred & Jr Subordinated Securities Index (P8JC) and 30% ICE BofAML Contingent Capital Index (COCO). The ICE BofAML 8% Constrained Core West Preferred & Jr Subordinated Securities Index tracks the performance of US dollar denominated high grade and high yield preferred securities and deeply subordinated corporate debt issued in the US domestic market. Qualifying securities must be rated at least B3, based on an average of Moody's, S&P and Fitch and have a country of risk of either the U.S. or a Western European country. Qualifying preferred securities must be issued as public securities or through a 144a filing, must have a fixed or floating dividend schedule and must have a minimum amount outstanding of $100 million. The ICE BofAML Contingent Capital Index tracks the performance of investment grade and below investment grade contingent capital debt publicly issued in the major domestic and eurobond markets. Qualifying securities must have a capital-dependent conversion feature and must be rated by either Moody's, S&P or Fitch. In addition, qualifying securities must have at least one month remaining term to final maturity and at least 18 months to maturity at point of issuance. For investment grade debt, qualifying currencies and their respective minimum size requirements (in local currency terms) are: AUD 100 million; CAD 100 million; EUR 250 million; JPY 20 billion; GBP 100 million; and USD 250 million. For below investment grade debt, minimum size requirements are CAD 100 million, EUR 100 million, GBP 50 million, or USD 100 million. It is not possible to invest directly in an unmanaged index.

PIMCO does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult your tax and/or legal counsel for specific tax or legal questions and concerns. The discussion herein is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. There is no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. Any tax statements contained herein are not intended or written to be used, and cannot be relied upon or used for the purpose of avoiding penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Service or state and local tax authorities. Individuals should consult their own legal and tax counsel as to matters discussed herein and before entering into any estate planning, trust, investment, retirement, or insurance arrangement.

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PIMCO Capital Securities Strategy Update: Banking Sector Evolves From Problem to Solution
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