Lots of greenfield investment opportunities in robotics

on Mar26
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Pepper, a humanoid robot developed by SoftBank Group Corp., moves around on its own to guide passengers at sushi shop in Tokyo, Japan.

Hitoshi Yamada | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Pepper, a humanoid robot developed by SoftBank Group Corp., moves around on its own to guide passengers at sushi shop in Tokyo, Japan.

The barriers to entry in the robotics industry are coming down, opening up many untapped investment opportunities in that space, according to Credit Suisse.

It’s easier for companies to build robotic automation systems today than it was before, making those products cheaper and smarter, Angus Muirhead, senior portfolio manager for robotics at the Swiss multinational investment bank, said on Tuesday.

“We see a lot of greenfield opportunities for robotics,” he told CNBC’s Nancy Hungerford and Emily Tan at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

Muirhead said the bank has a so-called “pure play approach” when it comes to investing in robotics.

The Credit Suisse (Lux) Global Robotics Equity Fund, which Muirhead co-manages, invests in companies with at least 50 percent of sales that can be attributed to robotics, automation, artificial intelligence or security, according to its brochure.

The fund focuses on three high-growth sub-themes: companies working to improve productivity, improve quality of life and perform dangerous tasks.

“So, if someone’s investing in a robotics fund, we would like to deliver as pure exposure to robotics as possible,” he said.

While automation itself is not a new technological concept, machines are set to overtake humans in terms of performing more tasks at the workplace over the next few years — particularly low-skilled, repetitive jobs. Robotics and automation are becoming ubiquitous in offices, factories, shops, restaurants, hospitals, transportation and even inside homes.



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