Flight from emerging markets “unjustified”
Decreased demand for the sector has pushed many GEM trusts onto wide discounts, and resulted in significant redemptions in open-ended funds.
By Joshua Ausden, News Editor, FE Trustnet
Wednesday September 05, 2012
An underweight in emerging markets is harming investors’ long-term growth potential, according to L&G’s global equity strategist Lars Kreckel (pictured)
, who says both the short- and long-term case for the asset class is strong.
While emerging markets have endured a tough time of late, with the MSCI Emerging Markets index down 3.5 per cent over two years, Kreckel urges investors to be patient.
"After two successive years of relatively poor performance, increased doubts surrounding emerging markets are understandable," he explained.
"In the long-term however, to disregard an allocation to emerging markets would be at the investor's peril as the drivers for growth remain in place."
Performance of indices over 2-yrs
Source: FE Analytics
"GDP growth prospects in emerging markets will continue to beat advanced economies in the future, and over the long term this should translate into superior equity returns."
Kreckel also points to the diversification benefits of the asset class, particularly with regard to its superior debt-to-GDP ratio.
He commented: "The growing international diversification of emerging market corporations should help to reduce the cyclicality and risk to earnings streams."
"In addition, emerging markets are better positioned then their advanced counterparts in deleveraging terms, with public debt a much smaller proportion of GDP."
Kreckel thinks emerging markets are under-represented in global benchmarks as it is, which makes underweight positions particularly important.
"Emerging markets contributed about 39 per cent of global GDP in 2011, yet represent only about 14 per cent of the MSCI World index," he explained.
"Yet many investors remain under-invested even against this low weighting, and in the long-term, we see pressure on investors to increase emerging market allocations."
While the case for emerging markets in the long-term is well documented, Kreckel is also optimistic in the shorter-term.
"The current levels of emerging market equities represent a particularly attractive entry point for long-term investors wishing to avoid the low growth environment offered by developed markets," he said.
"Since the start of 2012, the MSCI World Index is up 11 per cent, but emerging market relative performance has not budged, and has actually underperformed since the end of June.”
"Such de-couplings have happened before, but have not proved sustainable. If our view on emerging market growth proves correct, this gap should ultimately close in favour of emerging market equities."
L&G expects emerging market data to continue disappointing through the third quarter, but believes this will mark the bottom of the trough, with a re-acceleration in growth towards the end of 2012 with forward-looking data and leading indicators signaling a stabilisation and upturn.
Those tempted by emerging markets may be interested by the five crown-rated Aberdeen Emerging Markets
Although it is referred to being ‘soft-closed’ by the group, it is still open to investors
for a minimum investment of £1,000, and a TER of 1.93 per cent.