Thursday 14 December 2017

Investors reveal their top picks for emerging markets in 2017

For investors that borrow in currencies with low interest rates and buy high yielding ones, Russia's ruble is a top bet. Photo: AFP/GETTY
For investors that borrow in currencies with low interest rates and buy high yielding ones, Russia's ruble is a top bet. Photo: AFP/GETTY

Bloomberg News

There are some clear favourites among investors for 2017. All things Russian and Indian are popular, as are Brazilian corporate bonds and Mexico's peso. Top calls are centred on markets where the political climate is improving and assets are less vulnerable to external shocks arising from higher US borrowing costs and Donald Trump's policy announcements.

Russia

For investors that borrow in currencies with low interest rates and buy high yielding ones, Russia's ruble is a top bet.

UBS Group says the ruble's carry trade could potentially return 26pc over the next 12 months, the most among developing EMEA peers. Aside from having relatively high interest rates, Russia is benefiting from rising oil prices. That helps make its equity market an "obvious candidate" for NN Investment Partners.

South Africa

Some investors see President Jacob Zuma's power waning, boosting the appeal of South African stocks and bonds, especially given that some say the country will probably avoid a debt downgrade.

Mexico

The currency is the most attractive among developing Latin American peers. Not only is the peso cheap, it will benefit from a hawkish Banxico and a US presidency that's less protectionist than expected, says Enrique Diaz-Alvarez, chief risk officer at Ebury Partners.

Brazil

Petrobras bonds are "still cheap", Banco do Brasil's Coco bonds have upside and Samarco is an aggressive bet as the company will likely resume operations this year and renegotiate its bonds, says Carlos Gribel, the head of fixed income at Andbanc Brokerage in Miami.

Chile

The nation's stocks will benefit from rising copper prices and the prospect of more business-friendly policies after 2017's presidential election, according to Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co and BTG Pactual Group.

India

Given the possibility of a protectionist turn from the US under Donald Trump this year, the South Asian nation's assets are looking increasingly attractive. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's November decision to withdraw high-denomination bills may see a slowdown and prompt more interest-rate cuts, which will be good for bonds.

Indonesia

Many of the biggest companies on the benchmark share index are either domestically-focused consumer firms or miners, which should benefit if coal and nickel prices keep rising in 2017. Indonesia's higher-yielding bonds are a perennial investor favourite, especially since the current-account deficit has narrowed significantly in the last few years, making the country much less vulnerable to higher US borrowing costs than it was during the taper tantrum of 2013. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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