Emerging markets increasingly look appealing to asset managers, according to a recent study.
In its Emerging Markets Investor Sentiment Survey, New York-based Emerging Global Advisors found the outlook toward emerging market equities jumped into positive territory in the second quarter of 2016.
The Emerging Global Advisor Emerging Markets Sentiment score increased by 28 percent, from a neutral 538 in the first quarter of 2016 to a positive 687 in the second quarter. The scores range from 0, the most negative, to 1,000, the most positive.
During the first half of 2016, emerging markets grew 6 percent faster than developed markets, which represents accelerating growth, says Edward Kerschner, vice chairman and chief investment strategist at Emerging Global Advisors.
“For a number of years, emerging markets have been growing faster, but they’ve been doing so at a lesser rate each year,” Kerschner says. “That’s what’s changing. When there’s fundamental growth, there tends to be greater outperformance of emerging markets.”
Kerschner says that while monetary policy has led to historical high valuations in developed market equities, emerging market equities are closer to their historical average. Emerging market companies were also less impacted by June’s surprise Brexit vote, and have sustainable debt levels.
Investors interested in emerging markets should look for regions with the potential for strong consumer growth, says Kerschner.
“The consumer sector is the most exciting opportunity, the story is the growth of the world’s middle class,” he notes. “While the middle class share in the U.S., Europe and Japan is shrinking, it’s growing in China and India.”
In the Investor Sentiment Survey, respondents said they felt positive (47 percent) or neutral (43 percent) when asked about their outlook on emerging markets.
Almost half of the respondents (49 percent) said they expect to stay the course with their emerging market allocations, and another 46 percent said they would attempt to increase their emerging market equity allocation.