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Emerging markets seen as prospects for 2012

London, December 26, 2011

Emerging markets and commodities are among the pockets of opportunity highlighted in a recently published investment outlook report for 2012.

The BNY Mellon Investment Outlook for 2012 notes that developed market challenges such as the euro zone crisis and the US budget deficit continue to cast a cloud over the investment horizon.

However, astute investors may be able to take advantage of market dislocations and trends that are beginning to develop, the report said.

The apparent sell-off in emerging markets equities has created compelling valuations, according to The Boston Company Asset Management.

“We believe the 2011 correction has created a far more compelling valuation opportunity within the asset class than we saw heading into 2011,” said Kirk Henry, senior managing director and senior portfolio manager for The Boston Company, BNY Mellon’s value equity specialist.

Brazil, Russia, India and China, which comprise the BRIC countries, may offer attractive opportunities, with the most intriguing prospects in smaller, domestically focused business that can tap the consumer market, according to the report.

Commodities could provide the type of diversification that can help investors contend with factors such as the US presidential election, the budget deficit debate, and the potential for inflation in many countries, according to the forecast from Mellon Capital Management Corporation, BNY Mellon’s San Francisco-based global multi-asset specialist.

“With continuing volatility, we think commodities such as agricultural, soft commodities, livestock and precious metals offer good diversification with assets that have a low correlation with stocks and bonds,” said Kenton K Yee, senior research analyst for Mellon Capital.

“However, we would exclude energy and industrial metals, as the expansion of Chinese industry and construction has strengthened the correlation between corporate profits and energy and industrial metals prices. These commodities appear to have become pro-cyclical like growth stocks.”

The sheer scale of indebtedness has rendered many economies unusually vulnerable, according to Newton Investment Management Limited.

“This ensures that state intervention, with all of its potential distortions, remains one of our key themes as countries, institutions and individuals struggle to deleverage,” said James Harries, investment manager-global funds, at Newton.

With low yields on government bonds in the majority of leading economies, Newton said the best opportunities appear to be in high-quality dividend-paying equities that have strong growth potential and in corporate debt markets.

In real estate, Urdang Securities Management foresees a period of continuing low growth and believes that investors may benefit from locking in yields now.

Todd Briddell, president and chief investment officer of Urdang, said his group is focusing on companies with low leverage and sufficient liquidity because of the opportunities they can offer in the current market.

“We are finding significant discounts to net asset value (NAV) in REITs (real estate investment trusts) in global markets,” Briddell said.  “From a spread perspective, dividend yields on REITs are significantly above local treasury yields in regions around the world.”

The overall uncertain economic and market environment highlights the importance of allocating a significant part of the portfolio to uncorrelated investments, according to London-based Insight Investment Management.

“In our view, genuine absolute return strategies can help fulfill this role,” said Andy Cawker, head of specialist equities at Insight. “These strategies have the potential to provide investors with the best of both worlds, as they can help protect capital as markets fall and also be well placed to benefit from potential fundamental opportunities that might arrive.”

Standish Mellon Asset Management Company, the Boston-based fixed income specialist continues to have a favorable outlook on assets tied to the economies of risky countries (ASTERISCS), which have commonly been called “emerging markets.”

Alexander Kozhemiakin, senior portfolio manager at Standish, said he prefers the term “ASTERISCS” as it more correctly defines this type of assets.

He said, “These non-rich countries may present significant opportunities in fixed income as their economies are starting from a lower level of wealth, have the promise of faster growth rates, and have avoided the debt excesses plaguing the developed economies.” – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: London | Commodities | emerging markets | 2012 | BNY Mellon | Investment outlook |

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