We remain conservatively positioned and maintain significant exposure to gold as a hedge against inflation and/or deflation. Markets have largely discounted a return to a recovering global economy. The unprecedented levels of artificial stimulus seen through low interest rates and forced bank lending will have to end at some point. The global economy may yet fall back into recession or face an inflationary future as this level of ‘quantitative easing’ has never been tried before. It is difficult to find a market commentator who is negative going into 2010, or at least the first quarter of the year. This, coupled with above-trend valuations, justifies our cautious stance." Mattia Nocera, Managing Director and CIO of BCM Ltd, "Vitruvius Emerging Markets Equity B USD" (04.02.2010): "We remain positive on the fundamentals for Emerging Market economies for 2010, however, we are cautiously positioned at present (with net market exposure at 70%) given the recent market weakness and policies´ uncertainty. This will give us some flexibility, if valuations were to correct further to more attractive levels."
Devan Kaloo, Aberdeen Asset Management, "Aberdeen Global - Emerging Markets Equity A2 Acc" & "Danske Invest Global Emerging Markets A" (29.01.2010): "Emerging markets may rally further amid flush liquidity in the short term, but uncertainty and volatility are likely to persist. For now, policymakers appear to have decided that the withdrawal of extraordinary fiscal stimulus would be unwise, but this cannot continue indefinitely. The risk of asset bubbles could become more pronounced, if US interest rates stay low, restricting any recovery of the US dollar and prolonging the carry-trade. How developing countries will fare may depend on their ability to improve domestic demand, in the face of developed economies’ tepid recovery."
Vincent Strauss, Comgest, "Magellan D" & "Comgest Growth Emerging Markets Cap USD" (02.02.2010): "Given that none of the root causes of the financial crisis has yet to be fundamentally addressed, the prospects of companies primarily operating in the developing world continue to look attractive and fundamentally stronger than those in the developed world struggling with sluggish domestic economies, crippling public and private debt burdens, low consumer confidence and a long, slow path to reforms ahead.
Western economies are experiencing what Japan already went through 20 years ago: an asset bubble that resulted in zombie banks and thus an unhealthy and unreformed banking system which led to two ‘lost decades’. Even if we get it right, the next decade will, at least, be recognized as the transition of leadership of the global economy from developed to developing economies where households are less indebted, demand remains unsatisfied for basic products and services, the banking sector is relatively healthier and thus credit is available, etc.
In most emerging markets, however, broad economic indicators such as GDP are set for high single-digit gains in the coming years, households have healthier balance sheets, and domestic consumption continues its long-term growth trend. The bargaining power of the leadership of these countries continues to grow, witnessed in Davos by the agenda increasingly being set, or at least, influenced by the voices of China, India, Brazil and others, supporting the increasing competition of local businesses seeking dominance in their markets and abroad.
We feel the macro picture in 2010 will largely be defined by the relationship between the USD and the RMB, as the trade imbalance between China and the United States, as well as the implications of monetary and currency policy changes, will have effects on trade flows and currency valuations, and thus on asset allocation for investors. In addition, the rapid acceleration of prices in certain Asian countries, particularly for food, may drive up inflation in the developing world, a stark contrast to the deflationary story broadly apparent in stagnant western economies."
Jürgen Maier, Fondsmanager des "Raiffeisen EmergingMarkets-Aktien A" (02.02.2010): "Die Schwellenländer werden auch in den kommenden Jahren die Wachstumslokomotive für die Weltwirtschaft sein und deutlich schneller wachsen als die entwickelten Märkte. Für 2010 erwarten wir für China ein Wachstum von 9 %, für Indien 7,5 %, Ägypten 4,6 %, Brasilien 4,5 %, Russland 3,5 % und für Südafrika 2,8 %. Im Vergleich dazu werden die entwickelten Märkte wie etwa die USA um ca. 2,5 % wachsen, Europa und Japan um ca. 1,5 %. In den kommenden Jahren dürfte sich das Wachstum in den Emerging Markets noch weiter beschleunigen, während bei den entwickelten Märkten mit einem längerfristigen Trendwachstum auf niedrigem Niveau zu rechnen ist. Risikofaktoren in den Emerging Markets bleiben hoch verschuldete Länder in Osteuropa wie z.B. Estland, Lettland oder die Ukraine und die Gefahr von steigendem Protektionismus und Handelsbeschränkungen, die Exportländer wie Korea oder Taiwan hart treffen würden."
e-fundresearch: "Welche fundamentalen Faktoren sind Ihrer Meinung nach derzeit am wichtigsten?"
Jonathan Asante, Senior Portfolio Manager, "First State Global Emerging Markets A GBP Acc" & "First State Global Emerging Markets Leaders A GBP" (04.02.2010): "We have a strong bias in favour of domestic, consumer-related companies, since one of the strongest trends in Emerging Markets is increasing disposable income and the emergent middle classes.
We are increasingly defensively positioned, focusing on companies with strong cash flow and pricing power.
We trimmed positions in the world’s biggest beer companies, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, as much of the positive news was in the price.
• We believe there is still value in quality companies in less fashionable markets such as Israel, South Africa,Taiwan and Thailand.
• We continue to hold global gold miner AngloGold Ashanti to protect us from further printing of money by central banks or uncertainty if markets begin to question the credibility of sovereign debt issues."
Mattia Nocera, Managing Director and CIO of BCM Ltd, "Vitruvius Emerging Markets Equity B USD" (04.02.2010): "The inflation outlook and consequent monetary policy developments both in Developed and in Emerging countries is a critical issue in the near-term, particularly given the recently introduced tightening bias in China. Foreign investor flows also remain extremely important and, in the medium term, should help to drive a decoupling between DM and EM markets reflecting the decoupling we are currently witnessing in the respective rate of economic growth."
Devan Kaloo, Aberdeen Asset Management, "Aberdeen Global - Emerging Markets Equity A2 Acc" & "Danske Invest Global Emerging Markets A" (29.01.2010): "How the West resolve the imbalances and indebtedness of its economies remain key."
Vincent Strauss, Comgest, "Magellan D" & "Comgest Growth Emerging Markets Cap USD" (02.02.2010): "For quality growth managers, the important fundamental factors are those that influence the prospects of sustainable and strong earnings growth over the long term. We thus look closely at the pricing power of our companies to see how they pass on inevitable price increases in raw materials and other inputs to consumers to protect their margins; we look at structural market factors such as the potential for consolidation, as well as current and potential earnings growth and the valuations assigned by the market to access this growth.
If 2009 was the year of anticipation and perhaps an overshooting of expectations, 2010 will likely be the year of delivery on these expectations. To realise high returns in 2010, we feel it will require more stock picking skills than thematic or top-down allocations to identify those companies that can meet and exceed such earnings growth expectations in 2010 and beyond."
Jürgen Maier, Fondsmanager des "Raiffeisen EmergingMarkets-Aktien A" (02.02.2010): "Unser Fonds wird nach dem „Bottom-Up“-Ansatz gemanagt, d.h. wir sind laufend auf der Suche nach Unternehmen, die einen Wettbewerbsvorteil gegenüber Konkurrenten haben und dabei attraktiv bewertet sind. Momentan sehen wir sehr gute Chancen bei Industrie-, Telekommunikations- und Versorgungsunternehmen (siehe auch Gewichtung unten), da diese Aktien vielfach noch nicht so stark von der Erholung profitiert haben, eine günstige Bewertung und teilweise sehr hohe Dividendenrenditen aufweisen. Sehr gut gefallen uns auch Unternehmen, die vom steigenden lokalen Konsum profitieren. Dass der Emerging Markets-Konsument immer wichtiger wird zeigt sich etwa dadurch, dass China 2009 die USA als größten Absatzmarkt für Autos abgelöst hat. Während in China 13,5 Millionen Fahrzeuge verkauft wurden, waren es in den USA gut drei Millionen weniger. Zum Vergleich: vor zehn Jahren wurden in China nur etwa 1,5 Millionen Fahrzeuge verkauft."
e-fundresearch: "Welche Länder und Branchen werden derzeit über- und untergewichtet?"
Jonathan Asante, Senior Portfolio Manager, "First State Global Emerging Markets A GBP Acc" & "First State Global Emerging Markets Leaders A GBP" (04.02.2010): "Country Exposure
• Overweight Papua New Guinea, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey
• Underweight Brazil, China, South Korea and Russia
• Overweight Consumer Staples, Industrials, Information Technology, Telecom Services and Utilities
• Underweight Consumer Discretionary, Energy, Financials, Health Care and Materials"
Mattia Nocera, Managing Director and CIO of BCM Ltd, "Vitruvius Emerging Markets Equity B USD" (04.02.2010): "Given the lower market exposure, Vitruvius Emerging Markets Equity portfolio is currently underweight the overall market. However, on a country basis, the portfolio remains overweight India and Indonesia while the biggest underweight are in HK/China, Brazil, South Africa and Taiwan. On a sector basis, the portfolio is overweight industrials, but underweight in basic materials, energy, technology and financials."
Devan Kaloo, Aberdeen Asset Management, "Aberdeen Global - Emerging Markets Equity A2 Acc" & "Danske Invest Global Emerging Markets A" (29.01.2010): "As bottom-up stock pickers, our country and sector allocations are driven by where we can find quality companies with attractive valuations. This style may lead to significant deviations from the index.
Largest country positions versus benchmark – Aberdeen Global Emerging Markets
• India – the economy is less dependent on external demand than other Asia
n countries and has weathered the global downturn in relatively sound shape. The companies in which we invest offer good long-term value, given their healthy balance sheets and good management.
• Hong Kong – the territory offers listed companies that have diversified, regional business activities, particularly those that provide an exposure to China, with the added advantage of better standards of accounting and transparency.
• Mexico – the country offers both well-run companies and relative value, particularly among the mid-cap stocks. Its economy also resumed growth in the third quarter, partly boosted by a recovery in domestic demand, even if it remains closely linked to the US.
• China – the country looks interesting from a top-down perspective but the positive macro environment is not always reflected at the corporate level. We prefer to gain exposure to China via well-established Hong Kong-domiciled companies which do business in China.
• Taiwan – the country is home to a number of interesting businesses but more than half of the market is in cyclical industries. Also, corporate transparency is generally poor vis a vis countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong.
• Korea – a relatively mature economy with well-known global brands such as Samsung and Hyundai. The key problem has been the domination of the chaebol, huge conglomerates that can make the business landscape less competitive. Moves by the government to prevent hostile takeovers of domestic companies have also raised concerns.
Largest MSCI sector positions versus benchmark – Aberdeen Global Emerging Markets
• Consumer Staples, Financials – our overweight to these sectors is due to our optimism over the growing domestic demand story. We feel that emerging economies will become increasingly domestically driven and less reliant on exports.
• Health Care – the sector offers high quality generic pharmaceutical opportunities with exposure to growing domestic demand for prescription drugs. These companies are leaders in cost efficiency and have strong distribution capabilities.
• Materials – we remain wary of the sector, where businesses tend to be cyclical and do not fit in with our long term, steady growth investment style.
• Industrials – we generally view companies in this sector as cyclical businesses that are vulnerable to margin pressures and are thus underweight.
• Utilities – while it is a relatively defensive sector, it generally involves more regulatory risk."
Vincent Strauss, Comgest, "Magellan D" & "Comgest Growth Emerging Markets Cap USD" (02.02.2010): "We consider telecoms to be under-valued and South Africa to be under-appreciated by the market. As contrarian investors, we feel these areas are currently neglected and are thus maintaining our positions in leaders operating in such markets."
Jürgen Maier, Fondsmanager des "Raiffeisen EmergingMarkets-Aktien A" (02.02.2010): "Auf Länderebene sind wir derzeit übergewichtet in Südkorea (Fonds: 18,02 %, Benchmark: 12,83 %), Russland (Fonds: 11,62 %, Benchmark: 6,84 %) und Südafrika (Fonds: 10,64 %, Benchmark: 6,92 %). Untergewichtet sind wir in Brasilien (Fonds: 10,46 %, Benchmark: 15,93 %), Taiwan (Fonds: 8,05 %, Benchmark: 11,25 %) und Indien (Fonds: 5,06 %, Benchmark: 7,5 %).
Auf Sektorebene sind für uns Industrie-, Telekommunikations- und Versorgungsunternehmen interessant, während wir Rohstoff-, IT- und Energiewerte untergewichtet haben." (Daten per 01.02.2010)
e-fundresearch: "Werden globale Schwellenländer Aktienmärkte in den kommenden 12 Monaten den MSCI World outperformen?"
Jonathan Asante, Senior Portfolio Manager, "First State Global Emerging Markets A GBP Acc" & "First State Global Emerging Markets Leaders A GBP" (04.02.2010): "We feel positive about the long-term outlook for Asian/GEM economies which we believe should grow at rates substantially above Western ones. One reason for this is that Asia benefits from high savings rates and Asia and GEM are not encumbered with the high levels of consumer and government debt seen in the West."
Mattia Nocera, Managing Director and CIO of BCM Ltd, "Vitruvius Emerging Markets Equity B USD" (04.02.2010): "Yes. There are a number of reasons why EMs will outperform DMs this year. First of all their banking sectors, consumers and public finances are in substantially stronger position than the respective situation in the Developed markets. Second, global equity allocations are still underweight EM and given the medium term macro and micro outlook for the next few years could continue to provide flows to support the markets in valuation remain sensible. Although there are risks, such as inflationary pressures, monetary policies and political uncertainties, many Emerging Markets appear to be well placed to remain amongst the fastest growing economies in the world for the current decade and therefore should provide good opportunities for fundamental investors."
Devan Kaloo, Aberdeen Asset Management, "Aberdeen Global - Emerging Markets Equity A2 Acc" & "Danske Invest Global Emerging Markets A" (29.01.2010): "Yes;
• The old distinctions between developed and developing world may be giving way to a more complex multi-polar, multi-speed world .
• GEMs will lead global growth, with Asia in front, while Emerging Europe will struggle because of precarious debt situation.
• However we could see growth expectations pared in H2 as end of stimulus reveals still-weak demand in the debt-strapped West.
• High growth countries generally – BRICs – are also the most highly valued, which heightens risk of investors overpaying for stocks in these markets
• We are finding it hard to find companies that are good value and yet meet our quality criteria
• But fading momentum will force investors to become more discriminating at sector and, most importantly, stock level. This should suit us.
• Our positioning remains unchanged: we remain focused on the quality of our companies and favour domestic demand vs exporters. We remain fully invested."
Vincent Strauss, Comgest, "Magellan D" & "Comgest Growth Emerging Markets Cap USD" (02.02.2010): "Yes. While emerging markets today (late-January) can be described as trading at a slight discount (10%) to developed markets, investors are increasingly arguing that they will merit a significant premium in the coming years. We are concerned that this low interest rate environment, with high levels of cash sitting on the sidelines and the search for growth ‘at any price,’ could lead to a ‘bubble’ in emerging market equities. As of mid-January, the MSCI EM was trading at 13X 2010 PE estimates, looking for nearly 30% EPS growth from its constituents this year, based on the 22 countries within this index, compared to valuation of 14X for the MSCI AC World, looking for the same growth rate. We feel it is more likely the market will bid up prices in these ‘higher octane’ markets than the global indices, but not at the same levels (70% +) as we saw last year."
Jürgen Maier, Fondsmanager des "Raiffeisen EmergingMarkets-Aktien A" (02.02.2010): "Prognosen über einen bestimmten Zeithorizont sind immer sehr schwierig. Wir gehen aber davon aus, dass Emerging Markets mittel- bis langfristig den MSCI World deutlich outperformen werden, da einerseits der MSCI Emerging Markets Index basierend auf erwarteten Gewinnen für das Jahr 2010 mit 12,9 günstiger bewertet ist als der MSCI World mit 14,4 und wir gleichzeitig für Emerging Markets ein höheres Gewinnwachstum in den kommenden Jahren erwarten, verglichen mit Unternehmen in den entwickelten Märkten."
Alle Daten per 27.01.2010 in Euro: