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PRODUCTS&MARKETS EMERGING MARKETEQUITIES


household consumption, it’ll be less of apositiveimpulse for the rest of emergingmarkets,” addsMrWolf. The pandemic hasshown


investors the importance of being selectivewhen it comesto emerging markets, he believes. “This year,more than almost any


in recent history,showed the benefit of treating emergingmarketsonan individual basis andnot as a homogenous bloc. The divergences across emergingmarkets andeven within regions—Asia for example— have beenhuge, so it’simportant to invest in countries with strong growth fundamentals andattractive valuations, but not necessarily emergingmarkets as an all-or-nothing investment.” This has been a difficult year for


emergingmarket equity performance, but, broadly speaking, the investment case for emergingmarket equities is improving, says Jeffrey Sacks,Emea Investment Strategist at Citi Private Bank.Hepoints to these countries’


management of the pandemic, a sharp pick-upin growth led by Asia, aweaker dollar, firmer commodity prices than at the start of the yearand valuations that are bynomeans stretched. “That mix of factors gives us confidence looking forwardinto 2021.Wethink performance will start later this year, but the next year will be the bigger year,” he explains. Latin America presents an


interesting short-termtrading opportunity, saysMrSacks, as it is currently oversold, underheld andundervalued. “At themoment, it is in themidst


of themost intense phase of the pandemic andwethink it has a recovery rally that has further to go. Butnomore than that,wearemore cautious about the long-term prospects for large parts of Latam. It is a trading rally for short-termfunds andthosewho can bemore nimble.” Ceemea[Centraland Eastern


Europe, the Middle East andAfrica] sees quite specific problems in each


Poweringthe recovery: tech stocks in emerging markets have performed exceptionally well, just as they have in the developedworld


of its keymarkets—Russia, South Africa andTurkey—he says. South Africa has a challenging economic backdrop, political issues andCovid has hurt themmore than most.Russia is held back byongoing political concerns andwhile the oil price hasbounced, it has not been all that strong; the economy has not diversified sufficiently to provide investors witha broad spectrum of opportunities.Turkey facesenormous economic challenges with its current account deficit andsignificant debt problems.“So inCeemea it is too early to bottom-fish.Weneed to see these problems at least start to get resolved,” believesMrSacks. That leaves Asia as the preferred


market for Citi.“We liked it somuch at the start of the year thatwe included Asia as one of our unstoppable trends.Not somuchan allocation—it is bigger than that. The long-termdrivers for Asia are particularly strong.Weare talking about the risingmiddle class, the increasing policy orthodoxy, andincreasing improvement in transparency at a company level,” he says. Covidhasdelayedthat story, but


Weview viewthe current environment not as a threat, but as an opportunity


KUNJALGALAFEDERATED HERMES HERMES


not stoppedit, saysMrSacks,andAsia hasdoneafar better job athowithas managedtoget throughtheworst of thepandemicthanother parts of the world.“Whatwearestartingto see nowinAsia is not onlya manufacturingpick-upthat startedin theearlypartof thesummer, butnow alsoadomestic pick-up.That is giving usevengreaterconfidenceofadecent endto the yearandastrong2021.”


TRADEWARS Donald Trump’s presidencyhasbeen markedbyaratchetingupof tensions withChina, with increasingtariffsand threats ofadamagingtradewar.Yet evenif JoeBidenwins the election,


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