NN IP sees EM debt on a strong footing

SPONSORED BY : NN Investment Partners

By Marcelo Assalin

Added 9th October 2017

Economic growth, undervalued currencies and stable to higher commodity prices position EMD well against potential headwinds, according to Marcelo Assalin, head of emerging markets debt.

NN IP sees EM debt on a strong footing

Marcelo Assalin, NN Investment Partners

 

 

 

Emerging markets benefit from the improvement in global growth dynamics, which is broad based across regions and sectors.

While a continued improvement in activity increases the risk of monetary policy tightening, overall bond yield levels are likely to be anchored by the benign inflationary backdrop. This strengthens the expectation of investors of a very gradual policy normalisation by the Federal Reserve and other key central banks like the ECB and Bank of Japan. 

This year we are likely to surpass the record level of EM debt inflows seen in 2012

As the chart shows, the EMD asset class corrected sharply in November last year, when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. His campaign contained a strong protectionist agenda while he also promised huge fiscal stimulus measures, which after his election caused a substantial appreciation of the US dollar and sharply rising US bond yields.

 

Performance of EMD Hard and Local Currency benchmarks (in USD)

 

However, already since the end of 2016 markets have gradually priced out these expectations as it became clear that Trump did not follow up on his protectionist rhetoric while he also faced significant obstacles in Congress with regard to his domestic agenda.

The developments in US politics continue to be unpredictable, so it remains difficult to assess the impact of the current US administration. US trade policies could obviously affect emerging markets, but given the political deadlock in the US this is not our base case. 

At the same time, global trade growth started to accelerate at the end of 2016, contributing to emerging market export growth. While EM growth momentum improved thanks to external demand, capital flows to emerging markets increased as US bond yields fell and the dollar weakened.

Combined with the steady downward trend in inflation, this enabled EM central banks to cut interest rates. Financial conditions eased, stimulating domestic demand. Since March, a slow recovery in credit growth is visible in emerging markets ex-China.

China, at the end of last year, was still seen as a key risk factor, but has surprised with decent growth figures in the first half of this year. The PMI indicators of the past few months suggest this benign picture has continued in the third quarter. Chinese credit growth continues to soften but only moderately and hardly affecting the real economy.  

More volatility?

In the coming months, volatility might increase on the back of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula or the Federal Reserve’s gradual policy normalisation. However, neither is likely to disrupt our more structural positive view in the medium term. Most likely a short period of market weakness could provide opportunities to selectively add risk.

At the moment we do not have a strong preference for hard or local currency debt. All categories have seen healthy inflows. This year we are likely to surpass the record level of inflows seen in 2012.

EMD hard currency valuations are close to fair, with spreads in a stable range for the past few months. Based on the improving fundamentals and positive market technicals, we have a constructive outlook for EMD HC.

For EM local markets, we expect investor inflows to continue into the higher yielding basket where real rates have been bolstered by falling inflation.

Real interest rates are close to historic highs and the real interest rate differential versus developed markets has also grown. This bodes well for a continuation of portfolio inflows.

In this environment, EM currencies should continue to regain some of the ground lost over the past five years.

 

Marcelo Assalin is head of emerging markets debt at NN Investment Partners

 


 

Disclaimer
This document is for informational purposes only and is not the basis for any contract to deal in any security or instrument, or for NN Investment Partners (Singapore) Ltd (“NNIP SG”) or its affiliates to enter into or arrange any type of transaction as a consequence of any information contained here.  It shall not be construed as or used for the making of any offer or invitation to anyone in any jurisdiction in which such offer is not authorized, or in which the person making such offer is not qualified to do so, or to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer.  Although the information in this document was compiled from sources believed to be reliable, no liability for any error or omission is accepted by NNIP SG or its affiliates or any of their directors or employees. The information and opinion contained here may also change.
Use of the information contained in this communication is solely at your risk. Investment sustains risk. Please note that the value of your investment may rise or fall and also that past performance is not indicative of future results and shall in no event be deemed as such.
Any claims arising out of or in connection with the terms and conditions of this disclaimer are governed by Singapore law.
NN Investment Partners (Singapore) Ltd | Company registration number: 199602506R

 

 

 

Visitor's Comments Add your comment

Add Your Comment

We won't publish your address

Events

 

FSA Investment Forum Singapore 2017

Tuesday 31 October

 

FSA Investment Forum Hong Kong 2017

Thursday 2 November

OTHER STORIES FROM LAST WORD...