The Opportunity In Emerging Markets

When it comes to investing, nothing compares to a hidden gem. While many investors are focused on the outcome of the trade war with China, they aren’t necessarily looking at the opportunity that can stem from the agreement. While China may be one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies, there are opportunities for savvy investors in emerging markets.

The MSCI’s index increased .13% more for emerging market shares, with China currently having the most weight on the index. With progress toward a trade deal being made, many have the preference to include Chinese equities in their portfolios. The Shanghai Composite and the yuan rose 1% and .5% higher respectively.

China isn’t the only country to see positive increases with the news that progress is being made between the two countries. Turkish and South African equities increased by 0.4% and 1.2% respectively. The index for Sao Paulo’s Bovespa climbed 0.3 percent, the highest that the market has seen since last year in September.

The currencies in Latin America also held strong compared to the dollar. The real led the charge being the currency that saw the most gain. Following the real was the Chilean peso which has reached its highest mark since last year August. This was in part due to the increased prices of copper, which is the top export for the country.
Chief strategist Luca Opalini stated that now was the time to diversify portfolios by adding emerging-market assets. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) saw an increase of 7.6 percent since the year started.

Investors should look to invest in Latin American markets with Brazil stocks being high on the purchase list. Hitting an all-time high, Brazil’s ETF has risen over 10% in the new year. Outperforming the EEM, investors should consider Brazil as an opportunity. The new president has stated that he plans to increase the minimum retirement age for men and women. With the current pension system, many workers could retire by their 50s. This resulted in increased debt and added to the economic troubles that the country has faced.

Another Latin American asset to watch is Mexican bonds. With Mexican bonds being traded at a low cost, they have the ability to outperform the current emerging market benchmarks in the future. A strategist with MRB Partners stated that, while the bonds aren’t going to exceed other emerging market currency, the value lies in the undervaluation of Mexican currency; these can be bought cheaply, then sold at a more significant return later on when the value increases.

As the example of Mexican bonds reveal, not all value is obvious. Value stems from opportunities that are often overlooked or underappreciated. While many would consider investing in China due to its face value, investors should consider markets that aren’t being sought out that have the best potential for expanded growth.

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