Global Investing

A boost for cheap emerging equities. So will they bite?

Emerging stocks have rallied 3 percent today after the Fed’s startling decision to leave its $85 billion-a month money-printing in place, and some markets such as Turkey are up more than 7 percent. With the first Fed hike now expected to come in 2015 and tapering starting only from December, emerging markets have effectively received a three month breather. So will the buyers return?

A lot of folks have been banging the drum about how cheap emerging markets are these days. But imminent Fed tapering has been scaring away any who might have been tempted. Plus there is the economic growth slowdown that could knock profit margins at emerging market companies. Bank of America/Merrill Lynch which runs a closely watched monthly survey of fund managers shows just in the following graphic how unloved the sector is relative to history:

So should people be buying? BofA/ML certainly thinks so: its strategist Ajay Kapur suggests emerging stocks are 20 percent undervalued. He acknowledges all the risks out there but reckons they are all in the price by now:

In sum, we think emerging equity markets are likely to surprise the negative consensus and do rather well in the coming months. Valuations discount a lot of the financial vulnerability, investors appear to have fallen out of favor with the asset class, China/global economic data are improving, and Asia’s terms of trade are getting better. While longer-term issues about over-investment, lending  booms and deteriorating current accounts remain a concern, especially in an environment of rising U.S. bond yields, a rising dollar, a falling U.S. current account deficit and rising oil prices, we think these are well discounted and understood.

Here is the other side though  — many reckon Fed tapering concerns were only a marginal factor behind emerging equity weakness. Rather, there are more structural reasons to justify the cheap prices, says John-Paul Smith at Deutsche:

Financial crisis helps Berlin take root for fashionistas

Berlin is slowly but surely establishing itself as one of the top global catwalks for the bold and the beautiful of the world of high fashion – and the global financial crisis seems to be doing nothing to slow it down.

 

For the fifth time, up-and-coming fashion designers are meeting in the German capital to present selections from their latest collections at the Berlin Fashion Week, which is attracting increasing interest from the international fashion scene.

 

Maia Guarnaccia, vice president at IMG Fashion Europe, which organises the fashion week in Berlin as well as similar events in New York, Miami and Amsterdam, said last year marked a turning point for Berlin.

from MacroScope:

More than green shoots

MacroScope is pleased to post the following from guest blogger Stewart Armer. Stewart is head of socially responsible investing at Fortis Investments. He outlines here how huge stimulus plans could boost sustainable economic development. His team blogs on this issue at SRI Blog.

While we are still debating if the worst is over, it has become clear that economic crisis has turned into an opportunity for sustainable economic development.

Our recent analysis of the fiscal stimulus packages of G-20 countries shows that almost half of the announced spending will be spent on the environment and social sectors.  The major recipients include healthcare ($333 billion), sustainable transport ($209 billion), education ($151 billion), social housing ($95 billion), clean and efficient energy ($84 billion), and clean water and air ($68 billion).