I have to admit, I was a little surprised. The invitation to a book signing came from an emerging markets investment firm by one of their investment professionals and on the face of it didn’t really excite me. But I do have a lot of respect for the individuals at the firm and there was a quality to the invitation, one that didn’t say hard sell, that compelled me to go and see.
Russia’s equity market has always been cheap, argues USAA‘s Wasif Latif, but at present levels it is just too cheap to ignore. Russia’s economic decline, driven by not only falling oil prices, its main source of income, but also Western sanctions over its intervention in Ukraine has caused a major sell-off that Latif and other asset managers believe is an overshoot. This has brought Russia’s benchmark dollar-denominated RTS stock index to its lowest level since March and before that, a level not seen since Sept. 2009.
The frontier markets juggernaut continues. Here’s a great graphic from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch showing the diverging fund flow dynamic into frontier and emerging equity markets.
Frontier markets have an air of adventure and unpredictability about them. One is tempted to ask: Who knows what will happen next?
The International Monetary Fund this week painted yet another gloomy picture, cutting its 2012 forecast for Africa along with most other countries around the world. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF shaved its 2012 projections for Africa to 5 percent from 5.4 percent.