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Stock and bond investors seen flocking to frontier markets - industry observers

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November 22
10:09 AM 2013

Investors had been seen fleeing from emerging markets after adverse effects where seen resulting from the US Federal Reserve's economic policies. The report said those who were brave enough flock to what were dubbed as frontier markets, saying that bets in these markets would generate better returns. The Financial Times cited Hayman Capital Management LP hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, who said the market in Argentina poses investment opportunities.

At a conference in September, Bass was quoted as saying, "Argentina's problems can be fixed in two years. Now is the time to start investing."

According to a paper done by finance and economy specialist Tomas Guerrero, frontier markets are known to be not liquid and are immature markets. However, some frontier markets have high growth potential, low labor costs and abundant natural resources, Guerrero argued in a paper. An International Business Times report identified Ukraine, Pakistan and Vietnam, Argentina and Nigeria as some of these frontier markets, which have contrasting criteria as of the ones for emerging markets. Emerging markets were said to be found in countries under BRIC, which are Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Based on the data obtained by IBTimes, frontier market securities have fared well against emerging market securities, of which had showed weakness due to fears regarding the tapering of the US asset-buying program. Benchmark gauge MSCI Frontier Markets index climbed over 17% this year so far, while the MSCI Emerging Markets index experienced a 2.9% slip. Moreover, Guerrero highlighted the fact that in the first five months this year, the MSCI Frontier Market index gained a 13.3% advantage, which was seen as the best performance of a benchmark gauge. In the same period, a parallel emerging markets dropped 4.4%. Also, Guerrero said equity funds focused on frontier equity markets reached an investment record of USD2.27 billion in May last year.

Exotix brokerage economist Gabriel Sterne told the Financial Times, "You would think that talk of Fed tapering and the flight from risk would hit frontier markets, but they have kept on tightening."

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