Funds target emerging markets

ECONOMIC recovery in different global regions is happening at varying speeds, leading asset managers to invest in a wide range of emerging markets for growth, a new survey found yesterday.

Fund managers are cautiously optimistic that indebted western economies will deal with sovereign debt, but are targeting Asia for returns, a survey by RBC Capital Markets concluded.

Almost 70 per cent of respondents expect an Asia rally this year, led by smaller markets such as Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, which are thought to hold better prospects for growth this year than in 2010.

Other favoured emerging markets include India, which 66 per cent believed will grow more this year; China, where 65 per cent anticipated higher growth and Russia, where 51 per cent expect more growth.

However, optimism was also high that resource-rich frontier markets such as Africa would also rebound strongly this year: 44 per cent were hopeful of expansion there.

“Emerging markets are more diversified than ever and are growing at different rates,” said Marc Harris, co-head of global research at RBC Capital Markets. “Investors are recognising the need to look beyond the four traditional emerging markets and are now looking to intra-regional differences.”

Respondents were investing more carefully and with greater awareness of risk and volatility, the survey found.

Asset managers had growing faith in the Eurozone, with just over a quarter expecting a decline in the region compared with 40 per cent a year ago. But the US is out of favour, with respondents expecting equity market gains falling from 66 per cent to 54 per cent. .