I have been championing the case for emerging-market investing through many market ups and downs, but the task was a bit easier in 2017. Emerging markets (as measured by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index) saw a positive performance in 2017 and outperformed developed markets (as measured by the MSCI World Index) for a second year in a row.
My colleagues and I have been actively speaking about the evolution taking place in many emerging markets over the past few decades. We’ve seen dramatic shifts occurring, with the often one-dimensional economic models of the past giving way to new and diverse growth drivers.
Overall, we believe small-cap stocks in emerging markets offer attractive prospects for active managers. A multitude of mispriced securities, market inefficiencies and a paucity of research provide considerable investment opportunities, in our view.
The prospect of stabilizing commodity prices and improving corporate earnings has helped rebuild investor interest in emerging markets over the past year. But returning investors may find the constituents of today’s emerging markets are very different from those of the past.
My colleague Carlos Hardenberg shares his perspective on the opportunities and challenges he sees in emerging markets today and as we head into 2017.