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Emerging market funds: New skills for new markets

SW Asset Management, a new fixed-income fund, is demonstrating its enthusiasm for emerging market firms by investing in their debt and exploring the credit default swap market. Dominic O’Neill reports.

Emerging market funds: Old friends

THE WEST IS increasingly passé as a destination for investment. The financial crisis and the recession have further underlined the limits to growth in the developed world and the opportunities available in Asia and Latin America. It is no longer just a story of businesses in rich countries transferring capital to these regions by outsourcing labour or buying natural resources, domestic consumption is on the up in the Bric countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). They are now viewed as the world’s engines of economic growth, at least by some analysts.

Moreover, some western creditors are aware of a possible need to transfer more of their lending away from their stagnating home economies, many of which are vastly over-leveraged, towards the better fundamental growth opportunities available elsewhere, where credit is lacking. Rexiter, a London fund management firm specializing in emerging markets, reckons developed market institutional investors’ allocations to emerging markets will double in the next five years.

The trend is evident in the strategies some new funds are employing to attract investment and gain better returns. Investors can sometimes be more likely to open their wallets to a new fund that puts the developed world’s sub-prime nightmare of the past two years behind it with a shiny, new and optimistic emerging market focus.

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