3 Small Frontier Markets Could Leap Forward This Year

Source: Real Money
By: ANTONIA OPRITA
1/26/2017

With President Donald Trump's attack on China's trade policies and his signing of an executive order to start building the Great Wall of Mexico (let's call it that for now, for lack of a better moniker), investors would be forgiven for thinking that emerging markets are getting out of fashion.

Still, to expand on a point I made yesterday, the differences in terms of business environment between developed and developing countries are narrowing, and not in a good way: developed markets are slipping, rather than emerging markets progressing.

In this context, investors should take advantage of the reality that sentiment around emerging and frontier markets is weak because of Trump's stance and look for opportunities for longer-term growth.

Tina Byles Williams, portfolio manager, CIO and CEO at asset manager FIS Group, has flagged that MSCI might promote three countries from frontier market status to emerging market status in the course of this year. This means more money would pour into their assets because they would qualify for funds that invest in emerging markets. The three are Argentina, Romania and Pakistan.

Argentina shows "reasonable valuations, continued market reforms, added liquidity, and falling inflation and interest rates all," Williams said in her outlook for the first quarter. Her fund is long Argentina.

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