• Effective investing in emerging markets requires in-depth knowledge driven by constant curiosity. Emerging Views is Thornburg’s online portal to share our timely discoveries, perspectives and insights into this complex, dynamic and always evolving space. Check back often for the latest thought-provoking contributions.

  • Emerging Views

    Thorough analyses of trends & changes influencing emerging markets.
  • Breaking Down the Presumed Correlation Between Commodities and Emerging Markets
    July 20, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Among the lingering misconceptions about emerging markets is that they are proxy plays on commodities, prices of which presumably drive returns in developing country stocks. Historical...
  • Long Time Horizon Beats Market Timing with Emerging Markets Stocks
    July 10, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Did you miss the rally in emerging markets stocks? Since they started rebounding in January 2016, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s total return to July 10, 2017, hit 53%, easily outpacing the S&P 500...
  • The Incentive Factor Behind MSCI’s China A Shares Index Inclusion
    May 26, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    If China is a master of incremental reforms to gain admission to select economic and financial circles, only to bend the rules after access is granted, MSCI appears well aware of its playbook. Whether...
  • China’s Steel Industry Shrinks to Grow More Efficient
    May 26, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    China’s Baosteel Group is now the second-largest steel company in the world after ArcelorMittal, but it is the undisputed leader in the Middle Kingdom, where roughly half the world’s steel is produced. I...
  • Brazilian Markets Tumble as Political Turmoil Returns
    May 18, 2017 [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria, CFA]
    Brazilian asset prices tanked May 18 following a local media report implicating President Michel Temer in alleged hush-money payments to former lower house Speaker Eduardo Cunha, who is now...
  • Mexican Market’s Reprieve from Political Ferment to Be Short-lived
    May 11, 2017 [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria, CFA]
    The political squalls blowing from north of Mexico’s border took a heavy toll on the Aztec nation’s asset prices at the beginning of the year, but as we noted a few days after Donald Trump, whose...
  • South Korea Tacks Left With New President, But Stocks Have Other Drivers
    May 10, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    After nearly a decade of conservative administrations, South Koreans have elected a leftist human rights lawyer as president. Moon Jae-in's pledges to take a conciliatory tact with Kim Jong-un’s volatile regime...
  • Underinvestment and Demand Growth Will Help Sliding Oil Prices Recover Footing
    May 5, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    After falling more than 6% in a week, oil prices pared their losses Friday, May 5, rebounding 1.6% as the “tug of war” between Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and U.S. shale...
  • Tailwinds to Emerging Markets Resurgence?
    April 13, 2017 [Emerging Views, Jack Rosovsky, CFA and Charles Roth]
    In contrast to last year’s volatility in the first quarter, global equity markets showed strong returns during the first three months of 2017. Economic indicators and earnings around the world are beating...
  • China’s Li Keqiang Index Flexing its Muscle
    April 7, 2017 [Emerging Views, Todd Wax, CFA]
    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang once told a U.S. diplomat that China's official GDP data was “man made,” according to Bloomberg. To glean more accurate measures of growth, he instead looked at...
  • Investors Should Look Beyond South Africa's Unfolding Political Drama Now
    March 31, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    South Africa’s political tensions intensified on March 30 following President Jacob Zuma’s sweeping cabinet reshuffle, which included replacements of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy...
  • Energy Goldilocks? Growing Oil Demand, High OPEC Compliance Meet High Inventories and Growing Non-OPEC Output
    February 13, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    The International Energy Agency (IEA) Friday reported the best compliance on an oil output cut agreement in the history of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). While this is...
  • India's Pragmatic Populism
    February 10, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    For a country steeped in its customs, India's government and central bank have taken a liking to the element of surprise. The policy announcements have been far from pleasant, causing people...
  • What’s Worked Lately in EM isn’t What’s Worked Long Term
    January 31, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Over the last 10- and 15-year periods, the MSCI emerging market consumer discretionary, consumer staples, and health care sectors have massively outperformed energy and materials. This...
  • Seaworthy Mexico into the Maelstrom
    January 25, 2017 [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria, CFA]
    In the tumultuous twelve months ended January 20, 2017, the MSCI Mexico Index has declined 0.3%, badly underperforming the broad MSCI Emerging Market Index’s 32% return, while the...
  • Ride the Dollar Tide at Your Risk
    January 25, 2017 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    After three straight years of declines, developing country stocks regained some ground in 2016. Yet the MSCI Emerging Market Index's 11.2% total return in 2016 came with marked volatility along...
  • Weighing the Prospects of Trump’s Trade Agenda
    November 2016 Perspectives [Charles Roth]
    During the U.S. presidential election campaign, candidate Donald Trump hammered relentlessly at the “very bad” free trade deals Washington has signed or negotiated. He cudgeled two of the U.S.’s...
  • OPEC's Deal Drives Oil Prices Up a Slippery Slope
    November 30, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Oil prices jumped 10% Wednesday, November 30, in response to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) deal to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day, around 1% of global...
  • India's Demonetization: Bold, Brash, or Both?
    November 21, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Major structural reforms rarely go off without a hitch. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprise November 8 move to bring India's "black money" economy onto the books by replacing the largest currency bills...
  • Colombia's Peace Won't Come at Any Price
    October 4, 2016 [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria, CFA]
    A year of unexpected political outcomes is how 2016 will go down in history. Few predicted at the beginning of the year the U.K.'s vote to exit the European Union, or the rise of populist right-wing and hard-left parties across Europe...
  • Mind the Gap: China's Great Leap Forward in Life Insurance
    September 27, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Slowing wage and job growth in China has made the insurance industry a more attractive source of employment. Over the last two calendar years, agent growth has soared...
  • Flagging Demand Growth and Resilient Supply Delay Oil Market Rebalancing
    September 19, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD, Charles Roth]
    The long-expected rebalancing in oil market supply and demand just got postponed again, as forecasts it would take place in the current quarter and then in the last leg of 2016 are now proving...
  • After Broad Emerging Markets Rally, Get Selective
    July 2016 Perspectives [Emerging Views, Ben Kirby, CFA, Charles Wilson, PHD]
    With a peak to trough move of nearly 10% on the MSCI Emerging Market (EM) Index at the start of the quarter and ending with a just shy of 1% total return at quarter end, it’s clear we traveled a long way, but didn’t get very far.
  • South Africa's Great Challenges, and Greater Opportunities
    March 2016 Perspectives [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria, CFA]
    After a fruitful week of corporate and macroeconomic policy meetings, I leave South Africa with a sense of hope for the future but recognition that challenges ahead need to be dealt with for the...
  • Can China Change Its Growth Model?
    February 2016 Perspectives [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Along with many major economies, China’s economic growth following the 2009 rebound from the global financial crisis has continued to disappoint relative to expectations. As we wrote previously...
  • Colombia's Raw Peace Could Open New Era of Higher Growth
    August 26, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Colombia's government has signed a peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Latin America's oldest Marxist insurgency, possibly paving the way to end more than half a century of conflict...
  • India’s Demonetization: Bold, Brash, or Both?
    November 21, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    Major structural reforms rarely go off without a hitch. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise November 8 move to bring India’s “black money” economy onto the books by replacing the largest currency bills...
  • Mexico: How Structural Reform Leads to More Sustainable Growth
    July 29, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PHD]
    Not running on empty: Amid lower oil prices, Mexico continues shift away from exports toward domestic consumption.
  • Political Risk Spikes in Turkey, Roiling Asset Prices
    July 19, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth]
    The failed July 15 coup in Turkey served as a useful reminder to investors that emerging market equities, which have been far outpacing major advanced country stock indexes, are clearly prone to political risk and market volatility.
  • Indian Banks—An Attractive Secular Growth Story
    July 1, 2016 [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria, CFA]
    After three years of painful returns, emerging market equities in 2016 appear to have regained their footing. The MSCI EM Index climbed nearly 5% over the first six months of the year, handily...
  • Can Emerging Market Equities Work If Commodity Prices Don't?
    The term "risk assets" has become widely used to describe anything that goes up when the U.S. dollar goes down. Perceptions around the pace of U.S. monetary tightening substantially influence...
  • Drivers of Oil Prices Prove Slippery to Grasp
    April 20, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD & Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    Headlines predicting the retreat in recently resurgent crude oil prices following the collapse of weekend talks in Doha among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia quickly...
  • Can emerging market equities work in a rising U.S. interest-rate environment?
    As we have noted previously, the stronger dollar has created a stiff headwind for MSCI Emerging Markets Index earnings, which are calculated in dollars. The roller coaster in emerging market...
  • Emerging Market Currencies Q1 Rally Reaches Historic Proportions
    April 7, 2016 [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria, CFA]
    As a follow-up to the previous Emerging Views post on the first-quarter rally in emerging market stocks, the best-performing group among global equities in the period, the role and extent of currency...
  • Where are we now? Looking for value in Emerging Markets after the recent rally
    March 31, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Through January 21st, the MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Index was down 13.29% YTD. That was the second-worst start since the inception of the index in 1988, behind only the poor start of what...
  • Brazil's Political Drama Intensifies as Dilma is Implicated, Lula Charged
    March 21, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    Brazil's political crisis has quickly turned into a constitutional crisis, pitting the executive and judicial branches against each other as millions of protestors across Brazil hit the streets to demand the...
  • China's Neighbors to Millions of New Free-spending Tourists: "Ni Hao!"
    March 7, 2016 [Emerging Views, Ben Kirby, CFA]
    On a recent trip to Japan and Korea, I was struck by the number of firms citing "Chinese tourism" as a key driver of their business performance, against the well-known narrative of economic slowdown in...
  • India's Budget Focuses on Farmers and the Central Bank
    March 3, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    India has unveiled its financial year 2017 budget, garnering a nice mix of criticism across the country's political and economic spectrums. Though it's not obvious, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's...
  • Mexico's Economic Stewards Take Market By Surprise
    February 25, 2016 [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria, CFA]
    Over the last five years, the alphabet soup of monetary policy abbreviations has expanded meaningfully, with terms like NIRP (Negative Interest Rate Policy), ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) and...
  • Dissecting China's Debt Load
    February 19, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PHD]
    China's debt burden has grown substantially, but its debt profile, ample foreign exchange reserves and well-capitalized banking system bolster the country's ability to sustain it.
  • This Time is Different: A Look at the State of Emerging Market Debt
    February 10, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PHD]
    Lessons learned during the Asian financial crisis helped emerging economies properly prepare for today's currency volatility and drive future growth.
  • China Rings in the New Lunar Year with Disconcerting Headline Numbers and Underlying Strengths
    February 4, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    Investors could be forgiven for thinking China has become an unappealing place. Economic growth slowed again in the fourth quarter to 6.8%, bringing the annual rate for 2015 to 6.9%, lower than the...
  • Colombia Shifts to Keep Its Balance Amid Slide in Oil Prices
    January 2016 Perspectives [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria, CFA]
    Accepting short-term fiscal and foreign exchange pain for long-term macroeconomic gains, which may compound with infrastructure investment and possibly peace dividends.
  • Beta Isn't Better
    January 2016 [Emerging Views, white paper, Charles Wilson PhD]
    Analyzing the relationship between beta and returns reveals that investors generally aren’t compensated for the risks associated with higher beta stocks. Over time, lower beta stocks tend to offer the most attractive returns, our research shows.
  • New Year, A New Start for EM? Not Exactly
    January 21, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PHD]
    After a very difficult year in emerging markets in 2015, we entered 2016 cautiously optimistic about returns. So far, the markets are off to a difficult start with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index already down more than 10%.
  • Argentina's Adios to Statism?
    January 12, 2016 [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria, CFA]
    Good news: Argentina is clamoring for change, a necessary precondition for recently inaugurated, reformist President Macri to succeed. Investors are watching.
  • Three Things That Matter Most to Markets in 2016: U.S. Interest Rates, Oil Prices, and China
    January 6, 2016 [Emerging Views, Charles wilson, PhD]
    We expect them to again play a key role in the global growth outlook and the trajectory of markets, although their specific impacts may be different than in past years...
  • The Fed Finally Raises Rates
    December 16, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    The U.S. Federal Reserve on December 16 raised its benchmark Federal funds rate for the first time since 2006, marking the start of its first monetary tightening cycle in more than a decade. A year ago...
  • Energy Sector Price Rout Not Running on Empty
    December 15, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles Roth, Global Markets Editor]
    In early December, oil prices hit their lowest levels since the end of 2008, when the Global Financial Crisis was severely undercutting risk asset prices and economic growth around the world. U.S. natural...

  • Brazil Political Drama Part Dois
    December 7, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles wilson, PhD]
    Since we last wrote about Brazil, its political and economic troubles have continued to unfold in dramatic fashion. In late November, a prominent local businessmen, Andre Esteves, was arrested...

  • Who's Afraid of Fed Rate Normalization?
    November 23, 2015 [Emerging Views, Jeff Klingelhofer, CFA]
    The summer of 2015 was dark and stormy for investors. China's equity market collapsed and the surprise renminbi devaluation shook currency markets across the globe. The U.S. Federal Reserve...
  • Indian Politics: Progress Isn't Always a Straight Line
    November 17, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered its second major defeat during the current state election cycle after losing in Bihar, a state with more than 100 million people...
  • China's One-Child Policy Revision a Positive Step, But Unlikely to Reverse Demographic Challenges
    November 3, 2015 [Emerging Views, Ben Kirby, CFA]
    China has announced a modification to its long standing one-child policy, now allowing eligible couples to have two children. The one-child policy, introduced in 1978...
  • Emerging Market Hospitals a Fit Investment for Long-Term Investors? We Think So
    October 2015 Perspectives [Emerging Views, Pablo Echavarria
    Emerging market private hospitals can offer compelling investment opportunities, given favorable long-term demographic trends, growing middle classes and incomes, and low penetration of health services in the sector.
  • Emerging Market Returns Decomposed: Aiming to Mitigate Price Volatility, Amplify Return Contribution
    October 28, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    Recent returns from emerging market investments have been less than exciting. During times like this, it's often helpful to step back and think about why we wanted to be involved...
  • Now is the Time to Be Truly Active in Emerging Markets
    October 21, 2015 [Emerging Views, Charles Wilson, PhD]
    After a dismal third quarter, emerging market equities have been rebounding sharply. In the ten trading days up to October 12, the MSCI EM Index increased 11.45%, delivering one...
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