Excessive regulation “greatest threat” to EM equities, warns UBS

Excessive regulatory efforts are currently posing the greatest threat to emerging market equities, according to UBS Global Asset Management’s Urs Antonioli.

Speaking at the Fund Strategy Investment Summit, the head of emerging markets EMEA/Latin America equities says inflation and increased regulatory efforts are the two biggest threats to the asset class but notes that inflation is at least falling.

“Inflation is falling for the first time in 18 months in emerging markets,” he says. “This [risk] has gone away.”

It is the materials sector that is particularly as risk from government intervention, particularly in some of the larger Bric (Brazil, Russia, India & China) nations, he adds.

“Countries like Russia and Brazil see how these companies make tonnes and tonnes of money and there’s a tendency in these countries to change regulations, licences and to raise taxes,” explains Antonioli.

The £26.8m UBS emerging markets equities income fund currently has a 12 per cent weighting to the materials sector, making it the fourth largest single exposure in the portfolio.