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Kames increases emerging markets exposure

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Kames Capital has increased its emerging markets exposure from a previous underweight position as the group sees value in the sector.

The group has been underweight emerging markets for most of 2015 because of the “headwinds” facing the sector but has recently ramped up its allocation across the group.

However, Kames Capital chief investment officer Stephen Jones says Q4 is a “sensible time” to reconsider the asset class as valuations look more attractive.

He says: “The valuations on emerging market equities have got to a point where they now look attractive.

“Emerging markets have become distressed in terms of their prices and while the headwinds from a strong US dollar and slowing global growth remain, the bad news is largely in the price now.

“A neutral position on emerging market equities is the sensible place to be in Q4 and then investors need to reassess next year, taking into account data from the US which will dictate when interest rates rise.”

Assets rushing out of emerging markets rose to $1trn (£650bn) over the past year while in the final week of August, following the worsening market data coming from China, there were $10.5bn of outflows from the sector.

This was the largest weekly outflow since January 2008, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research report.

However, Jones is also positive on emerging market debt, saying it doesn’t pay to be underweight the asset class.

Jones says: “In a similar vein, spreads on some of the hard currency bonds have become too attractive to ignore, and so there has been an opportunity to increase our exposure there. Being underweight at these levels is too expensive now.”

Although positive on equities in general, Jones says investors have to be selective on stocks.

He says: “This is a stock pickers market, and in the current environment investors need to be more discerning about what they hold, as falls of between 10-20 per cent for individual companies delivering disappointing news are becoming more common.” 

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