While innovative companies provide a favorable longer-term backdrop for emerging market equities, Portfolio Manager Daniel Graña believes that nearer-term prospects will be influenced by the trajectory of inflation, and policy makers’ response.
What themes do you anticipate will most influence your asset class in 2022?
Emerging markets in 2022 are going to be largely driven by two key themes. One is, is the inflation that we are seeing in the United States transitory. If it is not, then perhaps the Fed is behind and interest rates need to go higher. And that, of course, typically is a more difficult environment for emerging market equities to perform. And the second question is, can China manage a soft landing? As they are reengineering their economy and doing a significant amount of policy change that is affecting many different industries, can they successfully stick the landing?
Where do you expect the most compelling opportunities?
We are most excited about, in 2022, innovation. And innovation broadly written, whether it is decarbonization, the entire decarbonization chain of solar, wind and all the sort of bits and pieces that go into it, as well as new innovative companies such as biopharma companies, the sort of early-stage pre-revenue even, that show promising results in drug tests, clinical tests. And so we want to focus on innovative companies in 2022.
What is the single most underappreciated risk?
In my view, the most underappreciated risk in 2022 will be policy error. Policy error in economic policy-making and policy error in geopolitics. More specifically, between U.S. and Chinese officials.
Provide what you believe to be the most important takeaway for an investor with exposure to your asset class in 2022.
Historically, there were two reasons for investing in emerging markets. The convergence story and the outsourcing story. But increasingly there is now a third reason to invest in emerging markets, which is innovation. The most important takeaway in 2022 is that that third pillar – innovation – is real. That we are no more, we are, as an asset class, more than just outsourcing and convergence, that we actually will have a fair number of companies that are innovating and solving local challenges. So that is what gets me excited.
2022 Investment Outlook
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These are the views of the author at the time of publication and may differ from the views of other individuals/teams at Janus Henderson Investors. Any securities, funds, sectors and indices mentioned within this article do not constitute or form part of any offer or solicitation to buy or sell them.
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