Emerging Markets

9 min read | by Alice Popescu | It is easy to develop an unappealing top-down picture of the South African investment landscape. Challenges related to unemployment, chronic inflation, economic growth, government debt, corruption, and more have turned away many foreign investors. So why, then, did we travel halfway around the world in search of high-quality companies to add to our investment portfolio? Four main themes emerged from my recent trip to South Africa, which underscore many of our holdings’ investment theses and our overall enthusiasm about the region’s future: 1) encouraging infrastructure trends, 2) sustainable developments in renewable energy, 3) early adoption of technology, and 4) strategic positioning as an African/frontier portal.

9 min read | Our three-year anniversary led us to reflect on what has changed in equity markets since April 2021 and, importantly, where we might be headed. The technology sector continues to make headlines across global markets, contributing 2.3% of the MSCI EM Index’s 2.4% return (in USD) in the first quarter. Not a dinner or meeting seems to pass without mention of the most dominant trend du jour – artificial intelligence. We agree with consensus that tectonic shifts are underway, and a broad range of industries – from financials to health care to industrials – will see substantial benefits. But we also believe that an important element of how this will all unfold, and the breadth of companies poised to benefit, is widely underappreciated.

6 min read | Women are making a difference in emerging markets, both from a societal and investment perspective. In honor of International Women’s Day, Portfolio Manager Alice Popescu has explored the impact that women are having across the policy, regulatory, and corporate landscapes. With our Emerging Markets Opportunities portfolio approaching its three-year anniversary later this month, key differentiators and drivers of performance are top of mind. The success of many of our individual investments has been influenced by women leaders.

Portfolio Manager Alice Popescu shares her perspectives on emerging markets, focusing on five key themes (pertaining to de-coupling, China, India, capital returns, and frontier markets) and associated risks.

10 min read | After a strong 2022, we expected that emerging and frontier markets would avoid an economic hangover, and this proved to be true. Both EM and frontier countries demonstrated stronger absolute and relative economic performance, paired with moderating inflation, active and early central bank policymaking, and relatively stable currencies. China was the primary disappointment, as its post-pandemic re-opening led to flatter-than-expected domestic activity and failed to reverberate through many countries in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, internal consumption across EM was broadly resilient, and the trend of emerging markets de-coupling from developed markets continued.

Portfolio Manager Alice Popescu provides a two-minute summary of her Q3 2023 emerging markets investment commentary, including her contrarian perspectives on China.

7 min read | The Altrinsic Emerging Markets Opportunities portfolio declined 2.4% (-2.6% net) compared to the 2.9% decline of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, as measured in US dollars. Performance throughout the period varied markedly within emerging market, with a stark divergence between EMEA and Latin America. Performance across the market capitalization spectrum also varied, with small and mid-cap EM stocks substantially outperforming the broad EM index. Overall, EM equities outperformed developed markets in the third quarter.

11 min view | This video features a conversation between Sara Sikes (Head of Client Experience) and Alice Popescu (Portfolio Manager on our Emerging Markets Opportunities strategy, which is approaching its three-year track record). The discussion succinctly covers Alice’s philosophy regarding EM investing, her personal and professional journey, opportunities and risks we see in the EM landscape, and insights from recent research trips abroad. Click 'Read more' below to access the video.

9 min read | The Altrinsic Emerging Markets Opportunities portfolio gained 3.6% (3.3% net) this quarter, outperforming the MSCI Emerging Markets Index's 0.9% return, as measured in US dollars. Performance throughout the period varied markedly across emerging markets, with a particularly stark divergence between Asia and Latin America. China’s post-pandemic recovery has been challenging despite the initial reopening excitement, with underwhelming economic indicators driving significant underperformance. Meanwhile, economic activity in Latin America proved far better than expected, with many upward revisions and strong performing currencies in key markets, including Brazil and Mexico.

5 min read | by Alice Popescu | Earlier this year, I spent two weeks on the ground in India meeting with over 40 corporate and political contacts. The major themes that emerged from the discussions were related to Semi Urban Rural (SURU) developments, the rise of domestic manufacturing clusters, and an underappreciated energy transition. The trip reinforced our belief that India offers an abundance of attractive, long-term investment opportunities among undervalued and often overlooked companies – perhaps surprising to some given its position as the world’s largest democracy (and most populated country).