European Investors Tip LatAm Over Asia

Jul 1, 2010

As European sovereign risk ticks higher, the focus returns to opportunity in relatively stable markets like Latin America. Can it outperform other EM regions?

by Ben Miller

Europe entered the summer under a fresh cloud of sovereign debt woes, leaving LatAm assuming the unlikely role of safe haven. Many on the European buyside are confident LatAm can outperform other EM regions over the next five years.

Policy improvement, central bank independence, transparency, tax reform, financial sector strength, abundant energy supply and developed local markets delight investors, bankers and analysts, although there is still much work to be done on many fronts. Most importantly, the region enjoys a strong financial system and almost none of the debt burden problems plaguing the developed world. With reforms and focused investment, Brazil in particular could outperform large Asian nations.

"Latin America has an enormous opportunity, not just to cower in the corner and think ‘Oh yes, we’ve managed this crisis really well,’ but to take real advantage," Jerome Booth, head of research at Ashmore, the UK-based EM investor...

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