Emerging perspectives

Emerging Market Debt Indicator January 2022

Read our latest EMD Indicator for insights on measuring good governance in EM debt markets. The Indicator also covers the latest market developments and our views on the outlook.

Feb 8, 2022

19 minutes

EMD Team

This edition includes:

  • Market background
  • Top-down views and outlook for the asset class
  • Insights from the team:
    ESG in EMD: going deeper on governance
    Portfolio Specialist Vivienne Taberer explains the ongoing importance of the ‘G’ in ESG and provides insights on measuring good governance in EM debt markets.
  • Regional highlights and corporate credit market review
    Our EM debt experts summarise January’s market developments across the sovereign debt universe and outline what’s taken place in the EM corporate credit market.

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The fast view

Market background
It was a volatile start to the year for bond markets, with rising government bond yields, particularly in the US, the dominant driver. The JP Morgan GBI-EM was flat (local bond price falls offset gains from EM FX strengthening against the US dollar). Reflecting hard currency bonds’ relatively higher sensitivity to US rates, the JP Morgan EMBI fell 2.8% and the JP Morgan CEMBI ended the month down 1.7%.

Egypt continued on its positive fiscal path, recording a primary surplus for the 2021/22 financial year. In Zambia, the foreign trade surplus continued to be well supported, with both copper and other exports performing well. Elsewhere, Angola’s rating was upgraded to B- by Fitch.

Various central banks in the region turned slightly more hawkish, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Bank of Korea. In contrast, China cut certain policy rates; its broader macro policy has shifted over the last few months, with a focus on stabilising growth as headwinds mount.

Latin America
Inflation in general continued to surprise on the upside, with many central banks increasing the pace of monetary policy normalisation. COVID cases have been rising across the region, but Omicron appears to account for most of these and hospitalisations have not risen meaningfully.

Central and Eastern Europe
Central banks in Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic all increased policy rates over the month, although the latter signalled that large hikes are now behind us, with future changes likely to be "fine-tuning". Price pressures intensified in Poland, paving the way for further monetary policy tightening. Fitch affirmed Hungary's sovereign credit rating at BBB with a stable outlook,

Rest of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
Geopolitical headwinds in the former Soviet Union dominated global news flow in January. Elsewhere, it was a quieter month for assets in Turkey, as the central bank continued to intervene to stabilise the lira. In South Africa, the Omicron wave continues to recede.

EM corporate debt highlights
Reflecting the rise in core yields, the JP Morgan CEMBI ended the month down 1.7%, with (more rate-sensitive) investment grade bonds down 1.9% and high yield bonds down 1.4%. Volatility continued in China’s real estate sector, despite positive developments at the policy level; the fourth quarter liquidity squeeze and negative sentiment spilled over into the new year.

Specific risks

Emerging market: These markets carry a higher risk of financial loss than more developed markets as they may have less developed legal, political, economic or other systems.

General risks

All investments carry the risk of capital loss. The value of investments, and any income generated from them, can fall as well as rise and will be affected by changes in interest rates, currency fluctuations, general market conditions and other political, social and economic developments, as well as by specific matters relating to the assets in which the investment strategy invests. If any currency differs from the investor’s home currency, returns may increase or decrease as a result of currency fluctuations. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Authored by

EMD Team

Important Information

This communication is provided for general information only should not be construed as advice.

All the information in is believed to be reliable but may be inaccurate or incomplete. The views are those of the contributor at the time of publication and do not necessary reflect those of Ninety One.

Any opinions stated are honestly held but are not guaranteed and should not be relied upon.

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