4Factor equities

Q&A with Varun Laijawalla: eyeing the EM opportunity

We sat down with Ninety One’s co-Portfolio Manager of the Emerging Markets Equity Strategy, Varun Laijawalla, to address some of the recent questions from allocators on how and where to find alpha in emerging markets.

5 Jun 2024

12 minutes

Varun Laijawalla

From tech innovation and changes in the global supply chains to shifting regulatory environments and upcoming elections, allocators have a great deal to consider when investing in emerging markets – the role of an active, core manager has never been more in focus.

Q Given the strong run in Indian equities, do valuations still stack up?

India has been a bright spot in emerging markets over the past few years. The economy has been growing strongly, and the government has been very clear and transparent in its objectives. This has helped position India as a reliable partner and ultimately an attractive destination for foreign capital. The question from here is, how do you generate positive returns from a country which has seen such a rapid ascent and currently trades at all-time highs?

Q The UAE is experiencing tremendous growth – how do you see that playing out?

While the UAE has always been a relatively open country in terms of trade and immigration, it has upped the ante in recent years to become a much more accommodative and competitive partner. The game-changer here has been the introduction of ‘Golden Visas’ in 2019. These allow ‘exceptional talents’ the right to live and work in the UAE through a 10-year renewable visa. This has led to an influx of immigrants, which has driven demand for property, and remains a keen area of focus for us.

Q Who stands to benefit from the relocation of global supply chains?

Mexico, along with India, has been a huge beneficiary of friend-shoring at the expense of China. Mexico has now overtaken China as the largest trading partner with the US, and current momentum would suggest China will be further marginalised in this ever more polarised world. How could the upcoming US elections impact this fine rebalancing act and where are the likely opportunities?

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Authored by

Varun Laijawalla
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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.

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