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Emerging Markets Debt: Beyond the Benchmarks
The macroeconomic backdrop in emerging markets has been uncertain for some time now—indeed, if anything, uncertainty seems to be increasing. War continues in Ukraine, inflation globally remains sticky (particularly core inflation) and, consequently, global monetary policy is, overall tilted toward tightening (relatedly, the Reserve Bank of Australia announced a surprise hike in early May). And at least partially thanks to tighter monetary policy (which is ongoing, with both the Fed and ECB raising rates again at their recent May meetings), some things have broken—e.g., we’ve seen a cryptocurrency winter, trouble with UK pension funds, concern about global real estate and, most recently, bank failures in the US and Europe.
Easter-Egg Hunting: IMF Edition
EMsights team members returned to Washington, D.C., in April for the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings, conducting some 200 interactions with a swath of government officials and representatives. Frequent readers will recall we similarly attended the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings last fall—and were unsurprised by the somber mood, given ongoing macro and geopolitical uncertainty.
Growth Team 5 in 5: Health Care
The Growth team has consistently found health care to be a key area of idea generation given the existence of companies with attractive franchise characteristics experiencing interesting profit cycles. From a franchise standpoint, many health care companies enjoy defensible competitive positions through intellectual property protection, strong brands or leading market share positions. From a profit cycle standpoint, this is an area of constant innovation, and innovation tends to breed profit cycles.
A Q&A with Portfolio Manager Craig Inman
Craig, happy 11-year Artisan anniversary. To commemorate your time at Artisan Partners and with the U.S. Value team, we have a few questions to better get to know you personally and professionally. To break the ice, please tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in South Carolina and have lived in the southern US my entire life. One thing that is interesting about my childhood is my dad was a professional golfer on the PGA Tour (he also played the Senior PGA Tour later in life).
Let Freedom Ring
EMsights Capital Group believes that economic and political freedoms and rule of law are important precursors for the economic development, growth, education and sustainability of sovereign countries. Through active due diligence, including on-the-ground country visits, in-person meetings with political, business and government officials, and daily monitoring of political and financial news, we actively follow a country’s pursuit and execution of fair and free elections, civil liberties, functioning of government, and the importance it places on economic freedom in real-time – in both its rhetoric as well as its enforcement of these principles.
Over the past year, Egypt made headlines as it worked to navigate through a challenging macroeconomic operating environment and high external financing needs. In particular, the recent surge in US Treasury yields gave rise to the harmful narrative that “markets are closed” to countries like Egypt that would need to price new issuance yields in excess of 10%. We think this narrative has been harmful as it incentivizes countries to wait until they are facing significant time pressure. Instead, we believe countries should take a long-term view, recognizing that yields move around, and begin to formulate financing plans that acknowledge the reality of current market pricing.
Researchers, investors, the occasional interviewees and even the CEO of Artisan are often incredulous when I say my undergraduate anthropology major is a cornerstone of my daily investment process. Occasionally I get feisty and defend myself, but I often defuse the situation with what passes for humor in the investment world and move on. No more! Gillian Tett’s 2021 book Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life will be my public defender.
Boring Is Beautiful
I was recently asked to speak about investing to a group of undergraduate students at the University of Florida who manage a university student fund. I was initially stumped regarding what we would discuss, but upon speaking with one of the students, it became clear they were eager to discuss a real-world example in relation to our approach to investment research.
A Look Forward to 2023: Giving It a Wide Berth
In the emerging markets debt space, the political process can turn the tide of policy and outcomes in a country. As we flip the calendar to 2023, there are several elections and potential policymaker changes on the horizon that could make a splash. As such, we monitor developments on elections closely and find that the following may carry the most weight in the coming months as they will dictate the direction of macroeconomic policy and changes to the quality of governance in the countries we look at.
Antero Peak Group Reads
In the spirit of continuous improvement, the Antero Peak Group actively reads to further develop perspectives on financial markets and investing, leadership and life experiences. Please see a list of books that have challenged our thinking over the last several years.