Global Evolution has been investing in frontier markets sovereign debt for more than 10 years, which gives the asset management firm a solid background and expertise in identifying investment opportunities with attractive risk-return characteristics.
Nevertheless, investors in frontier markets have some questions or concerns about an asset class that, in many cases, is something new for their portfolios. Funds Society has gathered these questions and asked Soren Rump, CEO of Global Evolution, to give us his insight on these issues. Soren Rump, who will be joining Capital Strategies on a road show across Chile and Peru next week, answered the following:
Is liquidity an issue when investing in frontier markets?
Frontier markets have over the recent years developed significantly in terms of size and liquidity. Liquidity in frontier markets is daily, but bid/offer spreads and the size of individual trades are typically smaller than those in traditional emerging markets, but often with a larger pool of price providers than, for example, emerging markets corporate bonds.
How do you manage the different regulations in each country?
Similar to traditional emerging markets debt, we access the individual regulations, such as holding periods, FX restrictions, withholding tax, etc. before entering individual local markets. We gather ongoing intelligence through our local network of market participants, such as local banks, stock exchange, regulatory bodies etc.
What is the presence and characteristics of institutional investor in these markets?
Local institutional investors are dominated by pension funds and local banks, as the two most dominant investors in the primary and secondary government bond market. By regulation, typically pension funds need to invest in local government bonds which provide a natural bid both at the ongoing auctions as well as in the secondary market.
What is the size of the market?
We estimate a liquid market capitalization of US$400bn based on sovereign bonds from 62 countries with daily valuations on Bloomberg.
What different types of bond issues are there in these markets?
You can find Eurobonds (issued in USD, EUR, JPY, CHF), offered to the market both through primary EMTN issuance programs by international banks, and in the secondary market through international banks and brokers. We also have Local T-bills and T-bonds, both offered to the market through primary auctions, and in the secondary market through primarily local market maker banks. Further to this we actively invest through the FX markets using spot FX, FX forwards, cross currency swaps etc.
Global Evolution, an asset management firm specialized in emerging and frontier markets sovereign debt, is represented by Capital Strategies in the Americas Region.