GO
Loading...

Corporates take emerging market volatility in stride

loveguli | Vetta | Getty Images

Recent stock and currency convulsions in emerging markets may have sent investors scrambling, but many companies on the ground have shrugged off the volatility.

"The currency [volatility] is a short-term irritation. It has no impact on our long-term strategy," said Kasper Rorsted, CEO of German-based detergent and shampoo maker Henkel, noting about 45 percent of the company's business is in emerging markets.

(Read more: Emerging market currency crash: Who's to blame?)

Emerging markets convulsed for much of August and early September, with stocks and currencies dropping sharply. Indonesian shares, for example, dropped around 9 percent in August, while the rupiah has shed around 12 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar since the beginning of August.

"We're still very optimistic about the continued growth in emerging markets. Over time, it will slow down, but we don't believe it will slow down significantly," Rorsted told CNBC in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China.

He noted that Henkel is directing the bulk of its research and development as well as capex spending to the emerging markets. 55 percent of the company's employees are already in emerging markets, a number set to rise to 60 percent by 2016.

"We are seeing a tremendous trading up in the emerging markets. As long as GDP per capita continues to go up, the Asian consumer or the Chinese consumer develops the same desires as Western consumers over time," he said.

(Read more: Can emerging market consumers keep spending?)

Others saw a silver lining to the sudden drop in emerging market currencies.

"The finance ministers should love me because I'm bringing money in," said Hikmet Ersek, global CEO of Western Union, a global giant in the remittance business. "People are sending money from developed countries."

Western Union's remittance business is leveraged to emerging countries' quest for longer term economic growth. "The main reason why people move money around is education," Ersek told CNBC. "People go to another country to look for opportunities to support their children."

(Read more: Study shows what makes someone middle class)

To be sure, some companies have taken a hit from the currency market volatility.

Some Indonesian consumer companies have needed to increase selling prices to protect margins in the wake of the rupiah's recent sharp depreciation, OSK-DMG noted in a report on its "Consumer Day" hosting 21 consumer-focused companies listed in Asia as well as institutional clients. But the report also noted high valuations for shares of Asia's consumer stocks indicate "investors remain upbeat on the region's long-term prospects despite the recent correction."

—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
HEN3
---
WU
---
JSX COMP
---
USD/IDR
---

Featured

Contact Business

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More