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Emerging market stocks that could escape 'taper tantrums'

Friday, 20 Dec 2013 | 2:31 AM ET
Tapering: Where to invest in emerging markets
Friday, 20 Dec 2013 | 2:30 AM ET
Alper Ince, managing director at PAAMCO, says they are stock-specific opportunities to be had in emerging markets following the taper announcement and selects his top picks.

Emerging market economies might be bracing themselves for the after-shock of the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy move, but there are individual stocks that could still take off, an asset manager told CNBC.

"Every time there is a big dislocation or big macro consensus trades – and that has been long developed markets, short emerging markets -- and flows are driving valuations, there are always specific stocks or specific opportunities you can take advantage of," Alper Ince, managing director of the Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company (PAAMCO), told CNBC on Friday.

"The baby is being thrown out with the bath water along with everything else but if you look at individual companies both on the long and short side, this is a really great stock-pickers' environment for emerging markets," he told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box."

Ince's comments come as emerging markets face an uncertain future after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it would start winding down its bond-buying program, trimming its monthly asset purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion from January onwards.

During the five years of the Fed's quantitative easing, emerging markets benefited from the extra funds flowing around the world's markets, near-zero interest rates, a weaker dollar and investors searching for higher yields. Now the Fed has started to wind down its stimulus programs these EM economies are facing a second round of so-called "taper tantrums" that they suffered over the summer.

(Read more: Ding ding: Taper tantrum round two?)

Ince named two stock picks which could outperform against any potential negative EM momentum that could be caused by the Fed's move: South African paper and packaging company Mondi and Turkish Airlines.

"Even though Mondi is listed in London and South Africa, their primary business and profitability is driven by western Europe. So if you're playing the European recovery in your developed market portfolio you should look at Mondi, it's not really an EM play, it's an European recovery play," he said.

Turkish Delight?

"You have to have a global focus as there are so many opportunities in emerging markets, we also feel Turkey is another interesting area where you can find individual stocks," Alper said. "We like Turkish Airlines and it is a misunderstood company, in our opinion, because its cost base is in Turkish lira -- so they are benefiting from the lira weakening -- but their revenues are primarily in euros and other currencies because it's a transit play, rather than just a domestic economy play."

Despite Alper's confidence, Turkey's economy and politics look shaky with a weakening growth picture and currency adding to concerns over political tensions. Indeed, the Turkish lira has weakened 4 percent against the dollar over the past 30 days as a high profile political corruption probe damages investor confidence, a decline exacerbated by the taper announcement.

While Alper recognised that political volatility and the taper's impact on the exchange rate could deter investors, he said investors should hedge their positions wisely.

How to invest in Turkey
Plamen Monovski, head of emerging Europe at Renaissance Asset Managers, explains that while financial markets in Turkey have been "hit hard", there are some interesting long-term opportunities.

"[EM] currencies are going to be choppy and volatile going forward and it's where you should be hedging your currency exposure," he said.

"You cannot ignore [political risks in Turkey] it's a very important but if you have a hedge against Turkish Airlines, for example if you use the [stock] index as a hedge, you should be mitigated from those losses, that's what we are seeing our portfolio, the hedges are holding up."

Not all investors are put off by political strife, according to Plamen Monovski, chief investment office and head of Emerging Europe at Renaissance Asset Managers , who said volatility in Turkey could benefit investors in the long term.

(Read more: Turkey's property market is'hotting' up)

"Obviously the financial markets have been hit – not just the currency but the fixed income market and equity markets - and political cataclysms in emerging markets always create that" he told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box".

"But what but is interesting though is that they tend to create very interesting long-term opportunities, and we can see that both in the valuation of the currency which has hit an all-time low and has become considerably cheaper, as has the equity market."

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt

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