A few years ago the phrase Latin lover might have conjured images of Antonio Banderas but not today. Nope, today it brings to mind Wall Street traders who love to make money from the explosive growth happening south of the border.
"The surprise in terms of growth in emerging markets this year is actually Latin America," said Joyce Chang, JPMorgan's head of emerging markets strategy, during a recent conference organized by asset management firm Ashmore Investment Management Ltd in New York.
For the 12 months ending March 2008 Latin America was the best performing region among the emerging markets.
Latin America has typically followed the United States into recession in the past, but this time even the International Monetary Fund estimates the region will grow 4.4 percent this year versus a U.S. economic growth forecast of 0.5 percent.
And the best play in the space may be Brazil according to Will Landers, manager of the BlackRock Latin America fund.
“Brazil is probably one of the best emerging markets in terms of corporate governance and valuations,” says Landers on Fast Money, “and the fundamentals are great, too.”
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Landers also believes the newly emerging middle class gives Brazil almost unlimited potential.