Since October's global selloff, the S&P 500 has rebounded and is now at fresh record highs. But the story has been very different for emerging market stocks: During that same period, the ETF tracking the MSCI Emerging Markets index (trading under the symbol EEM) is still down 4.8 percent. And that underperformance is just one of many reasons why one big player is getting very bullish in the space.
In an interview with "Talking Numbers," BlackRock's Gerardo Rodriguez, senior investment strategist for their Emerging Markets Group, said there is a very simple reason to invest in the emerging markets: supply and demand.
Rodriguez points out that while emerging markets have 51 percent of the world's GDP, and 84 percent of the population, they have 12 percent of the planet's stock market capitalization. As these economies grow, and as emerging markets represent a great percentage of the global GDP, investors are sure to follow, Rodriguez said.
"Investors [have] around 5 percent holding of their portfolios" in emerging markets, he said. "That has been evolving however."
But among emerging markets, Rodriguez would be selective. "We like reformers that will generate, will trigger domestic-driven growth," he said. "We like assets of countries that are more linked to the euro than to the dollar because financial conditions with the Fed normalizing policy rates – financial conditions linked to the dollar – are going to become tighter. So we like peripheral emerging European countries rather than Latin American countries from a fixed-income perspective and we like commodity importers versus commodity exporters."
Rodriguez particularly likes India, Indonesia and Turkey. He sees those better off than Brazil and Russia, which he believes will suffer as energy prices drop.