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Here’s why EM's are worth another look

Michael Grabois | Flickr | Getty Images

With emerging market (EM) currencies falling in tandem with commodity prices, investors have had to think long and hard about the attractiveness of these particular nations.

EM assets might have fallen out of favor, but are they now worth a second look?

"I think (EMs) are starting to have their underlying improvements right now, the market is pessimistically positioned," Enzo Puntillo, CIO of fixed income at the independent asset management group GAM, told CNBC on Wednesday.

Fund flows into emerging markets almost turned flat in February after seven straight months of outflows, according to data from the Institute of International Finance earlier this month.

In the report the organization said outflows of $1.1 billion from emerging market equities were offset by inflows of $900 million to EM debt markets.

Puntillo was also unworried about the prospect of further interest rate rises from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Fed tightening has been seen as one of the key reasons for investment flows out of emerging nations in the last few years. In May 2013, EMs saw a "taper tantrum" with their currencies tumbling as investors started to bring their dollars back to the U.S. in anticipation of higher interest rates and a better yield.

"Basically nobody owns EM anymore. So I think independent of what central banks' stimulus might be in the weeks and months to come, EM might perform better than developed markets," he said.


The Bank for International Settlements last week highlighted the risks faced by developing market oil and gas firms in particular.

Puntillo said the key to emerging markets is to remain selective.

"We have started to increase Brazil. In fact this year, without Brazil, you would have missed (a) large part of the party that we have seen since February," he said.

In a note released Wednesday, Credit Suisse said that it too is bullish on Brazil, but warned against India.

"Indian valuations are now, in our view, attracting unjustifiable premiums and India's earnings revisions are the most negative across emerging markets," the note said.

Credit Suisse's Indian team is also forecasting the country's current account balance to slide further into deficit in 2016 and 2017.