Why emerging market stocks are still attractive amid Brexit uncertainty

Markets have priced in a Bremain: Portfolio manager

Emerging market (EM) assets have witnessed sharp market swings amid uncertainty over the Brexit vote, but a 'leave' outcome could shine a new light on the sector.

"We think if emerging market assets are unduly sold down due to Brexit, it could represent a good investment opportunity," said Louis Lau, portfolio manager at Brandes Investment Partners, a firm with $27 billion in assets under management.

Speaking to CNBC's The Rundown on Friday, he believed equities, in particular, were undervalued and could provide value to long-term investors.

The sector will undoubtedly be disrupted if the United Kingdom (U.K.) votes to leave the European Union (EU) but significant damage wasn't likely, he explained.

"Fundamentally, the U.K. does not represent a large percentage of exports and gross domestic product (GDP) across the emerging world. There may be more trade linkages between Central and Eastern Europe and the U.K. but even then, the large core European markets like Germany are more important."

Voting ended late on Thursday in the U.K. and opinion polls indicated a tight race between the 'remain' and 'leave' camps. A YouGov poll of 4,772 people showed 52 percent favored staying in the economic and political bloc, while 48 percent preferred leaving.

A man looks at a notice outside a polling station in central London, Britain, June 23, 2016.
Stefan Wermuth | Reuters

Southeast Asia, particularly financial companies in Thailand, as well as Brazil and Chile were among Lau's preferred destinations

Chile has been hurt by the downward spiral in copper prices, but shares of telecom companies and utilities looked interesting, he said.

"Brazil has been a strong performer year-to-date but some areas like supermarkets have a lot of potential because there hasn't been an upturn in consumer spending."

With regards to China, Lau recommended investors stay extremely selective, flagging pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and wealth management as desirable areas.

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