Emerging market stocks have performed well during the last three Federal Reserve tightening cycles, especially the consumer sectors. Ed Kerschner, chief investment strategist at Emerging Global Advisors, said emerging market investors should take comfort in that fact even if it sounds counterintuitive.
"The two things that people got wrong after the last rate hike were the dollar selling off instead of rallying and emerging markets rallying instead of getting hurt," said Kerschner.
Kerschner said concerns about emerging market debt denominated in U.S. dollars are overblown with liabilities as a percentage of GDP staying range-bound for over 20 years. He added that the market is witnessing no signs of balance sheet stress within major emerging market companies. Furthermore, he said emerging market valuations appear attractive relative to other markets and relative to their own historical average.
Kerschner offers the EGShares Emerging Market Consumer ETF (ECON) - Get Report , which has $604 million in assets and offers exposure to the largest consumer goods and consumer services companies domiciled in developing markets, including an 11.3% weighting in India. The fund is up 6.5% thus far in 2016.
Kerschner is especially bullish on India, saying the country has the some of the best demographic trends in emerging markets. He said India's middle class is benefitting from the combination of economic reform and favorable demographics with one of the youngest, most rapidly growing populations.
Still, the $69 million EGShares India Consumer ETF (INCO) - Get Report is down over 5% year-to-date, and 15% in the past 12 months. Top holdings include Zee Entertainment Enterprises, a media and entertainment company; Bajaj Auto, a two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturing company; and Godrej Consumer Products, which produces soap, hair colorants, toiletries and liquid detergents.
"One of the things that has been holding India back has been infrastructure. They increased infrastructure investment by 22%," said Kerschner. "Housing, roads, ports, electrification. And when you have a young population with good infrastructure there will be lots of consumption."