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Alternative Market Briefing

Legg Mason A.M. among the many who bet on emerging market debt this year

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ian Edmonds
By Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

Emerging market debt is certainly showing a certain glitter in the investment world at the moment.

Since the beginning of the year, institutions have publicised their preference for this asset class. Many are also leaving aside European debt, as the sovereign-debt crisis is making it seem riskier, and low yield U.S. debt.

2012 so far has been positive for emerging market bond funds, which led all categories with a 7% gain through March 28, according to Morningstar.

"What we're seeing is a re-evaluation of sovereign-credit risk, increasingly being driven more by fundamentals than by classifications," Eric Stein, portfolio manager at the Eaton Vance Global Macro Absolute Return Fund, told The WSJ earlier this year.

"We have a generally positive outlook for emerging market external debt in 2012," said Bobby Pornrojnangkool, portfolio manager, emerging markets debt at Neuberger Berman, an independent investment manager with $183bn in AuM. "Supporting the asset class, in our view, are strong fundamentals. Contin......................

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