I posted a question to Fundsupermart recently and below was the answer as of why Frontier markets such as Middle East and Vietnam are not doing well over the years since 2008 when other regions are outperforming … They were quick to give me a reply within a day.
• Different issues facing both areas, political instability/social unrest in the Middle East has hurt investor confidence; Vietnam has been plagued by a persistent trade deficit which has required a series of currency devaluations to boost its competitiveness; on the other hand, inflat…ion remains a huge issue
• In addition, frontier markets are generally more difficult for global fund managers to access primarily due to a lack of liquidity; many global funds avoid investing in less liquid markets as a result
• That being said, the performance of underlying markets in the Middle East and Africa region can differ significantly as there are different drivers for each underlying market; as an example, Egypt’s benchmark Hermes index is 20% higher YTD (in SGD terms, as of 9 Feb 12), while Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All-Share index is only 2.3% higher this year; Kuwait’s SE Weighed index has done -3.5% in 2012 so far
• Nevertheless, we note that valuations for key Middle East markets like Saudi Arabia remain rather undemanding, with the market trading at 11.4X 2012 estimated earnings (as of 9 Feb 12), while Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh index trades at just 8.6X this year’s estimated earnings
• Investors may wish to note that weakness of the Vietnamese dong may be an issue; the dong has depreciated over -35% against the SGD over the past five years