This week several members of our investment team are abroad in search of new opportunities.
After a quick stop in Dubai, Eastern European Fund (MUTF:EUROX) co-managers John Derrick and Tim Steinle traveled to Istanbul, Turkey to attend a Bank of America-Merrill Lynch conference. Turkey is the second-largest weighting behind Russia in EUROX’s portfolio and we believe the country is well-positioned to break ahead of the pack as the global recovery unfolds.
Why do we like Turkey? It may be surprising to learn that Turkey is in the top 20 largest economies of the world, and it’s positioned to expand dramatically based on its demographics – it’s a young population with rising incomes. Compared to the U.S. and many other western countries, household debt is small, which is good for the country’s financial and consumer sectors. On top of that, Turkey’s central bank has been successful in battling runaway inflation, and the country is an important transportation hub and a key exporter of autos and other high-value products to Europe.
Meanwhile, at the other end of Asia, Romeo Dator, co-manager of the China Region Fund (MUTF:USCOX), is in Singapore at a gathering sponsored by Deutsche Bank. Romeo reports that much of the chatter among the 1,400 attendees is the bailout package in Greece and its long-term impact on the euro.
Romeo says many were surprised by the speed of Asia’s economic bounce-back and the fact that China, India, Australia and Indonesia didn’t even fall into recession.
Indonesia’s a country we’ve discussed a couple of times recently (Indonesia’s Good Position, Indonesia’s Cement Consumption). A DB analyst called Indonesia the “Brazil of Asia,” given its abundant resources, and pointed out the country’s stock market has outperformed the region in seven of the last eight years.
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Disclosure: Long positions in both the China Region and Eastern Europe