The United Arab Emirates has been the top performing country constituent of the Russell Emerging Markets Index so far this year. London-headquartered Russell Investments, which developed the index, said while the index as a whole had returned 3.1 per cent to March 11, some of the individual countries within it had significantly outperformed others. This includes the UAE which had grown 23.2 per cent over the nearly three-month period and had risen 31 per cent over the 12 months to March 11.Other top performers included the Philippines which had returned 20.2 per cent year-to-date and almost 50 per cent over 12 months, Thailand which delivered 17.5 per cent year-to-date and 43 per cent over the 12 months and Indonesia which grew 15.6 per cent year-to-date and 20 per cent over the year.At the other end of the scale Egypt, Morocco and Peru saw their indices fall over both periods.Egypt fell -6.1 per cent year-to-date to 11 March and -5.4 per cent for the last year, while Morocco fell -5.2 per cent year-to-date and —19 per cent for the last year. Peru meanwhile fell 3.9 per cent year-to-date and-2.4 per cent for the last year. Opportunities“The wide variation of performance within emerging equity markets since the beginning of the year as demonstrated through the Russell Indexes returns helps illustrate the diverse nature of investment opportunities and risks across less mature equity markets,” said Scott Crawshaw, emerging markets portfolio manager for Russell Investments.“Although emerging markets on average have under-performed relative to developed markets in the US and Europe this year, as demonstrated by Russell Emerging Markets Index returns relative to returns of the Russell 1000 Index, Russell 2000 Index and Russell Developed Europe Index, due in part to various factors such as the potential impact of a weaker Yen on emerging Asian country exports, it is important to remember the important role these markets can play within a multi-asset portfolio from a diversification and return perspective.“And when you are seeking exposure to emerging markets, it is important to work with an active manager with the insight to help you evaluate these opportunities and put them into a broader multi-asset context.”Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC’s (MAF) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating at ‘BBB’, with a stable outlook. Fitch has also affirmed MAF’s Short-term IDR at ‘F3’. The rating of MAF Global Securities Limited’s global medium-term note (GMTN) programme and MAF Sukuk Ltd were also affirmed at ‘BBB’. The ratings continue to reflect Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC’s (MAF’s) status, through the property arm of the group, Majid Al Futtaim Group Properties LLC (MAFP), as one of the largest property investment companies in the Middle East and North Africa region.
source : Gulftoday