ING IM consolidates Emerging Markets funds

ING Investment Management has strengthened the asset base of its existing Emerging Market High Dividend Fund by merging it with the assets of the Invest Emerging Markets Fund.

The merger, which was completed 19 November, “will allow ING IM to capitalise on the strength of Emerging Markets and the positive signs in the equity capital market,” ING said in a statement.

Manu Vandenbulck, senior investment manager at ING Investment Management, said: “We truly believe in the combination of a High Dividend Investment strategy with the fundamental benefits of Emerging Markets. Strong earnings growth in Emerging Markets combined with improving balance sheets are driving increasing and sustainable dividends. Emerging market dividend stocks are an attractive asset class for the long term investor.”

Looking to the trends in 2013 ING IM notes that, as China’s growth has slowed, emerging market investors have shown a clear preference for stocks and markets with the lowest sensitivity to Chinese demand growth. Domestically driven demand in countries with limited trade links with China has been the preferred investment theme for several years. Meanwhile, metals and mining and other areas linked to Chinese demand, suffered.

China is recovering, while China-insensitive stocks, sectors and countries have become expensive. However, Vandenbulck said, “we see a growing chance that these important multi-year trends will reverse. In the past months, we have already seen some stabilisation in the BRIC’s relative performance. And meanwhile, some of the domestic demand-growth markets seem to have peaked relative to GEMs.”

The better earnings momentum and easy financial conditions in EM, coupled with a pick-up in global trade growth should sustain EM outperformance in the coming quarters, Vandenbulck said.

“The Emerging Markets High Dividend fund, managed by a team experienced in dividend and value investing, aims to take advantage of these trends, while maintaining focus on the important bottom-up factors and analysis that lead to high conviction investment ideas.”

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