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Opportunities and Challenges at the Frontier

Stockholm (Ekonamik) – With forthcoming elections in Europe and in India, we peeked into asset manager’s views of frontier markets this week.

The news this week was dominated by the trade talks between the United States and China, which essentially collapsed last week, with U.S. president Donald Trump imposing new tariffs on Chinese goods and China retaliating. Meanwhile, the trade dispute appears to be taking its toll, with both countries experiencing a slowdown in consumer and industrial activity in April, consistent with Ekonamik’s expectations. Politically, Ekonamik also previewed the European Parliament election set to take place this week (May 23-26) where a working majority will likely include the EPP (European People’s Party).

Otherwise, Ekonamik’s focus was on Frontier Markets this week. We began with an interview with Tundra Fonder‘s Mattias Martinsson, about the Swedish frontier asset manager, who discussed with us its clear, macroeconomically informed, index-agnostic approach to Frontier Markets. Inspired by a recent event in Stockholm, we then considered Iceland‘s journey since the financial crisis in the context of its soon-to-be frontier market status.

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One of our main takeaways was the eclectic mix of countries that can be gathered under the “frontier” heading, which led us to investigate the difference between Frontier and Emerging markets. Finally, our review of “Asset Managers’ Insightshighlighted concerns about index concentration and the challenges fund managers have recently experienced in this market segment.

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