Emerging EMEA Investors Eyeing Frontier Markets

Morocco, Nigeria and Romania are among the preferred investment destinations.


Asset managers that invest in emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa are more open to opportunities in the region’s frontier markets than those that invest in Asia ex-Japan, according to a review of responses from participants in Institutional Investor’s two most recent emerging-markets surveys.

When asked if they invest in Asia’s frontier markets, only about 12 percent of those who cast votes for this year’s All-Asia Research Team said yes. When a comparable question was put to participants in the Emerging EMEA survey, a much larger 44 percent answered in the affirmative.

Regarding their preference for particular countries, voters in the Asia survey cite these frontier markets most frequently:

* Vietnam (40 percent)

* Sri Lanka (19 percent)

* Pakistan (16 percent)


* Bangladesh (12 percent)

* Cambodia (10 percent)

Buy-siders in Emerging EMEA were asked to name their top investment destinations in each of that survey’s three distinct regions. In Emerging Europe they choose:

* Romania (22 percent)

* Serbia (13 percent)

* Croatia (12 percent)

* Bulgaria (11 percent)

* Lithuania (10 percent)

In the Middle East and North Africa:

* Morocco (20 percent)

* Kuwait (17 percent)

* Tunisia (15 percent)

* Bahrain (13 percent)

* Oman (12 percent)

And in Southern/Sub-Saharan Africa:

* Nigeria (26 percent)

* Kenya (19 percent)

* Ghana (16 percent)

* Côte d’Ivoire (11 percent)

* Tanzania (11 percent)

The 2015 All-Asia Research Team reflects the opinions of some 3,560 investment professionals at more than 1,060 institutions managing an estimated $1.72 trillion in Asia (ex-Japan) equities. Polling was conducted from early January through early February.

The 2015 Emerging EMEA Research survey garnered responses from more than 500 individuals at 343 institutions that collectively oversee an estimated $296 billion in emerging EMEA equities and $145 billion in regional debt. Polling was conducted from early February through mid-March.

Results of the latter survey will be published on June 9.