Emerging Markets Beat Developed Markets in May

June 4, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Developed markets slipped in May, with the US interest rate cuts failing to calm fears of a global recession.

Growth in many of these economies, particularly France and Germany, remained sluggish and performance lackluster, according to the monthly FTSE indices.

On the other hand, performance in developing markets was surprising, with the politically volatile markets of Colombia and Indonesia outperforming all other constituents, returning 21.9% and 20% in US dollar terms respectively.

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Elsewhere in the asset class, Russia rose by 17.6% on the back of firm oil prices and improving investor sentiment following positive developments on corporate governance issues. China increased 14.2% on its promising outlook leading up to World Trade Organization entry.

Turkey remained in the doldrums, down 13.3%, the economy still hampered by the devaluation and a weak banking system, struggling to implement structural reforms and the outlook for Turkish equities clouded by rising bond yields. Greece suffered losses of 11.5% as it moved from emerging to developed market status.

Sectors and Stocks

Traditional, old economy sectors outperformed hi-tech stocks, with distributors, water and aerospace and defense increasing 9%, 7.7% and 7.4% respectively, and telecommunication services, information technology hardware, and software and computer services falling 10.9%, 8% and 6.8% respectively.

At the individual stock level, Danish pharmaceuticals group H. Lundbeck benefited from planned index changes, soaring 29.8%, software group CMG rebounding by 21% after April’s profit warning while stronger than anticipated results buoyed retailer Safeway up by 24%.