High profile international investors are now setting their sights on Sri Lanka. The country, a major shipping hub attracting a good deal of investment from China, is rebuilding after a three-decade of war. All in all, money managers say the economy is growing and not as exposed to the headwinds in the global economy, says Barron’s, which is the America’s premier financial magazine.
The magazine reported that on the equity side, some emerging market managers note that the country has a fair share of dividend-payers. As infrastructure is built out in the country, especially in the North which has been neglected for decades, banks may be a good way to play the growth.
David Ruff, a manager on the Forward International Dividend (FFINX) and Select Emerging Market Dividend (FSLRX) funds, says the banks have a huge deposit base from the country’s tea farmers. And as hotels and other infrastructure is built, banks are growing.
The opportunity created by the country’s development, especially of its tourism industry, is attractive over the long-term, the Barron’s said.
While much of the developed world is in the midst of a major de-leveraging, Sri Lanka is just beginning a leveraging cycle as it rebuilds. Kristin Ceva, who oversees $5.3 billion in emerging market bond assets for Payden & Rygel including the Emerging Market Bond fund (PYEMX), is one of several bond managers who likes the country’s local bonds, noting that IMF oversight adds comfort over the country’s central bank policies.