Pimco Asia guru Luke Spajic on China’s debt, emerging Asian economies


For the newly-minted Asia guru at Pimco, there couldn’t be a better time to be in Asia as the region’s strong growth story extends beyond China. India, for instance, is a country with high growth, high rates and a stable currency that is attractive to fixed income investors, said the portfolio manager.

Over in Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s climb into investment-grade status has attracted “much more international investor interest,” he added. And more optimism could come Asia’s way, partly thanks to China, but also due to the general uptick in prospects across emerging markets.

“From a capital market standpoint, there are many stories that are evolving around Asia: China being one, India being another, Indonesia being third. They offer an eclectic mix of opportunities in currency, dollar debt, local debt and equity,” Spajic said.

“They’re big, somewhat scalable and very interesting. Other countries will benefit from that broad interest in Asia, such as the Philippines, Malaysia — even less well-followed countries like Vietnam. Let me put it this way: You’ve got 60 percent of the world’s population driving 60 percent of the world’s incremental GDP growth, and likely to issue 60 percent of the world’s debt over the next decade. That’s a pretty phenomenal story to be building an asset management effort on.”

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