Pictet Funds is launching a fund to take advantage of fast-developing local currency debt markets in Latin America, it was announced today.
The firm says local currencies will rival emerging USD debt spreads, which have given high returns in recent years but are not expected to be as attractive in the future.
The PF Latin America Local Currency Debt fund is currently only open to institutional investors, but is expected to be granted retail status by the FSA within six weeks. Pictet Asset Management's Simon Lue Fong will manage the fund.
Pictet already runs two funds focussing on local currency debt; one of which invests in Asian currencies and another global fund. The new fund in the range will give investors the ability to customize their geographical allocation.
Pictet Funds says the Latin America region has seen considerable growth in local debt as governments have bought back foreign-currency denominated bonds and started issuing bonds in their own currency.
In the early part of the century, local debt in the region had a value of around $50bn, but is now estimated to be worth more than $250bn.
Pictet funds says it believes local currencies in the region are undervalued and offer considerable room to appreciate, which will be further boosted by improving economic fundamentals.
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