Please click on the dates below to see the agenda.

Wednesday 8 November 2017: Day 1
11:00 Registration
11:30 Welcome
Mark Coombs, CEO, Ashmore and Christoph Hofmann, Global Head of Distribution, Ashmore
12:15 EM coming of age
Jan Dehn, Head of Research, Ashmore
13:15 Lunch
14:15 Investment strategy workshops (choose 2 out of 4, 45 mins each):
(i) Frontier equity markets
Discussion on opportunities in next generation markets
(ii) Top-down investing
Discussion on the benefits of top-down equity investing in EM across 24 countries and 24 industry groups in the MSCI EM
(iii) The future shape of EM fixed income
Discussion on issues in local fixed income investing
(iv) Alternative fixed income investing
Discussion on ways to access non-traditional investment themes in EM fixed income
+ About Workshops
16:00 Coffee break
16:30 Key note speaker:
Jose Rene Almendras, Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Former Cabinet Secretary, Secretary of the Department of Energy (The Philippines)
17:45 Break to prepare for evening programme
18:00 Drinks and dinner, The Wallace Collection
22:00 Carriages
Thursday 9 November 2017: Day 2
8:00 Coffee and continental breakfast
8:45 The opening of China's capital account: implications for global capital markets
Stephan Lowy, Portfolio Manager, Ashmore and Jan Dehn, Head of Research, Ashmore
9:45 Panel discussion: EM corporates in 2018 – the state of corporate balance sheets and earnings outlook
Panellists from Ashmore's corporate fixed income and equity teams
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Key note speaker:
Alfonso Prat-Gay, Former Minister of Treasury and Public Finance and Former Member of the House of Representatives for the City of Buenos Aires (Argentina)
12:10 Closing remarks
Mark Coombs, CEO, Ashmore
12:15 Buffet lunch
13:00 End

Frontier Equity Markets

Low correlations with EM and DM as well as lower volatility and strong diversification benefits have been the hallmarks of Frontier Markets equity investing. Frontier markets have not been immune from the shocks emanating from the global backdrop. However, the asset class is diverse enough that uncorrelated opportunities can be found to build a well-rounded portfolio ("everything you do not own"). Value investing is achievable in this space and there are abundant opportunities arising due to constant structural changes, including reforms, in Frontier economies. The space is under-researched and under-owned. Frontier is the essence of investing off the beaten path.

Top-down investing for EM equities

The EM equity universe is deep and diverse with twenty four countries and twenty four industry groups in the MSCI standard index. There are always interesting opportunities for bottom up research and analysis, but our top driven approach is clearly distinct. We aim to be able to focus on the most compelling areas of Emerging Market equities taking global market developments into account explicitly. We aim to explore some of the most meaningful global macroeconomic issues this year and how these have influenced our research, analysis and portfolio construction in the top down multi-strategy portfolios. The discussion will, among other factors, focus on the drivers of EM earnings, the implications of a widening growth premium and the rise of EM technology as a structural story.

Investing in EM local currencies

Local currency is by far the largest of EM investment themes and will continue to grow in importance, as more and more countries build out their local interest rate curves and settlement becomes easier. Yet, only a small number of EM countries are represented in the main benchmark indices, and the most common global indices exclude a large part of the universe based on ratings. Given the positive outlook for local currencies over the coming year, we discuss the make-up and opportunities of the local currency universe. We then will overlay it with the current options to access the asset class, ranging from dedicated EM local currency mandates to broader EM blended mandates and also DM/EM global mandates. The latter, in particular, has become more relevant for EM investors as the introduction of a new, diversified benchmark has given EM a deservedly more prominent role.

Alternative fixed income investing

As our business continues to respond to customer demand, we have been increasingly asked to offer EM fixed income products and solutions that address the dual challenge of declining Developed Markets yields, while controlling for higher real or perceived EM debt volatility. Three strands of strategies fit into this wide spectrum of custom solutions: 'best idea' total return portfolios, 'absolute return' strategies, and portable alpha strategies. In the breakout session, we discuss how EM debt instruments can be managed to deliver smoother returns with a varying degree of EM beta exposure, depending on client preferences.

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