3 Emerging Market Stock Picks

VIDEO: JP Morgan's Omar Negyal highlights three companies that are taking returning cash to shareholders seriously  

Holly Black 13 February, 2020 | 3:49PM
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Holly Black: Welcome to the Morningstar series, "3 Stock Picks." I'm Holly Black. With me is Omar Negyal. He is Manager of the JPMorgan Emerging Markets Income Fund.


Omar Negyal: Hello.

Black: So, you've got three stocks from the portfolio to tell us about. Where would you like to start?

Negyal: Well, let's start with TSMC, which is the largest stock in the portfolio today. So, that's Taiwan Semiconductor. It's an outsourcing manufacturer of semiconductor chips. So, its customers design chips and TSMC produces the chips for them.

Black: And these are the things that make my phone or if I had one, a fancy supercomputer around?

Negyal: They go into phones, high-performance computing, all those areas that are really high-growth opportunities in the future. And that's one reason we're really excited about this stock. It's really at the cutting edge of consumer and technology trends, including 5G in the future.

Black: So, is it a shining example of how emerging market dividend payers should work?

Negyal: I think it's a really good example. One area that they're really positive on is in terms of returning capital to shareholders. So, they're generating a lot of cash flow, which is something we're always interested in. They're a highly profitable company because of their dominance in their industry. But very importantly, last year, they announced a move whereby they're really focusing on the absolute dividend per share. And they're looking to at least maintain that dividend or hopefully grow it every single year.

Black: And that's something we take for granted in developed market stocks quite often but quite different elsewhere?

Negyal: Still actually quite rare in emerging markets. So, emerging markets has a good dividend culture from a payout ratio perspective. So, companies commit to paying out a certain percentage of their earnings every year. But in terms of that absolute dividend per share, the progressive dividend companies, they are still quite rare. So, where we can find them and buy good companies that can actually deliver that, we really, really like that.

Black: Okay. What's stock number two?

Negyal: So, stock number two is Ping An Insurance in China. It's a really successful insurance company in China. That's still a great area in terms of under-penetration.

Black: Because as people get more wealthy, they're more likely to take out insurance policies.

Negyal: Exactly. And this company has already sold a lot of insurance. So, last year, they had 96 million policyholders. That sounds like a big number, but there's…

Black: That's more than the U.K. population.

Negyal: But there's still a lot to go. And what we really like about the company is not just that it has a very successful traditional agency for selling these insurance products, but also its use of technology to sell. So, it has 500 million people who use a Ping An internet service in one way or another whether it's insurance or healthcare, or some other financial aspect or autos. Those users one day can be hopefully transferred into becoming a paying customer of Ping An. And so, that use of technology is a really positive sign of the management of this company.

Black: Okay. And what's our final stock?

Negyal: Final stock is Banorte, which is a Mexican bank. So, this is a bank which is quite diversified in terms of its exposure in Mexico. It lends to infrastructure and government projects; it lends to companies and it lends to the consumer.

Black: So, the infrastructure in case the wall falls down.

Negyal: There's all sorts of infrastructure projects, which are coming through in Mexico and I think there's quite a good growth opportunity there. What's really positive about this bank is that they're very well capitalized. So, we like the way the management balances the capital needs of the bank for those loans that it's making, but also having cash that it can then pay to shareholders every year. So, we've got a 50% payout ratio. And in times when the capital is above what they need, they're very flexible in terms of paying out more to shareholders. So, we get a really nice attractive yield from that stock.

Black: And banks often seem like one of the first types of sectors in emerging markets that start paying dividends and start to really tap into that growing wealth. Why is that?

Negyal: I think that's essentially a sign of under-penetration in terms of the growth side, that they're still at the stage where as consumers move up the wealth curve, as they're able to save more, but also then use financial products and generate fee income for banks, there's quite a nice growth runway, if you like, for banks to take advantage of and Banorte is a good example of that.

Black: Well, thank you so much for your time.

Negyal: Thank you.

Black: And thanks for joining us.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Holly Black  is Senior Editor, Morningstar.co.uk