Stockholm - Concern that emerging markets were losing their growth momentum was overdone, Maersk, the biggest shipping line owner, said on Friday.
“The underlying story is very good,” Maersk chief executive Nils Andersen said in an interview. “Our expectation remains that the US will be the key driver of growth, but we’re also relatively optimistic on emerging markets. There is growth potential, even if we have a temporary setback in commodity prices.”
Investors dumped emerging market assets last quarter amid signals from the US Federal Reserve that it might scale back the stimulus that has underpinned demand for higher-yielding securities. The MSCI emerging market index lost 9.1 percent in the three months through June, while the JPMorgan emerging markets bonds index fell 5.6 percent.
The sell-off also followed a collapse in China’s export gains in May. In July, Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said that the government might be able to tolerate economic growth as slow as 6.5 percent, compared with an official target of 7.5 percent. The remarks were subsequently retracted.
Since then, several key indicators have signalled that growth in the largest emerging market economy may be set to accelerate again.
Industrial output in China beat analyst estimates last month while export and import figures were also stronger than forecast.
Andersen said a key driver behind emerging market growth remained its rising household wealth, underpinning demand for imports transported in Maersk’s ships.
Maersk raised its earnings forecast last week for its container-shipping unit, Maersk Line, after second-quarter profit doubled. The firm said lower fuel prices and costs offset a fall in freight rates. – Bloomberg