Man Group, the world’s biggest publicly listed hedge fund, is sticking by the contrarian bearish stance it adopted during an emerging-market rally earlier this year, when it predicted a yet-to-materialise “violent” sell-off, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The report cites one of the firm’s New York-based portfolio managers, Lisa Chua, as saying in an interview that: “We’re entering a period where we are only just starting to see the beginnings of a correction that we talked about. There is room for another leg of correction on the spread side.”
An address by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell last week which was widely interpreted as signalling the end of the US’ programme of interest rate rises, sparked a widespread “everything” rally, but according to Chua, emerging markets are still heading for a sell-off.
“The recent Fed meeting does not change the emerging-market debt outlook we discussed; namely that rising credit risks are yet to be reflected in spreads,” she said. “We are still of the view that spreads are vulnerable to a correction, especially post this latest surge in euphoria.”
Man Group and Chua’s bearishness over emerging markets has yet to pay off though, with data from Bloomberg revealing that the emerging markets debt fund Chua manages alongside Guillermo Osses, has underperformed most of its peers so far this year. The fund is down 5% YTD, although it was ahead of nine out of 10 similar EM bond funds in the three months leading up to last week’s rally.