Written by Kathryn Koch

Ahead of her keynote address at MENA Investment Management Forum (MIMF) this November, Kathryn Koch, Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Strategist, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, shares her insights on emerging markets.

Kathryn Koch

It is Time to Redefine Emerging Markets

Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey and Indonesia: apart from being exotic vacation destinations, what do a group of countries as diverse as these have in common?  These so called ‘emerging’ markets are home to almost 20% of Fortune 500[1] companies, 30% of the world’s billionaires[2] and currently include the world’s second and seventh largest economies[3].  With these characteristics in mind, how can one call these markets “emerging”?

At Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM), we believe it is time to redefine the emerging markets.  We propose calling the eight ‘emerging’ countries that already contribute 1% or more each to global GDP – Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey and Indonesia – “Growth” markets.  In our view, the current size and macroeconomic conditions of these markets offers the potential for transformational growth in the coming decades.  These countries will become eight out of the top ten contributors to global growth this decade.

The criteria we have selected to define a Growth market includes an economy that contributes at least 1% or more to global GDP, has the potential to grow further, enjoys favourable demographics and offers adequate market size to achieve necessary scale and liquidity for investors.  Of the eight countries, the largest Growth markets by global GDP contribution are Brazil, Russia, India and China – the BRICs – a group we believe that offer the greatest potential to impact the global economy.  The remaining Growth markets are the four largest of the Next 11 (N-11), a group of 11 countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey and Vietnam) we have identified as the next most populous in the world after the BRIC countries.  This demographic advantage is an important driver of growth.

Home to almost half of the world’s population, the eight Growth markets are expected to add over 300 million people to the labour force over the next two decades[4].  Furthermore, the populations in these markets are young; more people in the workforce earning money to spend results in economic productivity and consumption, both of which are engines of growth.

Currently the Growth markets represent 25% of global GDP and over the next decade we expect they will significantly grow to collectively contribute 60% of global GDP growth.[5]  This potential impact on global economic growth distinguishes the Growth markets from both the slower growing Developed markets and smaller Emerging markets.

GSAM’s Chairman, Jim O’Neill, first identified the BRICs and N-11, believing these countries had the potential to have a major impact on the world.  Currently, BRIC and N-11 comprise 23% of global equity market capitalisation.  This share could rise to 36% in 2020 and 46% in 2030[6].  With higher market capitalisations and a larger number of stocks in the Growth markets compared to Emerging countries, equity market development and participation will fuel Growth market expansion.  And as these markets continue to deepen and their levels of investability increases, we believe there is significant opportunity for investors to capture growth from Growth markets.


1 Source: Fortune Magazine, 2010 Global Fortune 500

2 Source: Forbes Magazine, 2010 World Billionaires

3 Source: IMF World Economic Outlook 2010, as at October 2010

4 Source: IMF World Economic Outlook Database, October 2010

5 Source: GSAM, It is Time to Re-Define Emerging Markets, January 31, 2011. Data from IMF World Outlook 2010.

6 Source: Goldman Sachs Global ECS Research, Global Economics Paper No: 204, September 8, 2010.

Kathryn Koch presented a keynote address in the session ’Inside The Mind Of The International Investment Strategist’ at MIMF, running on Monday 12th November at the Grand Hyatt Doha, Qatar.  

You can download the full MIMF Programme Here

More information on the MENA Investment Management Forum (MIMF) can be found on the website by clicking here.

This material has been approved in the United Kingdom solely for the purposes of Section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 by Goldman Sachs Asset Management International, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

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