JPMorgan Emerging Markets lags benchmark, eyes brighter 2024

JPMorgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust (LSE: JMG) saw its net asset value (NAV) per share edge up to 118.2 pence by year-end 2023 but underperformed its benchmark due to rising interest rates.

Despite this, the trust remains hopeful for 2024, citing positive economic trends in emerging markets.

NAV total return for the six months to December 31st was 3.2%, trailing the 4.4% return of the MSCI Emerging Markets index. JMG shareholders saw a 2.8% NAV total return. However, the trust offered a glimmer of optimism by raising its interim dividend by 3.4% to 0.60 pence per share.

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JMG acknowledges the past three years’ challenges but sees reasons for optimism in 2024. They highlight stronger growth, lower inflation, and less debt in emerging markets compared to developed economies.

They believe falling global inflation could allow emerging market central banks to cut rates, aiding households and businesses. The weaker US dollar is another positive, easing debt burdens. China’s slower, yet steady, growth is also seen as an advantage.

Despite this optimism, JMG shares remained flat on Friday, and the stock is down 9% over the past year. Investors will watch closely to see if the trust’s positive outlook translates into improved performance in 2024.