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Emerging Market Funds : Features, Suitability and Advantages

Last Updated : 22 Dec, 2023
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What are Emerging Market Funds?

Emerging Market Funds (EMFs) are defined as investment vehicles that are specifically designed to tap into economies that are emerging. Emerging Markets Funds offer attractive opportunities to investors looking for high returns. These funds collect money from investors and spread it across a range of assets within emerging markets. In this context, Emerging markets refer to economies that are going through industrialisation and experiencing growth. These markets are characterised by evolving systems, increasing consumer demand, and expanding infrastructure.

Geeky Takeaways:

  • The objective of Emerging Market Funds is to generate returns by taking advantage of the growth potential found in economies undergoing significant transformations.
  • Investing in emerging markets can provide opportunities for diversification as these markets often operate independently from developed economies.
  • Emerging Market Funds come with risks due to factors such as instability, currency fluctuations, and less mature regulatory environments.

How do Emerging Market Funds Work?

Emerging Market Funds work based on the principle of diversification by investing in assets within emerging markets to reduce risks associated with the volatility commonly observed in these economies. These funds typically include stocks, bonds, and other securities issued by companies or governments, in developing nations. Fund managers make decisions considering indicators, market trends, and geopolitical factors to maximise returns while managing risks effectively. Investors can access emerging market funds through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Mutual funds enable investors to directly purchase shares from the fund company itself whereas ETFs are traded on stock exchanges to stocks. Both types of structures offer investors an opportunity to access a selection of emerging market assets without having to invest in individual securities.

Who Should Consider Investing in an Emerging Market Fund?

Emerging Market Funds are not a one-size-fits-all solution and their suitability depends on factors such, as an investor’s risk tolerance, financial goals, and investment timeline. These funds can be attractive to investors who are looking for returns compared to developed markets. It is important to note that they also come with increased risk.

Investors who have a long-term perspective and are willing to tolerate short-term volatility may find value in including Emerging Market Funds in their investment portfolio. These funds can serve as a tool for diversification providing exposure to economies with growth potential that may not be closely linked to markets.

1. Global Diversification: For those investors seeking diversification beyond markets Emerging Market Funds can be a choice. Diversifying across regions and geographies helps reduce risk by avoiding overreliance on any market or region.

2. Potential for Growth: Individuals who have an appetite for growth and are comfortable with taking on a level of risk might find Emerging Market Funds appealing. These funds often invest in economies with growth prospects driven by factors, like trends, urbanisation, and technological advancements.

3. Younger individuals: who have a time frame, for investing can take advantage of the compounding impact of returns, in developing markets. Having time allows these investors to endure market ups and downs potentially benefiting from the long-term growth prospects of emerging economies.

Factors to Consider Before Investing in Emerging Market Funds

1. Assessing Risk Tolerance: Before venturing into Emerging Market Funds, investors need to evaluate their risk tolerance. It is worth noting that emerging markets can be more volatile compared to developed markets. Factors such as currency value fluctuations, political instability, and economic uncertainties can impact investment returns. Investors should only allocate funds that they are comfortable holding during market fluctuations.

2. Thorough Research and Due Diligence: Conducting research is crucial when contemplating investments in Emerging Market Funds. Investors should thoroughly examine the fundamentals of the target countries assess the climate and understand the regulatory environment. Additionally, it is essential to evaluate the track record and strategy of the fund manager as their expertise can significantly influence fund performance.

3. Diversification within Emerging Markets: It is important to note that not all emerging markets are alike. Some economies are heavily dependent on commodities while others thrive on technology or manufacturing sectors. By diversifying investments within emerging markets investors can mitigate risks associated with industries or regions. A diversified fund will provide exposure to a mix of sectors and countries.

4. Currency Risk Awareness: Investors must be mindful of currency fluctuations as they can impact investment returns in Emerging Market Funds. The potential for currency depreciation should be considered along with its effect, on the performance of the fund being evaluated. Certain funds may employ hedging strategies to manage currency risk while others may choose not to hedge their investments.

5. Economic and Political Stability: Ensuring political stability is vital when considering investments. It is important to invest in countries, with environments as it minimises the chances of policy shifts, nationalisation, or any other events that could have adverse effects, on investments. As an investor staying updated on the economic conditions of the countries where your funds are allocated is crucial.

Taxation of Emerging Market Funds

Taxation plays a role, in the world of investing. Investors need to understand the tax implications related to Emerging Market Funds in India. The taxation of these funds can vary depending on how you hold them and the type of gains involved,

1. Short-Term Capital Gains (STCG): If an investor holds units of an Emerging Market Fund for more than a year and sells them any profits made are considered short-term capital gains. In India, these gains are taxed at the individual income tax slab rate.

2. Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG): If you hold onto your units for more than a year any profits made fall under long-term capital gains. As per tax regulations long-term capital gains from equity-oriented funds like Emerging Market Funds are subject to a 10% tax rate without indexation benefits provided that the profits exceed INR 1 lakh in a financial year.

3. Tax Deduction at Source (TDS): Investors should be mindful of TDS implications on their gains from Emerging Market Funds. If your long-term capital gains exceed INR 1 lakh TDS is applicable at a rate of 10%. However, investors can avoid TDS by providing documents such as PAN details, to the fund house.

4. Indexation Benefits: Indexation advantages are not applicable, to funds that focus on equities. However, they can be beneficial, for debt-oriented Emerging Market Funds. Indexation enables investors to adjust the purchase price of units based on inflation which helps reduce capital gains and in turn lowers the tax liability.

Advantages of Emerging Market Funds

1. High Growth Potential: Emerging markets often experience faster economic growth compared to developed markets. This can lead to higher returns on investments in companies and assets from these regions.

2. Diversification: Investing in emerging markets can provide geographical diversification, helping to spread risk across different markets and reduce the impact of poor performance in any single region.

3. Access to Untapped Markets: There are markets that investors can explore in emerging economies. These markets may not be as saturated as those, in developed countries making them attractive for those seeking potentially profitable investment opportunities.

4. Demographic Trends: Demographic trends play a role, in emerging markets. These markets often have populations, young ones, which can lead to higher levels of consumer spending and contribute to economic growth.

5. Infrastructure Development: Investments in emerging markets can benefit from ongoing infrastructure development, as these countries build and upgrade their transportation, energy, and communication systems.

Disadvantages of Emerging Market Funds

1. Higher Volatility: Emerging markets are often more volatile than developed markets. Political instability, economic uncertainties, and currency fluctuations can contribute to significant price swings in assets from these regions.

2. Political and Regulatory Risks: Political instability, changes in government policies, and regulatory uncertainties are common in emerging markets. These factors can impact the performance of investments and create additional risks for investors.

3. Liquidity Concerns: When it comes to securities in emerging markets there is a possibility that they may not be easily bought or sold compared to those, in markets. This can create difficulties, in executing transactions. This could result in increased costs.

4. Currency Risk: Investments in emerging markets expose investors to currency risk. Exchange rate fluctuations can affect the value of investments denominated in foreign currencies.

5. Less Mature Financial Markets: Emerging markets may have less developed financial infrastructure, including regulatory frameworks and reporting standards. This can make it harder for investors to assess the true financial health of companies.


In conclusion, while Emerging Market Funds offer enticing prospects they are best suited for investors who align with their characteristics and have a long-term perspective, on investment. It is crucial to assess your risk tolerance, investment objectives, and time frame when deciding whether the potential benefits of investing in emerging markets justify the risks involved. Like, with any investment decision conducting research and taking into account your financial situation are vital steps, toward creating a diversified and robust investment portfolio.

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