Three things the Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity team are thinking about today

1. India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a meaningful reduction in India’s corporate tax rates to help spur investment and boost growth in the country’s slowing economy. These changes came as a positive surprise and send a strong signal that the government has recognised the stress that corporates face from weak sentiment and subdued economic activity. While there has been some concern that the measure will result in a decrease in revenues, we believe there are mitigating factors that could reduce the loss in revenues. Overall, we think India’s corporate tax cuts should help spur investment over the longer term.

2. ͏China recently announced the removal of the investment quotas under its Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) and RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) programs. Increasing market access for foreign investors has been an ongoing process, as China undertakes structural reforms to its capital markets and allows foreign firms greater control over their assets. The move also follows a recent decision to allow foreign financial firms an option to take majority stakes in joint ventures. While the overall immediate impact of China’s move to lift restrictions on foreign investment may not be drastic, we think the initiative signifies China’s commitment and long-term strategic decision to further increase access to its financial markets.

3. Brazil: Optimism surrounding the government’s economic agenda, including the key social security reform, has resulted in a more favourable climate. A major privatisation plan has also been announced, and we expect tax and other reforms that could improve the ease of doing business to follow. We maintain a positive outlook on the equity market and continue to have a favourable view on domestic-oriented themes, including financials and consumer-related sectors.

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