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The dominant emerging markets have seen a significant divergence in performance in the last 10 years
Thursday 27 Jan 2022 Author: Tom Sieber

A grouping and term first employed in the early noughties but less widely used today, the so-called BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – nonetheless remain comfortably in the ranks of the largest developing countries by GDP and dominate emerging markets indices.

Because emerging markets are more prone to periods of volatility it is worth looking at how the stock markets in these powerhouse economies have performed over the course of the last 10 years to get a full perspective on their relative fortunes.

In assessing their performance, we have used the CSI 300 index for China as it is often considered a better gauge of the Chinese stock market than its counterpart the SSE Composite index. Think of it as a rough equivalent of the S&P 500 in the US.

Scanning through the data, the underperformance of Russia over the last 10 years is notable and reflects a poor decade for commodities, with Russia’s economy and capital markets heavily tied to what has been an exceptionally volatile oil price, trading in both single digits at its lows and triple digits at its highs over the course of that timeframe.

There is less to choose between the other three countries, but India is the clear winner. It has benefited from a move to more market friendly policies under Narendra Modi, who took over as prime minister in May 2014. China takes second spot while Brazil has endured weak performance of late amid political instability and a particularly devastating impact from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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