At Sohn event, Brazil, Russia find favor; China still avoided
NEW YORK May 5 (Reuters) - Major investors on Monday said they see opportunities in Brazil and Russia, two beaten-down emerging markets, but remain cautious on China, underscoring wariness around emerging markets once considered global darlings.
Even the optimism was replete with caveats at the Sohn Investment Conference, where investors present some of their best ideas in order to raise money to fight pediatric cancer.
Michael Novogratz, a principal at Fortress Investment Group, said he sees upside for Brazilian assets -- as long as President Dilma Rousseff loses her bid for re-election later this year.
Should Rousseff win, he said, Brazil "is in for a long dark period."
The race for Brazil's October presidential election has tightened, according to a poll released on Saturday, which also showed high disapproval for Rousseff and widespread dissatisfaction with the stagnant economy.
Brazil jumped out of recession in 2009 and the economy shot forward in 2010. Since then growth has stalled. The benchmark Bovespa stock index fell more than 15 percent in 2013. So far this year, the index is up about 4 percent.
"Brazil had this wonderful windfall," Novogratz said. "The Brazilians squandered that surplus."
But with Rousseff's two main rivals - the more centrist Senator Aecio Neves and former governor Eduardo Campos - possibly more market friendly, "local markets would jump all over" a change in policy.
In Russia, assets have tumbled recently as tensions in Ukraine have fanned fears of war in the region. Russian stocks are off around 14 percent year to date. Continuación...