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Profitable investments in Mexican peso or Turkish lira

The Mexican peso and Turkish lira can be fine currencies in which to invest, says Gerben de Zwart. The financial analyst has developed a new strategy based on macro-economic and price information to achieve attractive returns on investment in currencies from emerging economies. Zwart defended his dissertation 'Empirical Studies on Financial Markets: Private Equity, Corporate Bonds and Emerging Markets' at Erasmus University Rotterdam on Thursday 26 June 2008.

De Zwart conducted five different empirical studies into financial markets. In one of the studies, he investigated the best position for an investor to take when considering investing in the currency markets of emerging economies, like the Mexican peso or Turkish lira.

Mention of such currencies prompts many people think of the currency crises of the past decades. But for a great many currencies the time of crisis is far in the past, making them interesting prospects for investors now. The strong economic growth has contributed significantly to more stable exchange rates and rising reserves at the central banks.

De Zwart has identified 23 currencies that are no longer linked to the US dollar or the euro since 1995 or later, including the Taiwanese dollar, Indian rupee, South African rand, Korean won, Czech koruna and the Brazilian real. What information should the investor have in order to make good choices? De Zwart incorporates both macro-economic information and information from the technical analysis of the exchange rates in his strategy. Working with different information sources makes currencies from emerging markets an interesting source of absolute returns.

In a second study, De Zwart investigated how pension funds and insurance companies can better invest in private equity. Institutional investors usually have great difficulty in fleshing out their private equity portfolios to the right size, since their world is not attuned to the dynamics of private equity. They have great difficulty with the long-term contracts (ten years or more), for instance, that are customary in private equity, or the lack of liquidity. De Zwart has developed a strategy that provides a solution for this.

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