Spice islands: With the right ingredients, Southeast Asia’s pocket markets can add a lot of pep to a portfolio
Southeast Asia has confounded many a real estate investor. Its fragmented markets and ever-changing political landscape make for a rough road. It may not have suffered all that much in this past financial crisis, but that is mainly because it went through one of its own 10 years prior to the onset of this one.
International investors are currently largely absent from the region. The prospect of the end of “easy money” and quantitative easing in the West caused much of the foreign money in the region to head for home shores. But the economic fundamentals of the region have not changed — in fact, economic growth in Southeast Asia is some of the best in the world.
China may grab headlines with its expected 7.1 percent growth rate for next year. But the Philippines (6.3 percent), Vietnam (5.9 percent), Indonesia (5.7 percent), Malaysia (5.1 percent) and Thailand (4.2 percent) are not far behind. So what do investors need to know if they want to perk up an Asian portf