Our recently-launched Tellimer EM 1000 Company Index* scores the 1,000 largest listed emerging market firms across six dimensions using 36 quantitative metrics. Contact Tellimer Insights Sales for full access to the index and our quarterly updates.
Using a disciplined, data-driven approach, the index uses bottom-up data to guide investors to where the best opportunities may lie. It is complementary to the Tellimer EM Country Index, which uses top-down data to gauge the relative attractiveness of various emerging markets.
The Index consists of the 1,000 largest primary listings (by market capitalisation) in emerging markets. We consider the location of operations rather than listing location when determining which firms to include.
By sector, the largest component of this 1,000-stock universe is Financials (19% of the sample), while Real Estate is the smallest (3%).
By geography, China dominates the sample, with 517 companies (ie 52% of the sample). The smallest region is Africa, which accounts for 3% of the universe.
We score each of the 1,000 stocks on a scale from 0-100, with a high value indicating greater investability. Our broad-level conclusions are highlighted below. This matrix highlights regions and sectors worthy of investor attention, and those that perhaps are less deserving of consideration.
Our analysis suggests that investors should look at large listed firms in Eastern Europe and West Asia. Metals & Mining, and Technology, are also scanning well.
By geography, many of the poorest-scoring firms are in China (particularly ADR listings). By sector, Real Estate and Consumer Discretionary names typically have low scores.
We provide further information regarding our methodology below and also dig deeper into some of the stock-level conclusions.
Updated quarterly, this index tracks the performance of the 1,000 largest listed emerging market stocks (by market capitalisation). To do this, we score each stock across 36 measures, grouped across six dimensions. We weight each dimension equally, and score each stock on a scale from 0-100.
Our six dimensions of analysis
Valuation: As well as looking at current multiples, we compare the current valuations with historical trading ranges, and also look at recent price performance. The top-ranked company in this category is China’s Cosco Shipping Holdings, a transport services firm with a market cap of US$23bn. Notably, the firm benefits from its low PE ratio (0.9x) and EV/EBIT (0.2x), although we accept that the firm has historically also tended to trade at discounted multiples.
Profitability: We look at a range of measures that cover the full breadth of the income statement and also consider capital returns. The top-ranked company in this category is the US$20bn market cap Chinese miner, Tianqi Lithium Corporation, which scores particularly highly in relation to operating margins and pre-tax ROCE.
Quality: Here we assess performance sustainability, using measures that look, inter alia, at franchise strength and the volatility of returns. The top-ranked company in this category is Kweichow Moutai, the Chinese spirits giant with a market cap of US$343bn, which has generated consistently high gross and operating margins over the past few years.
Growth: This measure considers a mixture of near-term and medium-term drivers of growth and value. The top-ranked company is the UAE’s International Holding (IHC), a US$243bn market cap industrials, construction and healthcare conglomerate, which scores particularly well for asset and EBIT growth.
Momentum: Here we are looking for signs of a change in the trajectory of the business, in terms of growth and profitability. The top-ranked company is Chengxin Lithium Group, a US$5.4bn market cap Chinese mining firm, where a broad range of margin measures are headed higher.
Risk: We consider idiosyncratic and systemic risk factors that could impact the stability of returns for investors. The top-ranked company here is US$45bn market cap Indonesian coal miner, Bayan Resources. This firm benefits from low debt gearing and a low market beta.
Case study: Saudi Aramco
Below, we bring these six dimensions together through the example of the largest EM firm by far, US$1.9tn Saudi Aramco.
Aramco’s quality ranking benefits by virtue of the firm’s huge scale and low production costs. Low costs translate into high margins, boosting the profitability score. However, these favourable traits are also recognised in the high multiples at which the shares trade, which pulls down the valuation score. And the difficulty of adding material extra capacity to such a large business pulls down the growth score.
Nevertheless, a Tellimer EM 1000 Company Index score of 82 places Aramco in the top 20% of companies we have analysed.
The ten highest-ranking companies in our Index
We briefly profile below the firms that currently sit atop our Tellimer EM 1000 Company Index rankings. Not surprisingly, these firms typically score well across a broad range of indicators; profitability and momentum are standout categories. They fare less well from a valuation perspective, and some quality scores are also below par. We dig into more detail on the individual names below.
Sabic Agri-Nutrients. This chemicals firm scores strongly across all six of our assessment dimensions, particularly in profitability (driven by high return on assets and margins) and risk (low operating and financial gearing). Valuation is the only weak spot (eg high price/sales ratio).
Anglo American Platinum. This South African platinum miner scores strongly across most of our assessment dimensions, notably for profitability (high return on capital) and profit growth. That said, the valuation score could be higher; the stock trades on a high price/ book ratio, for example.
Severstal. This Russian steel and mining firm scores particularly well in profitability (high return on assets and capital) and momentum (margins heading higher). Growth in the equity base is an area of weakness versus peers.
Novolipetsk Steel. This vertically-integrated Russian steel firm company fares well in relation to valuation (such as low P/E and EV/EBIT ratios) and profitability (high ROA and ROE) but again suffers from relatively slow growth in its equity base.
Industries Qatar. This petrochemical firm performs most strongly in relation to momentum (improving margins) and profitability. However, its growth score is weaker (for example, if we look at the trend in total assets).
Cosco Shipping. This Chinese transport services firm scores well in relation to valuation (such as its low PE and EV/EBIT multiples) and momentum (rising margins). However, its quality score is just average for the universe; investors have not recently benefitted from good dividends, for example.
Chongqing Zhifei. This Chinese healthcare firm stands out in relation to growth (solid top line and EBIT trends) and profitability (such as high return on assets). One area that the firm fares less well in is quality; share price volatility is elevated.
Suzhou TA&A. This Chinese tech firm scores well for growth (notably EBIT) and profitability (ROA), which puts it in stark contrast to sector peers that have yet to break even. However, the firm’s quality score is below par, as evidenced by the high volatility of the shares.
Xinjiang Daqo New Energy. This Chinese energy firm scores highly across most dimensions, notably for profitability (high operating and EBIT margins and ROA). However, the company’s valuation metrics bring down its overall score (for example, due to its high price/sales ratio).
Bayan Resources. This Indonesian coal miner scores particularly well for profitability (driven by high ROA and ROE metrics) and risk (low financial gearing and low stock beta factor). That said, the valuation score is low; the stock has rallied sharply in recent months, leading to elevated multiples.
Accessing the Tellimer EM 1000 Company Index dataset
Although the underlying data is proprietary, we do make our Index scores available to our data subscribers, including the 6-dimension breakdown and an interactive tool that allows users to adjust the data to suit their own investment objectives better. Please contact your Tellimer sales representative for more details.
*Note: The index should be considered as only one of a range of inputs to the overall investment process.