Skip directly to Accessibility Notice

Daily Price as of 01/22/19

$6.33 $0.00 / +0.0%

Class A Details: EMBAX

07/09/12 1.71%/1.26%

Monthly Commentary: December 2018

Monthly Commentary: December 2018

By: Eric Fine, Portfolio Manager

Pressure Released

What a month December was, following an eventful November … and an eventful October, for that matter! Let’s just say it was a volatile month quarter year. Two key market drivers of 2018 – the U.S. Federal Reserve and “China” – continued to whip all asset classes back and forth in December. In addition, two key asset prices – those of U.S. stocks and U.S. Treasuries – dominated sentiment. To make things more complicated, EM debt didn’t move in lock-step with U.S. and global equities, perhaps because it went through the wringer first (our hard assets colleagues would quip “No, it didn’t!”, rightly saying resource equities went through the wringer first), and because the U.S. Treasury market finally provided some cushion for fixed income generally. The fund had been positioned defensively (in the sense of low allocations to local currency relative to our 50/50 benchmark), and our performance bore that out during the quarter given a mixed November and a strong December. We’d also note that the fund became less defensive over the quarter as we steadily increased our local currency exposure. Anyway, where do we stand now?

We continue to reduce our defensive stance for three reasons – signals from the U.S. Treasury market (and the Fed), indications that “China” is not a key near-term risk, and a significant cheapening of a number of local currency markets. Given Fed reactions to the Treasury rally, ongoing economic malaise could easily be met with further Treasury rallies, and the Fed could conceivably be turned into a market tailwind (!). China looks to be on hold as a risk factor, and could also be a tailwind, however temporary. U.S. President Donald Trump has promised good news and progress on “trade” negotiations. We do remain selective and concentrated in local currency (plenty of Brazil, where we see a good story.

Download Eric's Commentary


EM Debt Positioning in the Current Environment

Natalia Gurushina
Chief Economist, Emerging Markets Fixed Income

Natalia Gurushina, Chief Economist for Emerging Markets, looks at how emerging markets are responding to challenges created by rising rates globally, from policy moves that inspire confidence to those that raise concerns.

View now

Divergent Trends Favor a Fixed Income Barbell

William Sokol and Fran Rodilosso
Director of ETF Product Management and Head of Fixed Income ETF Portfolio Management

William Sokol, Director of ETF Product Management, and Fran Rodilosso, CFA, Head of Fixed Income ETF Portfolio Management, explore approaches to fixed income allocations amid signs of positive global growth, inflationary trends, and rising U.S. interest rates.

View now

Finding the Right Emerging Markets Debt Position in 2018

Eric Fine
Portfolio Manager

Whether the global economy turns bullish or bearish, emerging markets debt could be navigating headwinds in 2018. Portfolio Manager Eric Fine shares his views on key trends to watch that could impact positioning.

View now

Growth Prospects in Emerging Markets Heading into 2018

Natalia Gurushina
Chief Economic, Emerging Markets Fixed Income

As emerging markets economies continue to thrive and flows to the asset class healthy, Natalia Gurushina, Chief Economist on the Emerging Markets Fixed Income team, discusses growth prospects in emerging markets heading into 2018.

View now

Yield Opportunities Abound in Emerging Markets Bonds

Fran Rodilosso
Head of Fixed Income ETF Portfolio Management

Fran Rodilosso, Head of Fixed Income ETF Portfolio Management, discusses the opportunities in the emerging markets debt universe as we approach the end of 2016.

View now

CBON: First U.S.-Listed China Onshore Bond ETF

Fran Rodilosso
Portfolio Manager, Fixed Income ETFs

CBON is the first ETF designed to provide access to the Chinese onshore bond market. What the Index contains are bonds issued by the Chinese government, by quasi-government institutions, such as policy banks, and by credit issuers, such as corporate issuers in China. The weightings in the Index are generally 20% government, 30% policy banks, and 50% corporate issuers.

View now

Emerging Opportunities

Emerging Opportunities

Improvements in economic policies, strong balance sheets and improved creditworthiness of local governments continue to foster a strong case for investment in the emerging markets bonds.


  Emerging Market Bonds Defined 


“Emerging Markets Hard Currency Bonds” are bonds denominated in foreign currencies that are generally widely accepted around the world (such as the US Dollar, Euro or Yen).


“Emerging Markets Local Currency Bonds” are bonds denominated in the local currency of the issuer.  


“Emerging Markets Sovereign Bonds” are bonds issued by national governments of emerging countries in order to finance a country's growth.  


“Emerging Markets Quasi Sovereign Bonds” are bonds issued by corporations domiciled in emerging countries that are either 100% government owned or whose debts are 100% government guaranteed.  


“Emerging Markets Corporate Bonds” are bonds issued by non-government owned corporations that are domiciled in emerging countries.


Long term, an allocation to emerging markets bonds may provide diversification benefits as emerging markets fixed income tends to be less correlated to developed market fixed income.

Important Disclosure

Unless otherwise stated, portfolio facts and statistics are shown for Class A shares; other classes may have different characteristics.

NAV: Unless you are eligible for a waiver, the public offering price you pay when you buy Class A shares of the Fund is the Net Asset Value (NAV) of the shares plus an initial sales charge. The initial sales charge varies depending upon the size of your purchase.  No sales charge is imposed where Class A or Class C shares are issued to you pursuant to the automatic investment of income dividends or capital gains distribution. It is the responsibility of the financial intermediary to ensure that the investor obtains the proper “breakpoint” discount. Class C, Class I and Class Y do not have an initial sales charge; however, Class C does charge a contingent deferred redemption charge.  See the prospectus and summary prospectus for more information.

1Van Eck Associates Corporation (the “Adviser”) has agreed to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses to the extent necessary to prevent the operating expenses of the Fund (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, trading expenses, dividends and interest payments on securities sold short, taxes and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding 1.25% for Class A, 1.95% for Class C, 0.95% for Class I, and 1.00% for Class Y of the Fund’s average daily net assets per year until May 1, 2019. During such time, the expense limitation is expected to continue until the Board of Trustees acts to discontinue all or a portion of such expense limitation.

2The Fund's benchmark index (50% GBI-EM/50% EMBI) is a blended index consisting of 50% J.P. Morgan Government Bond Index-Emerging Markets (GBI-EM) Global Diversified and 50% J.P. Morgan Emerging Markets Bond Index (EMBI). The J.P. Morgan GBI-EM Global Diversified tracks local currency bonds issued by Emerging Markets governments. The index spans over 15 countries. The J.P. Morgan EMBI Global Diversified tracks returns for actively traded external debt instruments in emerging markets, and is also J.P. Morgan’s most liquid U.S-dollar emerging markets debt benchmark. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but J.P. Morgan does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. The Index is used with permission. The index may not be copied, used or distributed without J.P. Morgan’s written approval. Copyright 2014, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved.

3Average Yield to Worst measures the lowest of either yield-to-maturity or yield-to-call date on every possible call date. Effective duration takes into account that expected cash flows will fluctuate as interest rates change. Effective maturity is the length of time until a fixed income investment returns its original investment. Distribution Yield is the amount of cash flow paid out and is calculated by dividing the annual income (interest or dividends) by the current price of the security. Averages are market weighted. These statistics do not take into account fees and expenses associated with investments or the Fund.

The views and opinions expressed are those of VanEck. Fund manager commentaries are general in nature and should not be construed as investment advice. Opinions are subject to change with market conditions. Any discussion of specific securities mentioned in the commentaries is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy these securities. Fund holdings will vary.

You can lose money by investing in the Fund. Any investment in the Fund should be part of an overall investment program, not a complete program. The Fund is subject to risks associated with its investments in below investment grade securities, credit, currency management strategies, debt securities, derivatives, emerging market securities, foreign currency transactions, foreign securities, hedging, other investment companies, Latin American issuers, management, market, non-diversification, operational, portfolio turnover, sectors and sovereign bond risks. Investing in foreign denominated and/or domiciled securities may involve heightened risk due to currency fluctuations, and economic and political risks, which may be enhanced in emerging markets. As the Fund may invest in securities denominated in foreign currencies and some of the income received by the Fund will be in foreign currencies, changes in currency exchange rates may negatively impact the Fund’s return. Derivatives may involve certain costs and risks such as liquidity, interest rate, and the risk that a position could not be closed when most advantageous. The Fund may also be subject to risks associated with non-investment grade securities.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. An investor should consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the investment company carefully before investing. Bond and bond funds will decrease in value as interest rates rise. The prospectus and summary prospectus contain this and other information.  Please read them carefully before investing.