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from Breakingviews:

Argentine opportunity cost is reason to cut deal

By Martin Hutchinson

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Argentina’s debt negotiators need to think about opportunity cost. A failure to reach agreement with holdout creditors by Wednesday might not make things immediately worse. But it would set back recent efforts to curry favor with international financiers – efforts that could pay off richly for the Argentine economy.

If a deal can’t be done with hedge funds led by an affiliate of Elliott Management – which want about $1.5 billion in payments on debt that predates Argentina’s last restructuring – then, according to New York court rulings, the Latin American nation won’t be allowed to pay other creditors either. Those bondholders took a haircut for new bonds after Argentina defaulted last decade.

Argentina has two financial problems. One is that the hedge funds are the tip of the iceberg, with a larger group of relatively passive holdout investors potentially due as much as $15 billion. That figure tops half the nation’s foreign exchange reserves and is much more than it could easily borrow. Second, the country told holders of exchanged bonds that it wouldn’t voluntarily offer anyone else better terms, at least until after the end of this year – a so-called “rights upon future offers” or RUFO clause.

from The Human Impact:

Helped by quotas, more women enter Latin American politics

When Michelle Bachelet takes office as president of Chile for the second time on Tuesday, the person who places the blue, white and red striped presidential sash round her neck will be  Isabel Allende - the first woman in Chilean history to be leader of the senate.

One in four lawmakers in Latin America are women, a proportion second only to Europe, and a continent better known as the home of machismo is now leading the way in drawing more women into politics – enabling them gradually to push women’s, social and educational issues to the fore.

from Global Investing:

Deutsche’s emerging markets bear sticking to his guns

Emerging markets bear John-Paul Smith first made his call to underweight emerging equities at the end of 2010. In a note released late on Monday he points out that such a position would have paid off handsomely -- since end-2010 emerging equities have underperformed MSCI's World index by 27.5 percent and U.S. MSCI by 37.6 percent.

 

Smith, who is head of emerging equity strategy at Deutsche Bank, sees no reason to change his call. Reckoning that the cyclical heyday of emerging markets is past, he is advising clients to hold on to developed and U.S. equities at the expense of emerging markets. The reason? China, pivotal for the rest of the EM world for commodities, trade.

from Global Investing:

Emerging markets’ export problem

Taiwan's forecast-beating export data today came as a pleasant surprise amid the general emerging markets economic gloom.  In a raft of developing countries, from South Korea to Brazil, from Malaysia to the Czech Republic, export data has disappointed. HSBC's monthly PMI index showed this month that recovery remains subdued.

With Europe still in the doldrums, this is not totally unsurprising. But economists are growing increasingly concerned because the lack of export growth coindides with a nascent U.S. recovery. Clearly EM is failing to ride the US coattails.

from Breakingviews:

Chavez’s economic program did everything but work

By Martin Hutchinson
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's economic program did everything, except work. The strongman, who died on Tuesday, won elections regularly - most recently in October last year - and his economic policies played well at home. His rule coincided with a giant surge in oil prices, helping avoid bankruptcy for his country. Yet Chavez's stewardship alienated foreign investors as well as governments, and kept Venezuelans poor.

from Breakingviews:

Santander can teach Citi the art of breaking up

By Rob Cox
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

With Spain’s banking system in full-blown crisis, it’s hard to imagine any of the world’s biggest financial institutions taking lessons from their Iberian cousins. Yet Banco Santander’s methodical spin-offs of various operating subsidiaries around the world, the latest due soon in Mexico, present a reasonable model for an undervalued colossus like Citigroup to consider.

from Global Investing:

Brazil going Turkey? Not quite

Could Brazil be on the cusp of  adopting a Turkish-style monetary policy,  J.P. Morgan analysts ask.

Many central banks have of late been forced to scale back interest rate cuts (here's something I wrote on this topic last week) but one, Brazil's Banco Central, remains resolutely dovish.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Have Peru shot themselves in the foot over Guerrero and co?

After watching a Bundesliga game in which all the goals are scored by Peruvians, it is hard to imagine that the South American country's national team is in such a predicament.

Paolo Guerrero scored twice for Hamburg SV on Sunday in their 2-1 win over Schalke 04, whose consolation was scored by his compatriot Jefferson Farfan.

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