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Feb 5, 2013
via Global Investing

From cycles to cell phones: tracking Africa’s middle classes

Mobile phone bills and beer consumption patterns are used by investors to assess how fast bank accounts are likely to grow in Africa, but what did investors count to gauge trends before there were mobile phones?

The answer? Cattle, bicycles, radios, founder of Zimbabwean telecoms company Econet Wireless Strive Masiyiwa told an Economist conference on Africa this afternoon. Masiyiwa said he researched ownership of these status items to assess the five-year demand for mobile phones in Botswana when he successfully bid for a mobile phone contract from Botswana’s government.

Feb 1, 2013

From booze to bulldozers, analysts scour for emerging market data

LONDON (Reuters) – From phone bills in Lagos to bulldozers in Beijing, analysts are looking creatively at ways to measure the strength of emerging market economies where official data sometimes comes up short.

How much Guinness are Nigerians drinking? How full are hotels in the Gulf? What about enrolment in international schools?

Jan 30, 2013
via Global Investing

Banks won’t lend? Try a bond instead

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When the banks won’t lend you money, head for the international debt markets.

Western European banks have been withdrawing funds from emerging Europe because of capital issues at home for the past few years, alarming international lenders so much that they formed the Vienna Initiative to help the region.

Jan 30, 2013

Chidambaram says too early to talk of FX war; welcomes RBI move

LONDON (Reuters) – It is too early to say that Japan’s aggressive recent moves to weaken the yen constitute a currency war but countries must resist falling into the trap of competitive devaluations, finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said.

Speaking to Reuters Television on Tuesday, Chidambaram said: “It’s still early to call this a currency war, only Japan has depreciated its currency, what choice does Japan have? They have to get growth up, they cannot continue with zero growth any longer.”

Jan 29, 2013

Chidambaram says too early to talk of FX war

LONDON (Reuters) – It is too early to say that Japan’s aggressive recent moves to weaken the yen constitute a currency war but countries must resist falling into the trap of competitive devaluations, finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said.

Speaking to Reuters Television on Tuesday, Chidambaram said: “It’s still early to call this a currency war, only Japan has depreciated its currency, what choice does Japan have? They have to get growth up, they cannot continue with zero growth any longer.”

Jan 29, 2013

India finmin says too early to talk of FX war

LONDON (Reuters) – It is too early to say that Japan’s aggressive recent moves to weaken the yen constitute a currency war but countries must resist falling into the trap of competitive devaluations, India’s finance minister said.

Speaking to Reuters Television on Tuesday, Palaniappan Chidambaram said: “It’s still early to call this a currency war, only Japan has depreciated its currency, what choice does Japan have? They have to get growth up, they cannot continue with zero growth any longer.”

Jan 23, 2013
via Global Investing

Israel election cuts Iran risk

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Israeli markets cheered election results today, with stocks rising 1 percent and the shekel edging up towards recent nine-month highs. Right-wing prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory, but his Likud party and ultra-nationalist allies Yisrael Beitenu lost ground to a new centrist party. Final results are expected tomorrow.

Voters seem to have concentrated on domestic issues, including the state of the economy, but foreign investors tend to look at the geopolitical risks, and these appear to have lessened.

Jan 22, 2013

New money flows into emerging markets on the way -IIF

LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Private investors are set to pour
more money into emerging market countries this year as their
economies grow strongly and interest rates in developed markets
remain low, a global banking group said on Tuesday.

Europe’s emerging east is expected to benefit if the euro
zone debt crisis continues to ease, after inflows slowed last
year, the Institute of International Finance said.

Jan 15, 2013
via Global Investing

Mali risks in focus

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The international focus is on  gold-producing country Mali after days of French air strikes on al-Qaeda-linked Islamist rebel strongholds in the north of the West African country. France expects Gulf Arab states will help an African campaign against the rebels,  and a meeting of donors for the Mali operation is due at the end of the month. West African defence chiefs are meeting today to approve plans to speed up the deployment of 3,300 regional troops.

Mali isn’t normally on the radar screens of international portfolio investors, with little external debt and no developed capital markets.

Jan 11, 2013

Emerging debt sales in for a bumper year, shy of 2012

LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Asian firms and Eurobond
debutants from Africa will be prominent among emerging borrowers
hoping to tap buoyant appetite for high-yield assets in 2013
although issuance and investor returns may fall short of last
year.

The new year has got off to a flying start. Investors, for
example, lent Turkey cash repayable in 10 years at a cost of
3.47 percent, the lowest it has achieved in the dollar debt
market.

    • About Carolyn

      "I work in London as part of the Reuters investment strategy editorial team, specialising in emerging and frontier markets. I cover emerging bond, stock and FX markets as well as global market themes, and interview emerging market policy-makers when they attend events in London. I started at Reuters in 1993, writing about foreign exchange, government bonds and Eurobonds before switching to emerging markets."
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