LONDON (Reuters) – Looking beyond the problems of a region beset by regime change in Egypt, a security crisis in Yemen and civil war in Syria, international investors are seeking out well-run businesses in Middle Eastern and even some North African stock markets.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a diverse investment universe which includes both energy importers and exporters, and surplus and deficit economies, but enjoys cross-border trade, investment and even aid links.
LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – Bulgarian stocks have survived
political troubles to hold onto their position as this year’s
top performing frontier market, helped by a relatively upbeat
economic outlook compared with other countries in the region.
Like many frontier economies – less developed emerging
markets – Bulgaria has its share of political risks.
LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) – The lira steadied below
one-month highs on Tuesday after a relatively modest interest
rate hike by Turkey’s central bank, while the Hungarian forint
hit four-week lows after a rate cut and the promise of more to
Turkey’s central bank has been acting in recent weeks to
shore up the currency, whch has fallen on global fears about the
withdrawal of U.S. stimulus and by domestic political tensions.
Just as Hungary is worrying foreign investors with a plan to help households laden with foreign currency mortgages – likely to prove expensive for its banks – its trade bank has come up with an interesting structure for a planned bond.
State-owned Eximbank has been holding a roadshow this week for a two-part bond, with one part of the bond guaranteed by the World Bank’s risk insurance arm, Miga.
LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) – Bonds of Turkish banks,
Ukrainian state firms and central European miners were among the
worst performers in a recent sell-off in emerging debt and
investors are on alert for further price falls or even defaults.
The emerging corporate debt market has boomed in recent
years, with the volume of outstanding debt passing $1 trillion
last year and record issuance seen in the first half of 2013.
LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) – Foreign investors sitting on
losses of 5-15 percent in Turkey are likely to cut and run
without a swift and substantial interest rate rise to stabilise
the plunging lira.
Foreign fund managers have yanked around $3 billion from
Turkish stocks and bonds since the last week of May, central
bank data shows, reversing only a tiny part of the investment
inflows the country has received in recent years.
LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) – Twice-bailed-out Greece may not
relish its impending switch to the world of emerging markets,
but the move should bring with it new risk-seeking investors.
Index compiler MSCI said last month it would downgrade
Greece to emerging market status from November, citing weak
market access and the small number of Greek stocks that met the
criteria for inclusion as a developed market.
Political risks appear to be rising in emerging markets, but how do you measure them?
Protests in Egypt – leading to the ousting of a second president in as many years- Turkey and Brazil have caught investors on the hop this year, causing the kind of market volatility that emerging market bulls had been saying were a thing of the past.
LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) – Developing countries that did not
take advantage of historically low yields by selling
international bonds in the first half of 2013 are finding
themselves left high and dry as borrowing costs rise.
Emerging market borrowers sold more than $200 billion of
bonds between January and July, a record-breaking streak that
culminated in April with the startling sight of Rwanda issuing a
10-year dollar bond at a yield of less than 7 percent.
LONDON (Reuters) – Hard to enter and hard to leave, frontier stock markets from Bulgaria to Pakistan have attracted investors who are in for the long haul, keeping them clear of the worst of the markets storm.
While these less-developed emerging markets suffer from a lack of liquidity, with buyers and sellers struggling to match up at times, that can be a bonus when nervous investors are dashing for the exits elsewhere.