Carolyn's Feed
Mar 1, 2012
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Keeping watch on Israel and Iran

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With all the euphoria over the ECB’s LTRO operations and a second bail-out for Greece, the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran is still lurking in the background as a bigger possible shock to the world.

Higher oil prices as sanctions on Iran start to bite and a fall in Israeli equities — one of the few stockmarket losers this year, according to S&P Indices (see blog below this one)  are among the effects so far.

Feb 29, 2012

S.Africa stocks may lose defensive premium in ‘risk on’ rethink

LONDON, Feb 29 (Reuters) – Growing global bullishness
may erode South African stocks’ perceived safe haven status,
which helped them outperform many emerging markets last year
despite infrastructure bottlenecks, political risk and rand
volatility.

The shift is already evident in returns with shares in South
Africa’s BRIC peers all romping higher, faster than the 7
percent gained by the former this year.

Feb 21, 2012
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Stock-picking funds: no picnic

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It’s hard to pick the best-performing fund management firms, even if you work in the fund industry yourself.

The same is true for stock-pickers working in banks and insurance companies, according to research by Aneel Keswani from London’s Cass Business School and David Stolin from Toulouse Business School — those analysts can’t pick winners in the sectors they work in.

Feb 20, 2012
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Ivory Coast to Belize — tale of two frontiers

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One has already defaulted on its debt and the other is at risk of doing so, but Ivory Coast bonds are wildly outperforming those of Belize in JPMorgan’s new NEXGEM frontier bond index.

The index contains the debt of 18 frontier markets, and Ivory Coast was the best performing in January, after the borrower said at a roadshow in London last month that it hoped to resume making coupon payments on its debt this year.

Feb 20, 2012
via Global Investing

Greece: heading for a credit event?

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Markets have a happy face on today, as they have for much of this year, as investors look forward to the promise of a second bail-out for Greece.

But it all hinges on agreement in debt talks between private sector creditors and the Greek government over the size of the haircut those creditors will have to wear on their Greek bond holdings.

Feb 17, 2012
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Flood of emerging Eurobonds

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The floodgates have opened for emerging market sovereign Eurobond issuers, who have been scrambling to take advantage of the new warm feeling towards riskier assets.

Latest to woo investors is Nigeria, which is on a two-day roadshow finishing today in Zurich, according to Thomson Reuters news and information service IFR.

Feb 10, 2012
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Brazilians hit London town

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Several Brazilian officials turned up bright and early at Thomson Reuters’ offices in London this morning, despite the snow and tricky local infrastructure (malfunctioning Tube trains), for an investment roundtable. (Here’ the  Reuters Insider broadcast of the event)

The officials, including undersecretary for public debt Paulo Valle, have been in London all week talking to bankers and investors. Some of the issues raised today included the continued imposition of the IOF tax on foreign purchases of domestic bonds, corporate governance and debt levels.

Feb 7, 2012
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Biting into offshore renminbi bonds

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McDonalds, Volkswagen, Tesco — they are just a few of the Western companies which have issued offshore bonds denominated in China’s currency, the renminbi, in the past year or so.

The “dim sum” bond market has expanded rapidly in a short space of time, helped by the desire of international companies to get access to funds in an otherwise restricted currency. And why wouldn’t you — China is the world’s second largest economy, its currency is on an appreciation trend — even if slower than the U.S. would like — and growth prospects are still close to double digits, while plenty of Western economies are trying to fight off those minus numbers in their economic data.

Feb 7, 2012

Geopolitics, debt refinancing leave funds wary of Gulf

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Tensions over Iran, unrest
in Syria and concern about refinancing of upcoming Dubai debt
are making international investors wary of Gulf and other Middle
Eastern markets this year, just as developed markets enjoy fresh
gains.

Storming oil prices and healthy balance sheets among
energy-producing Gulf economies kept these markets on a
relatively even keel last year, as international investors saw
the region as an alternative to the debt-laden euro zone and
United States.

Jan 26, 2012
via Global Investing

About-turn for Ukraine and Belarus debt

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Emerging debt investors are a fickle bunch, even when it comes to neighbouring economies like those of the former Soviet Union.

They are starting to feast their eyes once more on Belarus, which less than a year ago looked close to default, while Ukraine, a favourite of 2010, is going out of fashion.

    • 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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