From floods to drought, microfinance companies are looking at ways for farmers in developing countries to cope better with the vagaries of climate change.
According to the Microcredit Summit Campaign, there were over 137 million very poor families worldwide with a microloan in 2010. The industry has grown increasingly sophisticated, though it has also gained a bad reputation in parts of the world for selling very high-interest loans to very poor people, with the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh curbing their use.
LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Investor appetite for yield has
fuelled record bond issuance by emerging market borrowers, and
the 2012 total is set to top $300 billion helped by some players
pre-financing next year’s needs.
Bond markets are benefiting from two major initiatives
announced over the summer to boost economic growth in Europe and
the United States.
Switzerland tops the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness league for the fourth year running, according to the latest survey out today, while the United States is slipping down the table because of political and economic problems.
But quite a few emerging market countries are jumping up the league.
Charles Robertson at Renaissance Capital highlights Turkey and Nigeria as some of the best performers in the last year, rising 16 and 12 places respectively in the index, which is based on 12 measures, including infrastructure, macro-economic environment, and market size.
Guarantees on emerging market debt need to be silver-plated these days after the defaults of Ukraine’s state energy firm Naftogaz and Kazakhstan’s BTA bank in recent years show implied guarantees are not worth the paper that they weren’t even written on.
Tunisia must have taken that to heart as it issued a dollar bond this month guaranteed by the United States, still rated AAA by two major ratings agencies.
LONDON (Reuters) – Four men have been arrested in connection with the ambush killings in Ivory Coast of seven U.N. peacekeepers on its border with Liberia, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said on Friday.
An adviser to Ouattara said the four had been arrested in Liberia and would be extradited to Ivory Coast to stand trial.
Investors are placing larger bets on the chances of an Israeli or U.S. air strike on Iran by the end of the year after a bomb on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria killed seven people yesterday.
Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “All the signs lead to Iran”, though Defence Minister Ehud Barak sounded more restrained and Iran denied responsibility. Oil hit a seven-week high above $106 a barrel on supply concerns over tensions in the region.
LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) – The easing of sanctions in
Myanmar is encouraging western portfolio investors to start
looking at the previously-restricted economy, with one
London-based private equity firm planning to invest in pleasure
The country of 50 million people is rich in natural
resources such as oil and metals, and its temples and colonial
buildings should attract tourists, but Myanmar has major
infrastructure needs such as for power generation.
LONDON (Reuters) – Investors are criss-crossing the increasingly smudged line between emerging and developed markets as the euro zone crisis challenges traditional perceptions of a safe investment.
This blurring of distinctions was illustrated last month by index compiler MSCI’s surprise decision to review Greece’s stock market for downgrade to emerging market status, usually assigned to poorer countries offering lower liquidity and less open access to trade.
LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) – Risky emerging stock markets have
had a storming rally in the past month on a more upbeat view of
the world’s prospects, though their fate remains inextricably
linked to that of the euro zone.
The growth outlook for China – the export destination for
emerging commodity producers like Brazil and Russia – and the
impact on the oil price of tensions over Iran are also major
risks as emerging and developed economies become more
We all know that Greece finally persuaded bondholders to swap their debt for new bonds this year, averting a messy default.
But Greece is not the only country to keep investors biting their nails in 2012 over the value of their holdings – frontier market sovereign borrowers have also been tinkering with their debt payments.