BRICs split on euro zone rescue

October 31, 2011

Still-nervy markets may move out of their recent sweet spot if hopes of emerging market help for the euro zone fail to materialise.

China and Brazil could yet invest in the euro zone’ rescue fund, the EFSF, but India and Russia are looking less willing.

China has not committed itself directly, but the euro zone has been courting the Asian economy hard, with EFSF head Klaus Regling visiting Beijing last weekend. China’s trade minister Chen Deming, in Vienna on Monday, ┬ápromised Europe “active support”, according to comments carried by the Austria Press Agency.

Brazil last week said it could help the euro zone via the International Monetary Fund, but has also not committed to investing in the rescue fund. However, Brazil has in the past been at the forefront of attempts to persuade BRIC nations to buy euro zone assets.

Russia also said today it was ready to hold talks with individual euro zone member states on providing them with financial help through the IMF, but has been cool on investing in the EFSF.

Manik Narain, emerging markets strategist at UBS says:

It’s moved from being a BRICs strategy to China and Brazil leading the way, India in particular has been very cautious. China has been hurt in the past, by investing in U.S. assets shortly before the 2008 crisis, they will be sticking to conservative policies. The risk is that the commitments may be smaller than the 50-100 billion euros the markets have been talking about.

India and Russia are not interested in offering more funds to help Europe, a high-ranking official from an emerging market country told Reuters last week.

With summit fever not yet over, markets will be looking to the G20 summit in Cannes on Thursday for more clarity.



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