BRIC-layer makes MINT

January 6, 2014

Former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill, deviser of the BRIC acronym uniting the emerging market giants of Brazil, Russia, India and China, has coined a new term – MINT.

In a series of BBC radio programmes starting today, O’Neill looks at the “next economic giants” of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. It’s a break-out of four of the countries from his previously-coined Next-11, which also included Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam.

O’Neill, who retired last year from his role as chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (after spending too much time looking at Reuters), says on the BBC website that the MINT economies benefit from favourable geographical locations and, in some cases, reform-minded politicians:

If Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey get their act together, some of them could match Chinese-style double-digit (growth) rates between 2003 and 2008.

If Nigeria sorts out its problems of lack of power supplies, for example, it could grow by 10-12 percent a year, O’Neill says.

But tracking MINT may not be a financial success.  Investing in BRIC stock markets has not been very profitable for investors in recent years. BRIC stock markets have underperformed broader emerging markets in the past three years, based on indices compiled by MSCI, while emerging markets have in turn underperformed developed markets.

Charles Robertson, economist at Renaissance Capital, is also enthusiastic about Nigeria, but is less optimistic about Turkey, where the central bank is resisting investor calls for higher interest rates to curb inflation and boost the record-low lira. A recent IMF report on Turkey is similarly negative, Robertson says in a client note:

(The IMF) are more concerned about Turkey than O’Neill…We like Nigeria for the first quarter of 2014.  We’re not at all  sure about Turkey.  








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