Global Investing

Myanmar – investing in a far frontier

July 28, 2014

Frontier investors have been excited by the opening up of Myanmar’s market since its quasi-civilian government came to power in 2011, after nearly half a century of military rule. But investors also complain that there is very little to invest in. This one is a deep frontier – there is no real stock market, and investors have tended not to go directly into local companies.

The people buying emerging markets

July 23, 2014

We’ve written (most recently here) about all the buying interest that emerging markets have been getting from once-conservative investors such as pension funds and central banks. Last year’s taper tantrum, caused by Fed hints about ending bond buying, did not apparently deter these investors . In fact, as mom-and-pop holders of mutual funds rushed for the exits,  there is some evidence pension and sovereign  wealth  funds actually upped emerging allocations, say fund managers. And requests-for-proposals (RFPs) from these deep-pocketed investors are still flooding in,  says Peter Marber, head of emerging market investments at Loomis Sayles.

Emerging markets; turning a corner

July 15, 2014

Emerging markets have been attracting healthy investment flows into their stock and bond markets for much of this year and now data compiled by consultancy CrossBorder Capital shows the sector may be on the cusp of decisively turning the corner.

Ecuador: a successful emerging market?

June 30, 2014

A colleague of mine, Marius Zaharia (@MZaharia) interviewed Moritz Kraemer, Standard and Poor’s head of sovereign ratings for Europe, Middle East and Africa. (you can read the interview here) Kraemer offered this piece of advice to the African governments who are busily tapping bond markets these days:

Anticipating the fallout from South Africa’s ratings reviews

June 10, 2014

South Africa is due ratings reviews this Friday. Chances are that the Standard & Poor’s agency will cut its BBB rating by one, or possibly even two notches.  Another agency Fitch has a stable outlook on the rating but could still choose to downgrade the rating rather than the outlook. What will be the damage?

Discovering Pyongyang’s view with a North Korean diplomat

May 21, 2014

Last week I went to a very unique session on North Korea which featured a rare appearance of a North Korean diplomat, at London-based policy institute Chatham House.

Toxic trio turns tantalising

April 11, 2014

Dubbed the Toxic Trio earlier this year,  the high-yield bond markets of Argentina, Ukraine and Venezuela are starting to look a lot more appealing.

Buying back into emerging markets

April 8, 2014

After almost a year of selling emerging markets, investors seem to be returning in force. The latest to turn positive on the asset class is asset and wealth manager Pictet Group (AUM: 265 billion pounds) which said on Tuesday its asset management division (clarifies division of Pictet) was starting to build positions on emerging equities and local currency debt. It has an overweight position on the latter for the first time since it went underweight last July.

And the biggest loser was…Belgium

April 2, 2014

The largest downswing in the BlackRock Sovereign Risk Index over the past quarter was not Ukraine, despite the annexation of its Crimea region and Russian troops on its borders, but Belgium.

Ukraine and the IMF: a sense of deja vu

April 1, 2014

The West has just agreed to stump up a load of cash for Ukraine but there is a distinct sense of deja vu around it all.