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.
It’s a brave investor who will venture into emerging markets these days, let alone start a new fund. Data from Thomson Reuters company Lipper shows declining appetite for new emerging market funds – while almost 200 emerging debt and equity funds were launched in Europe back in 2011, the tally so far this year is just 10.
Investors have been worried about the effect of a Chinese slowdown on Asian emerging markets, but the long-term growth story is still intact, according to specialist investment manager Matthews Asia.
Nerves about the potential impact of sanctions on Russian banks and the orderly functioning of Russian markets are driving investors to trade Russian rouble forwards offshore rather than onshore, even though the central bank told Reuters today it will not impose capital controls
Markets are fretting about the prospect of western sanctions on Russia but Europeans will also suffer heavily from any retaliatory trade embargoes from Moscow which supplies roughly a third of the continent’s gas needs – 130 billion cubic metres in 2012.
Congratulations to Bank of Spain, which won the best central bank website of the year award given by Central Banking Publications, as the specialist news provider for central bankers hosted its inaugural central banking awards last night in London. (The flagship Central Banker of the Year award was won by ECB’s Draghi, no surprise there)
The crisis currently roiling the developing world has revived a debate in some circles about the very validity of the “emerging markets” concept. Used since the early 1980s as a convenient moniker grouping countries that were thought to be less developed — financially or infrastructure-wise or due to the size or liquidity of their financial markets — the widely varying performances of different countries during the turmoil has served to underscore the differences rather than similarities between them. An analyst who traveled recently between several Latin American countries summed it up by writing that he had passed through three international airports during his trip but had not had a stamp in his passport that said “emerging market”.