Global Investing

Olympic medal winners — and economies — dissected

August 13, 2012

The Olympic medals have all been handed out and the athletes are on their way home.  Which countries surpassed expectations and which ones did worse than expected? And did this have anything to do with the state of their economies?

Risks loom for South Africa’s bond rally

July 23, 2012

Investors are wondering how much longer the rally in South Africa’s local bond markets will last.

South Africa’s joins the rate cutting spree

July 19, 2012

Another central bank has caved in and cut interest rates — South Africa lowered its key rate to a record low of 5 percent at Thursday’s meeting. In doing so, the central bank noted growth was slowing further. ”Negative spillover effects (from the global economy)  likely to intensify,” it said.

Doves to rule the roost in emerging markets

July 18, 2012

Interest rate meetings are coming up this week in Turkey,  South Africa and Mexico.  Most analysts expect no change to interest rates in any of the three countries.  But chances are, the worsening global growth picture will force policymakers to soften their tone from previous months; indeed forwards markets are actually pricing an 18-20 basis-point interest rate cut in South Africa.

from Africa News blog:

Are African governments suppressing art?

May 31, 2012

By Cosmas Butunyi

The dust is finally settling on the storm that was kicked off in South Africa by a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

Not everyone is “risk off”

May 10, 2012

Who would have thought it. As fears over the euro zone’s fate, Chinese economic growth and Middle Eastern politics drive investors toward safe-haven U.S. and German bonds, some have apparently been going the other way.  According to JPMorgan, bonds from so-called frontier economies such as Pakistan, Belarus and Jordan (usually considered high-risk assets) have performed exceptionally well, doing far better in fact than their peers from mainstream emerging markets.  The following graphic from JPM which runs the NEXGEM sub-index of frontier debt, shows that returns on many of these bonds are running well into the double digits.

Urbanization sweet spots

April 3, 2012

It’s a hard slog sometimes looking for new and surprising sources of global economic growth that have not already be heavily discounted by global investors, especially in the uncertain world of 2012. It’s been as hard of late to find new arguments to invest in China and quite a few people suggesting the opposite.

Emerging markets facing current account pain

January 26, 2012

Emerging markets may yet pay dearly for the sins of their richer cousins. While recent financial crises have been rooted in the United States and euro zone, analysts at Credit Agricole are questioning whether a full-fledged emerging markets crisis could be on the horizon, the first since the series of crashes from Argentina to Turkey over a decade ago. The concern stems from the worsening balance of payments picture across the developing world and the need to plug big  funding shortfalls.

Not quite 99 emerging market beers on the wall

August 14, 2009

Should emerging market investors set aside their spreadsheets and crack open a cold one?