Global Investing

Waiting for current account improvement in Turkey

January 6, 2014

The fall in Turkey’s lira to record lows is raising jitters among foreign investors who will have lost a good deal of money on the currency side of their stock and bond investments.  They are also worrying about the response of the central bank, which has effectively ruled out large rate hikes to stabilise the currency. But can the 20 percent lira depreciation seen since May 2013 help correct the country’s balance of payments gap?

Banks cannot ease Ukraine’s reserve pain

December 9, 2013

The latest data from Ukraine shows its hard currency reserves fell $2 billion over November to $18.9 billion. That’s perilously low by any measure. (Check out this graphic showing how poorly Ukraine’s reserve adequacy ratios compare with other emerging markets: http://link.reuters.com/quq25v)

The hryvnia is all right

December 5, 2013

The fate of Ukraine’s hryvnia currency hangs by a thread. Will that thread break?

Perfect storm brewing for the rouble

December 2, 2013

A perfect storm seems to be brewing for the Russian rouble. It has tumbled to four-year lows against a euro-dollar basket. Against the dollar, it has lost around 7 percent so far this year, faring better than many other emerging currencies. But signs are that next year will bring more turmoil.

Steroids, punch bowls and the music still playing: stocks dance into 2014

November 21, 2013

Four years into the stock market party fueled by a punch bowl overflowing with trillions of dollars of central bank liquidity, you’d think a hangover might be looming.

Turkish savers hang onto dollars

November 6, 2013

As in many countries with memories of hyperinflation and currency collapse, Turkey’s middle class have tended to hold at least part of their savings in hard currency. But unlike in Russia and Argentina, Turkish savers’ propensity to save in dollars has on occasion proved helpful to companies and the central bank. That’s because many Turks, rather than just accumulating dollars, have evolved into savvy players of exchange rate swings and often use sharp falls in the lira to sell their dollars and buy back the local currency. Hence Turks’ hard currency bank deposits, estimated at between $70-$100 billion –  on a par with central bank reserves — have acted as a buffer of sorts, stabilising the lira when it falls past a certain level.

Bernanke Put for emerging markets? Not really

September 23, 2013

The Fed’s unexpectedly dovish position last week has sparked a rally in emerging markets — not only did the U.S. central bank’s all-powerful boss Ben Bernanke keep his $85 billion-a-month money printing programme in place, he also mentioned emerging markets in his post-meeting news conference, noting the potential impact of Fed policy on the developing world. All that, along with the likelihood of the dovish Janet Yellen succeeding Bernanke was described by Commerzbank analysts as “a triple whammy for EM.” A positive triple whammy, presumably.

Tapping India’s diaspora to salvage rupee

August 21, 2013

What will save the Indian rupee? There’s an election next year so forget about the stuff that’s really needed — structural reforms to labour and tax laws, easing business regulations and scrapping inefficient subsidies. The quickest and most effective short-term option may be a dollar bond issued to the Indian diaspora overseas which could boost central bank coffers about $20 billion.

Turkey’s central bank — a little more action please

August 20, 2013

In the selloff gripping emerging markets, one currency is conspicuous by its absence — the Turkish lira. But this will change unless the central bank adds significantly to its successful lira-defensive measures.

BRIC shares? At the right price

July 19, 2013

Is the price right? Many reckon that the sell off in emerging markets and growing disenchantment with the developing world’s growth story is lending fresh validity to the value-based investing model.