It’s difficult to find many investors who are enthusiastic about Russia these days. Yet it may be one of the few emerging markets that is relatively safe from the effects of “sudden stops” in foreign investment flows.
Turkey’s lira, South Africa’s rand and South Korea’s won have all lunged, local currency debt yields have suddenly surged, there’s an intense investor focus on domestic political risks again and governments like Brazil who were taxing what they feared were excessive foreign investment over the past couple of years have U-turned as those flows evaporate.
The received wisdom is dollar strength = weaker emerging market currencies. See here for my colleague Mike Dolan’s take on this. But as Mike’s article does point out, all emerging markets are not equal. It follows therefore that any waves of dollar strength and higher U.S. yields will hit them to varying degrees.
We wrote here yesterday on how Turkish hard currency bonds have been given the nod to join some Barclays global indices as a result of the country’s elevation to investment grade. Turkish dollar bonds will also move to the Investment grade sub-index of JPMorgan’s flagship EMBI Global on June 28.
Surprising as it may seem, the Egyptian pound has got some fans. The currency has languished for months at record lows against the dollar and the headlines are alarming — the lack of an IMF aid programme, meagre hard currency reserves, political upheaval. So what’s to like ?
Turkey’s elevation to investment grade last week may or may not be a game changer for its stock and bond markets, but the country is really hoping for a boost to FDI – bricks-and-mortar foreign direct investment into manufacturing or power generation. Its peace process with Kurdish separatists should help.
There seems to be no end to the rip-roaring bond rally across emerging Europe. Yields on Turkish lira bonds fell to fresh record lows today after an interest rate cut and stand now more than a whole percentage point below where they started the year.
Turkey’s ceasefire last month with the Kurdish militant group PKK could boost its trade partnerships multilaterally, as increasing prospects for stability in the region bring economic opportunities in the Middle East and Africa.