Global Investing

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.

Venezuelan bonds — storing up problems

November 14, 2013

Last week’s victory for Miss Venezuela in a global beauty pageant was a rare bit of good news for the South American country. With a black market currency exchange rate that is 10 times the official level, shortages of staples, inflation over 50 percent and political turmoil, Venezuela certainly won’t win any investment pageants.

The BBB credit ratings traffic jam

December 17, 2012

Adversity is a great leveller. Just look at the way sovereign credit ratings in the developed and emerging world have been converging ever since the credit crisis erupted five years ago. JPMorgan  has crunched a few numbers.

Are EM forex reserves strong enough?

By Reuters Staff
November 23, 2012

One of the big stories of the past decade has been the massive jump in central bank reserves, with total reserves having quintupled from a decade ago to around $10.6 trillion.

Record year for emerging corporate bonds

October 17, 2012

The past 24 hours have brought news of more fund launches targeting emerging corporate debt;  Barings and HSBC have started a fund each while ING Investment Management said its fund launched late last year had crossed $100 million.  We have written about the seemingly insatiable demand  for corporate emerging bonds in recent months,  with the asset class last month surpassing the $1 trillion mark.  Data from Thomson Reuters shows today that a record $263 billion worth of EM corporate debt has already been underwritten this year by banks, more than a fifth higher than was issued in the same 2011 period (see graphic):

Venezuelan yields make it hard to stay away

October 11, 2012

The 60-70 basis-point post-election surge in Venezuela’s benchmark foreign currency bond yields  is already starting to reverse.

Election test for Venezuela bond fans

October 5, 2012

Investors who have been buying up Venezuelan bonds in hopes of an opposition victory in this weekend’s presidential election will be heartened by the results of a poll from Consultores 21 which shows Henrique Capriles having the edge on incumbent Hugo Chavez.  The survey shows the pro-market Capriles with 51.8 percent support among likely voters, an increase of 5.6 percentage points since a mid-September poll.

Venezuela — high risk, higher yield

June 10, 2011

Venezuela's Chavez with Lukashenko of Belarus

Which bond would you rather buy — one issued by a country with an unpredictable leader but huge oil reserves, or one with  a dictatorial president as well as empty coffers? The answer should be a no brainer. Not so. The countries are Venezuela and Belarus, and a basic comparison of their debt profiles shows how strangely risk can be priced in emerging markets.

Emerging bonds this year. The riskier the better.

April 18, 2011

Politics have turned nastier than usual this year in emerging markets. Nonetheless, if you were a buyer of emerging bonds, you would have been ill-advised to play safe. That’s because the best performing emerging credit so far this year is Ivory Coast, which at the end of January effectively defaulted on its $2.3 billion dollar bond. Yes really, according to JP Morgan, which runs the most widely-used emerging debt indexes.