What emerging animal are you?

November 15, 2010

Ever since Goldman Sach’s Jim O’Neill came up with the idea of BRICs as an investment universe, competitors have been indulging in a global game of acronyms. Why not add Korea to Brazil, Russia, India and China and get a proper BRICK? Or include South Africa, as it wants, to properly upper case the “s” – BRICS or BRICKS?

Completely new lists have also been compiled — HSBC chief Michael Geoghegan has championed CIVETS to describe Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa (ignoring the fact, as Reuters’ Sebastian Tong points out here, that a civet is a skunk-like animal blamed for the spread of the deadly SARS outbreak in Asia).

Fun though some of this is — and no one can argue that BRICs has not had an impact — there is a danger that the acronym could become more relevant  than the actual countries involved. For example, imagine Mexico, Uruguay, Panama, Philippines, Egypt, Turkey and Sierre Leone being lumped together because they spell MUPPETS.

With this in mind, the Spanish bank BBVA is now arguing that what is needed is a more dynamic concept, one that can remain in place acronymically,  so to speak, but allow for new entrants without the need to rewrite everything. Enter BBVA’s EAGLEs – an Emerging And Growth-Leading Economy, defined by its incremental GDP rather than absolute size. The founding 10 are China, India, Brazil, Korea, Indonesia, Russia, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt and Taiwan.

But BBVA reckons that is not enough. It also has an EAGLE’s nest, which included fledglings that might soon grow up to soar – Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, Colombia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Argentina, Peru and the Philippines.

MacroScope likes the idea of animals coming to the aid of investors and economists. It would like to suggest FERRETs — Fast Emerging, Relatively Robust Economic Treasures. But it encourages anyone who feels inspired to submit their own suggestions.

2 comments

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Why not just rummage around in the ATTIC? Top performing regional fund sectors this year: ASEAN, Thailand, Turkey, Indonesia, Chile. (we’ll conveniently ignore the fact the Philippines is actually at the very top)

Posted by JoelD | Report as abusive

WesternSahara, Australia, Namibia, Korea, East Timor, Russia, Senegal.

Posted by ottorock | Report as abusive

[...] an aside, Reuters did a funny piece on emerging markets acronyms, sort of ” son of BRIC”.  Hat tip on the Grantham interview goes to The Guru [...]