All eyes on the Hungarian central bank this week. Not so much on tomorrow’s policy meeting (a 25 bps rate cut is almost a foregone conclusion) but on Friday’s nomination of a new governor by Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Expectations are for Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy to get the job, paving the way for an extended easing cycle. Swaps markets are currently pricing some 100 basis points of rate cuts over the coming six months in Hungary — the question is, could this go further? With tomorrow’s meeting to be the last by incumbent Andras Simor, clues over future policy are unlikely, but analysts canvassed by Reuters reckon interest rates could fall to 4.5 percent by the third quarter, compared to their prediction for a 5 percent trough in last month’s poll.
A rate cut is also possible in Israel later today, taking the interest rate to 1.5 percent. Recent data showed growth at a weaker-than-expected 2.5 percent in the last quarter of 2012 while inflation was 1.5 percent in January, at the bottom of the central bank’s target range. But most importantly, according to Goldman Sachs, the shekel has been strengthening, having risen 7 percent against the dollar since November and 6.8 percent on a trade-weighted basis in this period. That could prompt a rate cut, though analysts polled by Reuters still think on balance that the BOI will keep rates unchanged while retaining a dovish bias. A possible reason could be that house prices — a sensitive issue in Israel — are still on the rise despite tougher regulations on mortgage lending.
Ten-year Indian bond yields have fallen 30 basis points this year alone and many forecast the gains will extend further. It all depends on two things though — the Feb 28 budget of which great things are expected, and second, the March 19 central bank meeting. The latter potentially could see the RBI, arguably the world’s most hawkish central bank, finally turn dovish.
Barclays is advising clients to bid for quotas to buy Indian government and corporate bonds at this Wednesday’s foreigners’ quota auction (India’s securities exchange, SEBI, will auction around $12.3 billion in quotas for foreign investors to buy bonds). Analysts at the bank noted that this would be the last auction before the central bank meeting at which a quarter point rate cut is expected. Moreover the Reserve Bank of India will signal more to come, Barclays says, predicting 75 bps in total starting March.
The excitement continues over Russian assets becoming Euroclearable. Euroclear’s head confirmed last week to journalists in Moscow that corporate debt would be the next step, potentially becoming eligible for settlement within a month. Russian equities are set to follow from July 1, 2014.
What that means is foreign investors buying Russian domestic rouble bonds will be able to process them through the Belgium-based clearing house, which transfers securities from the seller’s securities account to the securities account of the buyer, while transferring cash from the account of the buyer to the account of the seller.
LONDON (Reuters) – Poland will dodge the recession weighing on swathes of Europe, the country’s finance minister said, noting there was plenty of scope for the Polish central bank to cut interest rates further to support growth.
“We don’t see the slowdown as being particularly threatening,” Jacek Rostowski told Reuters Television on Friday.
A bond trader in London is still marvelling at the market’s willingness to snap up a Eurobond from Hungary, calling it a country with “a policy mix so unorthodox even Aunty Christine won’t lend to them”. But Hungary’s probable glee at bypassing the IMF and “Aunty Christine” with $3.25 billion in two bonds that were almost four times oversubscribed, is probably short-sighted.
Hungary needs to raise the equivalent of $23.4 billion this year to repay maturing debt. The bond placement will enable Hungary to easily meet the hard currency component of this, and it has been enormously successful in luring buyers to domestic debt markets. Such has been the demand for Hungarian bonds in recent months that foreigners’ holdings of forint-denominated government debt are at a record high of over 45 percent.
LONDON (Reuters) – A $2 trillion economy, a seat at the top table of world powers and a stock market that trades at valuations cheaper than Pakistan – G20 host Russia is still struggling to gain the trust of international capital.
Despite years of reform pledges, several privatisations and an apparent tick up in the global growth outlook, Russian shares trade only around five times expected earnings for the coming year, approaching depths plumbed during the 2008 market crash.
LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – A $2 trillion economy, a seat at
the top table of world powers and a stock market that trades at
valuations cheaper than Pakistan – G20 host Russia is still
struggling to gain the trust of international capital.
Despite years of reform pledges, several privatisations and
an apparent tick up in the global growth outlook, Russian shares
trade only around five times expected earnings for the coming
year, approaching depths plumbed during the 2008 market crash.
The Year of the Snake is considered one of the less auspicious in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. And 2013 is the year of the Black Water Snake, which comes around once every 60 years and is seen as the least fortuitous. How China’s stock markets turn out after years of poor performance remains to be seen but the snake is providing banks and asset managers with plenty of food for thought. Many of them have been gazing into the crystal ball to see what 2013 may hold for Chinese markets.
Fidelity Worldwide investments highlights the ‘Snakes and Ladders’ that could influence Chinese equities this year. (They have a great accompanying illustration)
As we wrote here last week, Russian bond markets are bracing for a flood of foreign capital. But there appears to be a surprising lack of interest in Russian equities.
Russia’s stock market trades on average at 5 times forward earnings, less than half the valuation for broader emerging markets. That’s cheaper than unstable countries such as Pakistan or those in dire economic straits such as Greece. But here’s the rub. Look within the market and here are some of the most expensive companies in emerging markets — mostly consumer-facing names. Retailers such as Dixy and Magnit and internet provider Yandex trade at up to 25 times forward earnings. These compare to some of the turbo-charged valuations in typically expensive markets such as India.
The recent, steady upward creep in U.S. Treasury yields is starting to have an effect on appetite for high-yield credit, investors’ favourite for over a year.
Emerging dollar bond funds have suffered capital outflows for the first time since June 2012, waving goodbye to around $300 million in the week to Feb 6, according to EPFR Global, the Boston-based fund tracker. Global high-yield bond funds saw net outflows of $1.33 billion, and according to another set of data from JPMorgan, emerging market hard currency ETFs (exchange traded funds) saw net outflows of $550 million. JPMorgan notes: