LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) – Emerging market borrowers
raised just over $100 billion worth of debt in the first quarter
of 2014, slightly below year-ago levels as geopolitical noise
and uncertainty over U.S. Federal Reserve plans dampened
Emerging sovereign and corporate issuers launched $106.2
billion in hard currency bonds between Jan. 1 and March 27, data
compiled by Thomson Reuters shows, well below the $124.5 billion
that was launched in the first quarter of 2013.
It’s a brave investor who will venture into emerging markets these days, let alone start a new fund. Data from Thomson Reuters company Lipper shows declining appetite for new emerging market funds – while almost 200 emerging debt and equity funds were launched in Europe back in 2011, the tally so far this year is just 10.
But Shaw Wagener, a portfolio manager at U.S. investor American Funds has gone against the trend, launching an emerging growth and income fund earlier this month.
(corrects last paragraph to show that Timchenko was Gunvor’s co-founder, not a former CEO)
Western sanctions against Russia lack bite, that’s the consensus. Yet the bonds of some Russian companies have taken a hit, especially the ones whose bosses have been targeted for visa- and asset freezes.
LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) – Chinese shares shrugged off
fresh signs of economic slowdown on Monday, leading emerging
equities to two-week highs, and the rally helped Russian assets
to recoup recent heavy losses.
China’s manufacturing contracted in March for the third
straight month, a preliminary private survey showed. HSBC’s
flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to an
eight-month low in March, the latest in a string of indicators
pointing to a loss of growth momentum.
LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – Around $70 billion has come off
the value of the Moscow stock exchange this month in response to
the Kremlin’s military incursion into Ukraine and its annexation
of Crimea, but it would be a brave investor who sniffs a
Even before the falls, Russian stocks were cheap, but with
Western sanctions now threatening growth, company profits and
credit ratings, and with Russian President Vladimir Putin
apparently ready to put geo-political ambitions above the
financial consequences, they could yet get cheaper.
LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) – Russian stocks jumped 2 percent
and the rouble firmed up after President Vladimir Putin said on
Tuesday he did not want to see Ukraine divided any further, in
comments that also boosted other emerging assets.
The rouble, which had traded more than half a point weaker
against the dollar earlier in the day, reversed its losses and
approached the two-week highs hit on Monday, when Western
sanctions turned out to be less stringent than expected.
LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) – Russia’s rouble fell on Tuesday
from the previous session’s two-week highs on fears of fresh
economic sanctions and a further military standoff, though
Moscow equities firmed in line with other emerging markets.
Equities were generally stronger across emerging markets,
lifted by big gains in Indian and Korea, while Russian shares
extended the 3.6 percent rise posted on Monday after Western
sanctions were seen as milder than expected.
Markets are fretting about the prospect of western sanctions on Russia but Europeans will also suffer heavily from any retaliatory trade embargoes from Moscow which supplies roughly a third of the continent’s gas needs – 130 billion cubic metres in 2012.
After all, memories are still fresh of winter 2009 when Russia cut off gas exports through Ukraine because of Kiev’s failure to pay bills on time. ING Bank analysts have put together a table showing which countries could be hardest hit if the Kremlin indeed turns off the taps.
Investors trawling for new frontier markets have of late been rolling into Iran. Charles Robertson at Renaissance Capital (which bills itself as a Frontier bank) visited recently and his verdict?
It’s like Turkey, but with 9% of the world’s oil reserves.
Most interestingly, Robertson found a bustling stock market with a $170 billion market cap — on par with Poland – which is the result of a raft of privatisations in recent years. A $150 million daily trading volume exceeds that of Nigeria, a well established frontier markets. And a free-float of $30 billion means that if Iranian shares are included in MSCI’s frontier index, they would have a share of 25 percent, he calculates.
LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) – The rouble touched new lows on
Monday on fears of economic fallout from Russia’s standoff with
the West over Ukraine, while the yuan took its biggest daily
fall in three years after China widened its trading band.
Some Asian currencies hit multi-month highs to the dollar,
bucking the weaker yuan which fell half a percent in spot
exchange rate markets after the central bank widened its
trading band to 2 percent, signalling authorities may tolerate
more currency weakness.