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Asian Investors Continue to Look to GCC Despite Rising Geopolitical Risk

For Asian investors searching for returns across emerging markets, the GCC has long been considered a relatively low-risk, higher-yielding option. But with geopolitical tensions reaching a boiling point, and a number of GCC states fiscally exposed to oil price swings, former safe havens could become a riskier bet.

Felipe Bomfim: Common to Invest in Infrastructure After Recessions, Brazil Is Very Competitive

Bonds & Loans spoke to Felipe Bomfim, Director at Patria Infrastructure, on pensions reform, festering growth of local capital markets and why the glass is always half-full for investors doing business in Brazil.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX remains vulnerable to ongoing global trade tensions. It may also suffer from the recalibration of market expectations regarding Fed policy. We remain negative on EM near-term until the outlook for both of these major drivers becomes clearer.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM is benefiting from the more benign global liquidity story. However, we do not think this is enough to sustain the rally. Global growth and trade remains at risk and so we are cautious about piling into EM right now.

Once a Mirage, An Asset Class Begins to Emerge: GCC Local Currency Bond Markets

The growth of the GCC debt capital markets in the first decade of this century was reasonably stunted as the region’s need for debt funding was negligible in the face of abundant liquidity ensuing from high oil prices. Due in large part to its sources of revenue and the prevalence of currency pegs, the region’s borrowers have predominately relied on US dollar funding. But as the region’s corporate entities grow and become more sophisticated, requiring deeper and more diverse domestic funding markets, that looks set to change – with regional governments taking the lead.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX has gotten some traction lately, but we do not think it will last. While the US-Mexico trade tensions appear to have been addressed, the US-China situation seems likely to drag on into Q3. EM seems to be benefitting from the weak dollar, but the global backdrop remains concerning.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

We think the global backdrop remains very negative for EM. Rising tariffs pose significant risks to global growth and trade. We expect both China and Mexico to retaliate further in the coming days. At this point, a potentially more dovish Fed and ECB (amongst many others) is simply not enough to help EM get any traction.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

The global backdrop for EM remains challenging. Trade tensions remain high and show no sign of letting up. China PMIs will offer the first snapshot of the economy for May and it won’t be pretty. Lastly, press reports suggest the US will consider allowing tariffs on countries that have undervalued currencies. No good will come of this for EM.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX had an awful week, with virtually every currency down against the dollar. The lone exception was MYR, which managed to end flat on the week. The divergence theme remains supportive for the dollar, and that should keep downward pressure on EM. We may see some corrective bounces from time to time but we remain negative on EM. FOMC meeting and China PMI readings should help set the tone for markets.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

The dollar rally is back on track as the divergence theme re-emerges. DXY traded last week at its highest level since April 2 and is on track to test that day’s cycle high near 97.71. For EM, that has translated into broad-based losses this past week. ARS, RUB, and a handful of other were able to notch small gains last week, but most EM currencies were down against the greenback. COP, BRL, ZAR, and TRY were the worst performers and we see further EM losses ahead.

 

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