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Policy

22 Feb 2019   Macro, Policy, Africa

Viscous Fiscus: In Pursuit of Reform, South Africa Takes One Step Forward, One Step Back

Markets have hung their hopes on the upcoming 2019 election and the avoidance of a blowout at troubled state-owned utility Eskom as potential reasons for optimism in South Africa, but without a monumental shift in mindset, or an end to the factionalism that has increasingly defined the executive and the ANC, both reform and growth will remain elusive.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

Since their post-FOMC peak on January 31, both MSCI EM and MSCI EM FX have fallen. Virtually every EM currency has given up their post-FOMC gains, the lone exception being MYR (+0.2%). The worst performers have been ZAR (-6%), ARS (-3.3%), and TRY (-2.3%). This supports our belief that the liquidity and low US rates story is not enough to sustain the EM rally on its own. What’s still missing is an improved global outlook and we certainly didn’t get that with the US retail sales data.

China: Onshore Bond Index Inclusion Marks Milestone in Financial Liberalisation

The recent announcement that Chinese government bonds (CGBs) and policy bank bonds will be included in the Bloomberg Barclay’s Global Aggregate (Global Agg) Index marks a huge milestone in China’s gradual integration into global markets. Not only does index inclusion herald the beginning of an influx of foreign investment, but it has the potential to mould credit markets across the region.

Special Report: The Cost of Internet Shutdowns in Africa

How do telecom operators and governments shut down an entire country’s connectivity? In Africa, where is the risk highest in 2019? And, what is the commercial and economic impact of the shutdowns? EXX Africa's Robert Besseling provides the analysis.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX ended the week mixed but gave up much of their post-FOMC gains as the week progressed. MYR, PHP, and MXN were the best EM performers for the week and posted small gains. ZAR, BRL, and ARS were the worst in EM, dropping nearly 2% against USD. US-China trade talks and Chinese data are likely to set the tone for EM this week. Reports that the US government may shut down again should weigh on risk assets.

Deadly Pipeline Blast Adds Fire to Mexico’s Fuel Crisis

The recent explosion at an oil pipeline in Tlahuelilpan, Central-Eastern Mexico, took the lives of 114 people and dozens more were left with severe injuries. The blast brought Mexico’s ailing oil and gas infrastructure back into focus just as the new president sets on a path to revitalise the industry by undoing some of his predecessor’s reforms to liberalise it. But will he succeed?

Uncertain Global Outlook Highlights GCC Debt Opportunity

As investors around the world brace for continued uncertainty in 2019 that will test the steeliest of nerves, the outlook for debt markets in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) region is a much brighter one, with the potential for strong risk adjusted returns.

Investec Targeting Senior Private and Illiquid Credit in South Africa When Sentiment Sours

The long-term investment potential in South Africa and the continent as a whole remains vast, but African fixed-income remains vulnerable to global factors, which forces investors to limit their exposure to asset classes that can withstand tumultuous periods, says Simon Howie, Co-Head of SA and Africa Fixed Income at Investec Asset Management, in an interview with Bonds & Loans.

BBH: EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX ended the week on a soft note as the dollar remains resilient. Very weak EM PMI readings so far in January are very concerning and underscore why we remain negative on EM despite the Fed capitulating to the market and tilting more dovish. Firmer currencies should allow EM central banks that meet this week to keep rates steady.

Brazil: The So-Called Libertarian Agenda

XPI's Zeina Latif compares Jair Bolsonaro to Brazil's past leaders - and sees a libertarian streak that, given the right approach, lift the economy out of the doldrums.

 

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