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Global

17 Jul 2019   Policy, Africa, Global

As Global Superpowers Question Free Trade, Africa Welcomes it With Open Arms

The establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is both ambitious and impressive, not the least of which because it created a platform for 53 heads of state across a vast and diverse continent to agree on something. But whether or not it’s a game changer for intraregional trade – or the region’s financial markets – depends to a large extent on whether Africa’s leaders knuckle down and finally address far more practical barriers to growth and cross-border commerce.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was mixed last week despite the dovish signals from the Fed’s Powell. Weak data from emerging Asia support the notion that the ongoing US-China trade war will continue to weigh on global growth and trade, which is negative for EM. We remain cautious on EM, especially given our less dovish take on the Fed.

Trump’s Trade Policies: Sacrificing Long-Term Gain for Short-Term Pain

Donald Trump’s willingness to replace long-term global political planning in favour of short-term political opportunism marks a departure from 70-odd years of US foreign policy. In a nutshell, after a long line of US presidents worked hard to build global political capital and the Trump Administration has now decided to spend it. What does this mean for investors and policy makers in other countries, including EM?

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.

As the Economic Cycle Begins to Turn, Distressed Debt Opportunities Remain Limited

It’s been a slow year for investors eyeing distressed debt opportunities. With distressed funds worldwide securing substantially lower volumes than in 2018, and a potential reversal in US interest rate rises on the horizon, many investors currently view conventional strategies more favourably. Against a backdrop of continued volatility and a growing number of warning signs in both developed and local economies, it’s unclear just how soon such opportunities will arise.

Drivers of Gold-Mining Sector Consolidation and Impact on Smaller Companies

On the surface, all the typical omens of a bull rally in metals seem present: a drop in the dollar index, disappointing economic and jobs data in the US, and the escalating geopolitical tensions in key locations like Iran and Venezuela – which have pushed investors towards safe haven assets and pushed the price of gold up. The trend is likely to bolster further consolidation in the mining sector, analysts claim. But one notable M&A transaction has shaken up the industry, raising important questions about the long-term effects and consequences of that consolidation – as well as the extent to which assets like gold remain save havens, explains Angelos Damaskos, manager at Junior Gold Fund.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM and risk assets should get a near-term boost from the good news coming out of the G20 meeting. Still, we caution against getting too optimistic on EM. Current US tariffs on Chinese goods will remain in place, which will continue to act as a headwind on global growth and trade.

Ashmore Group: Media! What is it Good for?

Ashmore's Global Head of Research Jan Dehn investigates the correlation between "headline risk" - both in traditional press and social media - and return on investment in emerging markets, concluding that, for all its faults, the media still serves an important function.

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.

How to Price In Human Risk and Other Intangibles

ESG – shorthand for environmental, social and governance – considerations are increasingly being prioritised by organisations, investors and lenders alike. But quantifying its influence on credit risk and funding is proving to be quite elusive. A group of former finance professionals and academics is trying to change that by putting “intangibles” like human risk, corporate culture and values at the centre of that relationship.

 

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