Foreign currency reserves in emerging markets fell last year for the first time in two decades, as developing economies found themselves beset by waning competitiveness, capital outflows and concerns over US monetary policy.
Nine out of 10 emerging market economists polled by the Financial Times said emerging markets had passed a period of “peak reserves” and might continue to see their stashes of foreign currency shrink for months.
That decline could hamper emerging economies’ ability to carry on buying US and European debt, a trend that has been an engine of growth in the west over the past decade.
“We are past the peak forex reserves in emerging markets,” said Maarten-Jan Bakkum, senior emerging market strategist at ING Investment Management. “The peak was in June last year. Since then we have seen declines in all major EM countries apart from Mexico, India and Indonesia.”
The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that total foreign currency reserves in emerging and developing economies fell $114.5bn year on year in 2014 to $7.74tn — the first annual decline since the IMF data series began in 1995. At their peak, emerging market reserves reached $8.06tn at the end of the second quarter last year. >> Read More
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has sounded another strong warning of the turmoil likely to strike the developing world when the US Federal Reserve begins to raise interest rates this year.
Speaking at a conference in India today, Ms Lagarde pointed out that emerging markets received about $4.5tn of gross capital inflows between 2009 and 2012 – much of it a result of US quantitative easing – which pumped up currencies, stocks and bonds across the developing world.
Emerging markets first received a taste of the turmoil that could follow US rate increases when the Fed in 2013 signalled it would begin to unwind QE, starting what analysts called a “taper tantrum”.
Ms Lagarde warned that this could be a harbinger of more ructions to come.
The risk of financial market and capital flow volatility, along with sudden increases in interest rate spreads, remains a real possibility as U.S. interest rates begin to rise.
The danger is that vulnerabilities that build up during a period of very accommodative monetary policy can unwind suddenly when such policy is reversed, creating substantial market volatility…. I am afraid [the temper tantrum] may not be a one-off episode. This is so, because the timing of interest rate lift-off and the pace of subsequent rate increases can still surprise markets.
The IMF managing director therefore urged policymakers in the developing world to prepare for rockier conditions, pointing out that countries that kept their fiscal and economic house in order in the years of plenty did better when the tantrum struck. >> Read More
26 February 2015 - 18:51 pm
A parliamentary assembly of the BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, could be established in the near future on Russia’s initiative, the Izvestia newspaper reported Thursday, citing a source familiar with the situation.
The issue will reportedly be discussed during the upcoming trip to India by Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov.
“We will begin cooperation to establish a parliamentary assembly of the BRICS countries. This will be one of the issues that will be discussed there,” the source told Izvestia.
Naryshkin and Pushkov will be joined by Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak, who oversees the creation of a new bank within the BRICS framework, on their visit to New Delhi, according to the source.
Pushkov declined from passing detailed comment on the source’s statements, but confirmed to Izvestia that Russia is set to “strengthen and give new impetus to inter-parliamentary cooperation within the BRICS format.”
The BRICS group of prominent emerging economies was established in 2010, when South Africa joined Brazil, Russia, India and China in what was previously known as BRIC.
24 December 2014 - 13:58 pm
10. Malaysia – Bursa Malaysia stock exchange
Loss in 2014: -10pc
How to access this market: The best route to this stock market is via the iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF, which tracks the up and down movements of shares listed in Malaysia.
9. Mexico – Bolsa Mexicana de Valores SAB de CV stock exchange
Loss in 2014: -12pc
How to access this market: One option is to buy a fund that has a significant chunk of its money in Mexican shares, such as the Blackrock Latin American Investment trust, which has around 30pc of its money in the country. Alternatively there is SPDR MSCI Mexico Quality Mix ETF and the iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF.
8. Brazil – Bovespa stock exchange >> Read More
04 November 2014 - 10:45 am
The US Federal Reserve has started to wean the US economyoff phantom money, euphemistically called “quantitative easing” (QE). Reserve Bank of India (RBI) GovernorRaghuram Rajan has been apprehensive about its potential impact on emerging economies like India. He made a vocal plea for a globally co-ordinated monetary policy action, ostensibly after due consideration of the impact of global capital flows on emerging economies. The then fellow at Peterson Institute Arvind Subramanian together with Princeton University economist Dani Rodrik, through an article in this paper (“Emerging Markets’ Victimhood Narrative,” February 1, 2014) pointed to the disingenuity of such claims of victimhood. They argued how emerging markets “consciously and enthusiastically embraced financial globalisation” to soak up foreign capital flows during times of easy money and contended that emerging markets are “simply reaping what they have sown”.
Over the next few weeks and months, as the tide of US capital flows run out, naked swimmers in emerging economies could be exposed, (the tangible impact of Bank of Japan’s renewed benevolence in flooding the market with liquidity is still unclear). Amid such bay watching, this is yet another opportunity for policymakers in emerging economies to assess reliance and susceptibility of various sectors in their economy to foreign flows. In this context, the badge of honour for dependence on foreign capital flows in the Indian economy can be bestowed on our equity markets. Analysis of all factors such as gross domestic product (GDP) growth, interest rates, domestic institutional investor (DII) flows, foreign institutional investor flows (FII), corporate earnings and so on that typically move stock markets, reveals that FII flows alone explain movement in the BSE Sensex since 2000.
>> Read More
23 October 2014 - 12:34 pm
Unilever, the consumer goods giant whose business depends on discretionary spending in developed and emerging countries, has said it can fight off difficult economic conditions to produce robust growth this year.
The maker of Dove personal care products and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream said in the outlook statement accompanying its third quarter results that:
We are confident that we will achieve another year of profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and sustainable core operating margin improvement and strong cash flow.
Its third quarter sales rose 2.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis, compared to the same time last year.
Its strongest trading was in the US, where sales advanced by 6.8 per cent. Europe was weak, however, with sales falling by 4.3 per cent.
Investors had been fearing a more pessimistic update from Unilever ever since finance director Jean-Marc Huët said at an event last month that global market growth had slowed and emerging markets had worsened.
Just over a year ago, Unilever became the first consumer goods maker to warn on emerging markets sales growth.
04 October 2014 - 10:22 am
The 100-day moving average of the advance/decline ratio for the MSCI World Index has collapsed to its lowest level since November 2008.
Out of the 46 MSCI country indices, we count 20 countries where the 100-day moving average of the advance/decline ratio is at its lowest level since 2008 or below it.
Below are charts for the MSCI World Index and MSCI Emerging Markets Index as well as our top 10 worst advance/decline country charts.
>> Read More
02 October 2014 - 21:13 pm
The world economy is threatened by a “new mediocre” of low growth for a long time, warned Christine Lagarde as she signalled cuts to the global outlook for 2015.
Ms Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said in a speech on Thursday that the global economic recovery is “brittle, uneven and beset by risks,”
Her remarks highlight a steady weakening of the global outlook in recent months as emerging economies, in particular, suffer a slowdown that threatens to dampen already sluggish growth in advanced countries as well.
“Overall, the global economy is weaker than we had envisaged even six months ago,” Ms Lagarde told an audience at Georgetown University. “Only a modest pickup is foreseen for 2015, as the outlook for potential growth has been pared down.” >> Read More